Saturday, August 30, 2008

This is Grace

This is Grace that I wrote about last time. The one who came into my life at the end of a noose.

She is one lucky cat.

She used to love to stay out all night and 'cat around'. One night I heard her arguing with one of her boyfriends - she'd been spayed, but they still came around. Late that night, she meowed to come in. She ran into the bedroom and jumped on the bed as usual. I noticed a glob of something on her hip, but otherwise she was acting normally. About an hour or so later, she jumped down and wanted to eat. I noticed her back leg was at a 90 degree angle to normal and knew this was not right. Yet, she did not act any different than before. I called a mobile vet, because it was late and I didn't think anyone was open. I thought maybe her leg was dislocated. The vet assured me that it was serious and I'd better get her into an emergency cat hospital. I was pretty upset by then, but she was calm as a cucumber.
A friend came to help me and when we got her in it turned out she had been hit by a car and "only had a broken leg". But, since it was broken at the joint, the leg would have to come off. I freaked. The doctor said to go home and think about it. Grace was sedated and would sleep the night comfortably there.

It so happens that another friend called later that morning - I was up all night fretting - and told me a story of how she had taken her dog to a vet and saw a two-legged cat - no back legs or tail, that lived at the vet's office. She said she didn't even notice, except that the cat sort of scooted along and of course, could not jump up. When you picked her up, she was all smiles and purrs. Just like a normal happy cat! That did it.

I decided to get the surgery. The doctor said he was glad, because he would have done it anyway and just kept her. He said everyone that worked there had a 3-legged dog or cat that their owners had abandoned. He even had a 2-legged cat himself. One front and one back. He said animals scarcely notice a 'disability'. They don't need therapy or support groups. They carry on as if nothing has happened.

And that has certainly been true. She doesn't jump on the roof like she used to and doesn't go out of the yard anymore. But, she is still a great mouser and unfortunately, kills birds with ease. One night she was sitting on my lap. Something flitted by so fast I couldn't see what it was. She reached up and grabbed it, stuffing it into her mouth in an instant. When I looked, it was a bat!

She has trouble scratching the one side of her head because of the back leg which is missing, but she has trained me to do it instead.

Most people don't even notice she is a tri-pawed. It took one of the kennel workers awhile before she even noticed. She just thought "Gee, that cat has an interesting gait", not realizing she was missing a leg.

She has taught me so much about the uselessness of self-pity. She knows so much about how to manipulate me. She knows I feel sorry for her and she uses it to get anything she wants. There are days when she has two choices of wet food, dry food, milk, eggs, water all before her and she is still asking for food. She has her special cat treats I get at Trader Joe's and she knows how to ask for them.

She is my big baby girl.

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