It’s been a quiet couple days here on our blog, mainly because we had a super busy & traumatizing weekend which we are still trying to recuperate from. Our photography jobs require us to work many weekends of the year, particularly late spring through early fall. On Saturday, after coming home from a long day of shooting, we pulled into our driveway to discover that one of our cats, Draven, had gotten out of the house and had been killed by two stray dogs (which we actually saw lazily walking down the street a few seconds before reaching our house.) To say I was devastated is putting it mildly. I got Draven when I was 19, and had just moved out on my own, and he was my companion for 14 years. He was not your typical cuddly housecat….in fact I suspect that he most likely was feral. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him, and he (mostly) was nice to me, but he could be downright vicious when it came to other humans and unfamiliar animals. (Our own large 70lb dog was scared to death of him!)
In the last year, he had developed a thyroid disorder, which caused him to lose a lot of weight quickly. He went from over 20lbs to 6lbs over the course of several months. We had gotten him to some kind of equilibrium lately with some new medicine (which I found online), but it was clear we didn’t have that much time left. Because he had gotten so skinny, he was able to slip under the fence and out of the relative protection of our back yard. And he was obviously much weaker than normal. In his prime, this cat probably would have kicked the butts of these dogs, but in his weaken state, he didn’t stand a chance. I feel horrible for not taking better precautions to make sure he didn’t get outside, but by the same token, for such a thing to happen in our neighborhood is pretty unheard of.
As if that wasn’t enough, the previous week I found a little cut on one of our other cats. She needed vaccinations anyway, so I made a vet appointment for her, but the earliest we could get her in was yesterday, and by that time, the cut had turned into a giant abscess which caused her face to swell to the point that it looked like she was storing two large walnuts in her cheek. She required minor surgery to clean out the wound and drain it, but after what had happened during the weekend, I was doubly anxious for her. (We still do not know what happened to her, but she was definitely not involved in the incident with Draven.)
For the record, I know many feel it’s horrible to ever let cats outside. And perhaps I’m reaping what I deserve. But if you have ever taken in an adult stray, you know they always want to spend some time outdoors, and it becomes a quality of life thing. (For both you and the cat……if you have ever listened to a cat cry for hours for its freedom, you know what I mean.) We also live in an area of very low traffic, where speed limits are slow, and everyone on the block tends to look out for each other’s pets. I also think it’s a little mean to deprive any animal of fresh air and the warmth of sunlight. Our cats mostly stay in our fenced in yard, away from predators and have their claws.
I actually started this post with a bike-specific topic in mind, but it just sort of turned into this. Give your pets some love today and take lots of photos of them. I am glad I got those two above of Draven before he got super-super skinny. But of course I wish I had taken more.