Friday, September 08, 2006

My Companion

Mike at the base of my chair

I cannot look at another stock photo to slap on a book cover. There comes a point when you have to walk away and clear your head--stretch the right side of your brain so you can think objectively. So, I must write about my cat, Mike.

I am choosing my cat Mike instead of my cat Tiger or my children or my husband or my horn or my pile of wire bracelets because Mike sits or lays beside my chair from the moment I plop down into it in the morning until I hobble out of it in the afternoon like an old woman in need of a cane. Mike is a constant part of my day.

Mike spends the day at my side because he is abnormally attached. If I don't acknowledge him often enough, he stands up by my chair and taps my right arm with his paw, looking up into my face with his big green eyes. He follows me into the kitchen because something in his brain says, "when Mommy is in the kitchen, I must eat." I go into or walk through the kitchen several times a day, so Mike weighs well over twenty pounds.

He has become so round in the middle that when he walks he resembles a dairy cow, stomach swaying from side to side as he saunters. He has become so round in the middle that he can't groom his back end--"my tongue...can't....stretch...all...the way....to....my....tail," he wheezes as he makes a pathetic and clumsy effort. I have had to clip out the clumps of fur that have become matted for lack of grooming.

Mike can't eat diet food because he is restricted to a special prescription food that pampers his kidneys. He had a kidney stone almost two years ago that he couldn't pass (most cats can't, evidently). The vet said, "Mike has the smallest package I've ever seen on a cat this size." So, for $1600, he surgically removed Mike's "package" and reconfigured his insides to give him another pee-channel. The big guy will have to eat the prescription stuff for the rest of his wheezing life.

Mike wheezes because his pink nose is slightly pushed in. The sound he makes when he breaths is somewhere between the snort of a pig and the rasp of an old man with phlegm. There is nothing surgical that the vet can do for that, although I suppose he could surgically remove his nose and reconfigure his insides with a respirator.

Mike has developed a compulsion for fetching yarn. He drags around this mass of left over black stuff from some scarf someone knitted once, and he sits beside it. He looks at the yarn then looks up at who ever might be in the room as a sign that the yarn needs to be thrown. If it gets tossed over the back of the couch, then he will fling himself over the furniture, land on the tangle of yarn, then slowly return to the thrower for another round. He will do this almost indefinitely, until he starts wheezing.

So, why would someone own a cat with so many issues, a cat that outspends the landscaper and Orkin man combined? Because I love him. He's my companion. Aww.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story about Mike. I remember when you got him...he was such a cute little guy. Now he's a cute big guy! And we DO love our cats...so much. oh my.