It’s been two years now, since I found Life in our driveway, starved, frozen and unable to walk, drink, or eat. All she could do was cry. No matter how much her body had given up, there was a spark of life still in her, that refused to give up, hence her name. I know that it is exactly two years now, because I found her on my boyfriend’s birthday. “Hello darling, happy birthday, look what I got you! A dead cat!”
Only, Life didn’t die. She clung to life, she fought her way out of her miserable state. We spent days force feeding her water, and she threw it up. (When you are dehydrated, you quite literally cannot drink.) Then, once she kept the water down, she started eating, a little, and throwing it up. All of her systems had failed. I didn’t even dare take her to a vet, for fear that he would just put her down on sight. Somehow, cats are never truly afforded that much care in our society. Just get a new one, our animal shelters are drowning in cats that nobody wants. Why fight for this one?
I’ll get back to that.
Once she could eat again, Life spent months, dragging herself about by the use of her front legs, since her hind legs refused to carry her, utterly deprived of muscle as she was. Slowly, though, she trained herself and started walking. (If I had thought for a second that she might have been in pain or that there might have been something broken, I would have taken her to a vet right away.)
We have trained her a lot as well, placing her on her back, pushing on her hind legs, waiting for her to push back. Day in and day out, we have worked on this cat. And then, she suddenly got fat. I believe we didn’t think much of it at first, the poor thing, getting a bit chubby, who would blame her, really? After all she had been through…
In the end though, we agreed that she would have to lose weight again, and so we placed her food on a ledge, so she would have to climb and jump to get it. That, more than anything, trained her hind legs, and it did make her lose weight as well, since the food were no longer easy to get to. Life does have issues though. She can’t just not eat. Reading on the cat-food-bag, how much she is supposed to get every day, she is getting a bit more than that, simply because if she doesn’t eat a little, every other hour, she throws up. I am guessing that her stomach can’t handle being empty anymore. It has been, for far too long…
Another thing that makes me believe that Life is more damaged than one would think when one looks at her, is that she doesn’t go into heat. Not once, in her two years, has she been in heat. Something has clearly shut down within this little girl.
So, we are making our way through every day, trying to add exercise and hind leg training to free access to food. And it is kind of working. Still, a lot of trouble, when one could just go get another cat, right?
Maybe. But Life is so very special. She is always there, sitting on one of us, like a baby, sleeping in our bed at night, sleeping on the keyboard when she doesn’t want my boyfriend to work or me to write, I mean, this cat is so precious. If I found her because she had this spark of life in her, I can easily reveal, that nothing has changed. She is life incarnate, this little being.
Looking at her now, I cannot believe that she is turning two years old, is alive and happy and walking and jumping, almost like an ordinary cat. I honestly thought she would die, when I brought her inside that day I found her. I didn’t think she would make it through the night.
So, happy birthday, Life! We are blessed to have you in our lives, we truly are. You are one of kind.