Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Cookie's Little Gray Shadow
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Twelve years ago, Cookie arrived home to find a little gray Shadow all moved in!
His two young accomplices had something to do with his new permanent home status.

TALES

In 1998 Cookie found a three-month-old gray kitten under her front porch. (OK, the kitten really found Cookie!)  The kitten looked up at Cookie with huge expectant eyes and plaintively meowed, "Please feed and love me."

Cookie is a pet lover, but she promptly meowed back, "No. Sorry. I am already feeding two cats and three dogs and can't afford another pet.  You have to go home."

Bending down, Cookie played with the tame kitten.  She assumed he lived nearby and would soon scamper home, but he didn't.  So, at mealtime Cookie struck up a deal with the little moocher.  "I promised to feed him daily, but he would have to remain an outside cat."

A week later, she arrived home from work and went to feed the gray stray.  He was nowhere to be found. Upset she walked into her home, and her sadness instantly turned into laughter!

"What a shock! I found him in my home! Not just walking around, mind you, but very comfy sitting on the sofa with my other pets," laughs Cookie.  "He casually looked up at me and acted as if he had always lived with us.

Apparently, my daughter, Mickie, (who was 13 at the time) and my grandson, Jake, (who was 12) had being sneaking the kitten they'd named Shadow into the house during the day to play with them. 

While I was at work, they had successfully introduced Shadow to the rest of our pets.  And that is how Shadow, along with his two teenage accomplices, suggested he become our inside-outside kitty.  And he did."

Shadow is now twelve years old and has used up several of his nine lives.  The incident that used three of these nine lives was when he was a hit-and-run victim, suffering a broken jaw losing a front canine tooth, and becoming blinded in one eye.
 
Their "free" cat needed immediate, expensive, emergency $urgery.  Medical support was only the beginning of his recovery. Cookie took up the challenge; she held Shadow like a baby in a blanket and lovingly fed him through a syringe for two weeks to save his life.  After she paid $1,000 to get Shadow out of the vet's capable hands, Shadow got his wish and was elevated to a 100 percent indoor cat! 

"Whoever said animals are dumb?" asks Cookie.  "They aren't; this one outsmarted me! Twice! And probably a few more times that he won't tell!  All my children are now grown and moved out, and Shadow is still here!

Also, my other daughter, Keri, and her family love animals and live a two-hour drive away.  For three years, I have clipped and mailed them Tips 'n' Tales columns. They look forward to reading the pet stories and learning from the tips. Keri has saved all the articles in a folder. As a special gift, I subscribed them to the newspaper," shares Cookie. "This saves me time and postage and makes them happy."


TIPS

Shadow survived because of Cookie's loving care.  It has been proven that indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. An outdoor cat, and your wallet, can be harmed by dogs, vehicle encounters, and abscesses from fighting with marauding cats. They can also be lost or stolen while running from electrical storms and holiday fireworks.

Cookie suggests, "Indoor cats will not miss the freedom of outside as long as they have their 'special' windows to see through.  Hang a bird feeder outside the window for the cat's entertainment."

Mary Ellen Angel Scribe's home window sills were removed and replaced with window ledges deep enough for a fat cat to take warm sunny afternoon naps on.

Consider building a safe outside-cat enclosure.  Angel Scribe's "cat castle" cost less to build than the cost of two veterinarian appointments to treat abscesses.  Our cats enter their enclosure through a cat door; it has planks to walk on, shelves to sun on, catnip and grass to eat, and hanging CD disks to reflect light for them to chase.  The enclosure lifts their spirits, keeps them safe, and helps them build muscle and health as they jump from one level to level.
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