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July 23, 2012
In the spirit of The Real Stories Project from Purina Cat Chow, I have another cat story for you today. After posting my cat story about Smokee, I thought I had finally posted about all of my pets here, but then I realized that I missed one. This is the story about the time I took in a stray and the few weeks we had with her...
It was a normal weekday for me. I got up and got ready for work and headed out to start another day. When I walked out the front door, there was this tiny, sickly looking little ball of fur looking up at me. I could see this cat's bones through her wet fur, and she looked pitiful. She looked up at me and let out the softest "meow", and I immediately bent down to pet her. She perked right up and welcomed my attention. Her purring let me know that.
I didn't know what to do. I couldn't just leave her outside. I knew she had been someone's pet because she was declawed. It was obvious that she was either lost or had been abandoned, but either way, she was starving and cold. I had to get to work, so I brought her inside and put her in our exercise room. I couldn't let her get near my other cat since she looked so sick, so I gave her a warm bed to lay in, some food and water, and a litter box and closed the door behind me.
When I came home from work that night, I took my dogs out, gave my cat Morgan some love, and then went to check on the stray. She seemed happy to see me, and just sat in my lap while I checked her over. She had eaten the food and gone to the bathroom, so she seemed OK in that regard, but the green stuff oozing from her nose was cause for concern. I decided to get her in to the vet the next morning, and I knew that when I called to make the appointment they would ask her name. Meet Phoebe...
I won't go into much detail about the next few weeks, because that would make for a longer post than this is already going to be. We took her to the vet we had been seeing, and he couldn't really figure out what was wrong with her. He gave us antibiotic after antibiotic, along with other meds, and nothing seemed to help. I finally sought out a second opinion, and more meds were given.
Both vets assured me that since Morgan had been vaccinated for the "serious stuff" that it would probably be OK to allow her to come out of the exercise room and have free roam of the house, so after a couple of weeks, we allowed her to come out. She seemed so happy just to be part of the family. As sick as she was, she was always out, and never hid. She loved the dogs and was always cuddled up with one of them.
The weeks went by and I felt like I needed my own reserved parking spot at the vet because we were there so often. Phoebe took her meds like a good girl every night, and was the sweetest little cat, even as sick as she was. We spent hundreds of dollars on trying to make her better, and I did everything I could do for her. I gave her as much love as I could possibly give her, and she was happy to take it. When she wasn't cuddled up with one of my dogs, she was cuddled up in my lap. Other than Smokee, I had never met a cat who was so friendly.
I dropped her off at the vet one morning for some tests, and I got a call a few hours later saying that she was not doing well and that I should probably come down there. It turns out that she had lung cancer, which is the same cancer Smokee had, and is very rare in cats. She had so much fluid built up on the outside of her lungs that it was compressing them and making it very difficult for her to breathe. There were a few options for treatment, but the bottom line was that she had a very aggressive form of cancer, and the end result was going to be the same. Tears poured from my eyes as I signed the consent form to end her suffering.
Phoebe was not part of our lives for very long, but she made a very big impact. We took in this sweet cat who obviously wasn't cared about enough by her original owners, and we made her last days on this earth the best they could have been. We did everything we could for her, and she knew she was loved. We made life better for her, and I felt good for doing so. I would do it all over again too. While this story had a sad ending, it was pretty happy for a few weeks, and the happy is what matters. I will never forget that little ball of fur who cuddled up in my lap every night and the way she looked at me. It was as if she was saying thank you. You're welcome, sweet Phoebe.
Have you shared your story yet? If you are a cat person, then you have at least one. From now until July 31, you can participate in the Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project Contest by submitting your cat relationship story at www.yourcatstory.com.
Five cat stories will be selected as the grand prize winners of the Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project and will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a one year supply of Purina® Cat Chow® brand cat food for one cat, and have their cat relationship story told through a Purina Cat Chow brand online video.
Purina Cat Chow will recognize the stories of five runners-up with a $1,000 cash prize each and one year supply of Purina® Cat Chow® brand cat food for one cat. In addition, 40 stories will receive an honorable mention and a $100 gift card. The Contest will award more than $30,000 in prizes.
Purina Cat Chow believes that someone should always be there for you and your cat. They want to be there for cat people as a supportive and dependable resource, and an insightful champion for the relationship cats and owners share.
Disclosure: Purina Cat Chow partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Real Stories Project. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to say. Purina Cat Chow believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Purina Cat Chow’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.