• Wallace

    I don't post much about the animals in my life.  Not sure why that is.
    There are some wonderful pet soul mates in my past and

    But these past 6 months definitely belong to my cat Wallace, 
    Wally for short.

    Max Left, Wally Right
    At 13 years of age we consider ourselves luck to have had Wally that long.  He started out life with his brother, Max - Maximillan. We adopted them together, wanting a bonded pair.  After years and years of 4 previous cats at odds with each other, we wanted the next set to be peaceful.

    I think these boys are the best looking of all our cats over 50 years.  The first two weeks we had them, we spent $2,000 to get them healthy.  Shelter cats typically come with various problems and we were committed to giving them a fair shot at life. Wally was underweight and ill due to lack of nutrition. During that time I had to force feed him.  His brother Max was 'the dude' in charge - he ate first and didn't care who else was hungry.  Max was a sweetheart, but food was his God!  Wally was docile and waited his turn to eat!  Once we got this pair in our home and discovered the situation, food was abundant for both.  But old habits die hard and Wally continued to defer to his brother.


    For 3 years things were great.  Wally was always "second banana" to his brother, but we kept tabs on that relationship and no one ever suffered.  But at 3 years of age, Max was diagnosed with degenerative kidneys - a common condition for cats, but way too early in his young life.  Between prescription food ($$$$) and subcutaneous fluids (injected under the skin of his ruff) every other day ($$$$) we kept Max alive for another 8 years.  He died at 11 years of age from kidney failure - finally.  But for such a long life, he should be in the Records Book somewhere!  When vets hear Max's story they are astonished.  "Unheard of" ... is the frequent comment.

    So that is the back-story of the two brothers.

    Now we were down to 1 cat - Wally.  Initially we worried that he would pine for his brother.  Nope!! No pining here!!  In fact he actually flourished.  He was no longer the second banana.  Wally was loving and happy now that he was the star of this household!!

    In August of 2019 - 4 years later - when it was discovered that he was hyperthyroid - another common condition for cats.  Over the course of the last 6 months we struggled with medication at various strengths and appetite problems.  We tried a large range of prescription foods and grocery store food.  All efforts cost many dollars.  But this guy is family so we plowed on as we did for his brother.

    Getting food into him was the greatest challenge.  I had visions of my force feeding sessions with him as a kitten. Finally his eating trickled down to almost nothing.  Was it his thyroid meds or was it is teeth.  We moved forward with the dental and they discovered the probable cause of his loss of appetite.  His teeth were a mess.  After the cleaning, we took him to a recommended Vet dentist - where we were told his poor gums and teeth were not the result of improper care - but a condition called Tooth Resorption.  His body was "reabsorbing" his teeth - breaking them down right to and into the root.  When cats in the wild get this condition they starve to death because they cannot eat.  It is an internal process separate from regular tooth care.  And he was in a lot of pain as you can imagine.  But, typical of cats, he never showed that.  Just couldn't eat.  Not showing pain or illness is a survival technique for cats in the wild - they don't want to become prey!  Cats are only partially domesticated and predators by nature, so it all fits together.


    The total visit with exam, X-rays, surgery costs, recovery costs, extraction of 8 molars, injectable meds for pain and antibiotics ... (drum roll ... ) was close to $1900.  Did we wince at that cost??  Absolutely not.  He is now comfortable - eating soft foods - and returning to good health.  We hope to have him for many more years.  He is a fabulous cat and we love him dearly.

    Non-pet folks I find don't understand our willingness to do whatever we can for our pets.  My response is that pets are family.  If you look into those eyes, how can you not see a beautiful 'soul' staring back at you?

    Pets 'give' more than they 'take.'  And if good health and a quality life after treatment is possible - I will do it no matter the cost.  If they are in pain and treatment will not fix the cause - like with cancer - we painfully and sorrowfully say goodbye to them, release them from their pain, and give them back to God.  We have done that 9 times and it never gets easy!  But for now this beautiful creature belongs to me.  He hopefully has many more years ahead of him.  Now that he has those pesky teeth out of his mouth, he can enjoy living again.

    My husband and I have lived with one or more cats our 50 years of marriage.  I think life would be less without one of these graceful and independent animals!

    Rest on my dear Wallace.  
    You have earned your place in our home and hearts.
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