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The Worst Day of Peeper's Life

Posted by Howard Denson on October 11, 2016 at 2:20 PM

By HOWARD DENSON

 

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Earlier I wrote about making friends with a feral kitten, whom I called Peepers.

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Finally, a day came when I set the food dish down for Peepers but began leaving it on the porch, all the while making sure that Eddie the Old Predator didn’t discover the intruder and attack. After a couple of feedings, Peepers accepted that he could safely eat on the closed-in front porch, and I was able to close the door on him and get him, hissing and spitting, to the back of the house.

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As we have done before, we again put up the Berlin Wall to separate the free-spirited old cats from the down-trodden kitten of East Germany.

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Rather than bring feline diseases into the house, we got him to the vet’s to be fixed and inspected. We quickly learned the following:

• Peepers was not a “he” but a Miss Peepers.

• She had been captured as a feral kitten, fixed, and released back into her territory. One of her ears had been trimmed slightly, just enough for a vet or sharp eye to spot, but not yours truly.

• She was given whatever shots she needed and was now ready to live the good life.

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Except . . .

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The wee creature had spent her entire existence (a year, two years?) living in fear: attacks from other cats, dogs, and perhaps the occasional possums and raccoons that wander over from Fishweir Creek. Everything in her life was a potential threat.

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We reached sort of a truce. When I traveled through the checkpoint into East Germany, I would grab her brush and groom her until it occurred to her that this was a trick from the Stasi.

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By and by, when she was not eating or using the litter box (or anywhere else), I took her to the vet, who kept her a day or two while they sedated her and manipulated her bowels to relieve a blockage. We returned to normal, until the procedure had to be done again. Eventually, we learned she suffered from “mega-colon” where part of the colon is expanded, fills up, and then blocks the system if not treated.


.“Mega-colon?” asked She Who Knows All. “That’s what Elvis had.”

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The vet said Peepers would need to be given a dose of two meds each day, one a stool softener and the other a prescription apparently to tighten up the colon.

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The first attempt went well, if you consider holding a hissing, spitting, and slashing creature at arm’s length to be well. The mouth was open, so I was able to squirt in the meds.

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Eventually, I went to a hardware store to get some gloves to handle the cat. The pet store franchises were no help. Neither franchise had a suit of armor thick enough to deflect the claws.

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Then it became a moot point.

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In the East German half of the house, Peepers may access two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and our library, which overflows with books and boxes. She has discovered tunnels in there and won’t even peep if I softly meow her name.

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For a time before The Troubles, she slept in my bedroom on a stack of clothes that I’m too lazy to hang up. One night she jumped into the bed with me, and I felt a cold, wet nose on my back until she realized she was about to get cooties and jumped down.

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Now, she finds her tunnel among the books and boxes in the library.

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She could sing a Cole Porter song. She gets no kick from catnip. Sprinkled on her once-favorite sleeping spot doesn’t please her at all. She gets no kick from a jingle toy. The feather on a stick means nothing to her.

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She probably doesn’t even get a kick out of her secret tunnel.

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Come on, little one. Enjoy life.

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“Are you there?”

 

Categories: The Human Comedy or Tragedy

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