My mom and Don are animal people and they love cats. It’s an interesting story because my mom was always more of a dog person, and never much of a cat person when I was growing up. We had cats over the years; Chloe, Mr. Bill, Silver, and we ended up with one named Rufus when a friend of hers passed away, but we mainly had dogs.
When I was around 21 or 22, I brought home two kittens when a former coworker of mine was trying to find someone to take them. I named them Presley and Cash. I don’t really talk about them because I had them for such a short time, my mom has had them for years, so they never really felt like mine. At that point in my life, I decided I didn’t want the responsibility of pet ownership. I didn’t take the time research and learn things like the fact that it’s normal to cats to be active around dusk, so instead, I was frustrated to be kept awake. I’m not proud of any of this but at least they ended up in a great home. One of them was so shy and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t come to me like the other one would. I didn’t know enough and was too self absorbed to be responsible for anyone else. So I gave them to my mom and this turned her into a cat lover.
That was a long time ago now.
Presley, named for Elvis, was gray and white, Cash was black and white, and named for the Man in Black, Johnny Cash. I don’t have any pictures from their kittenhood but I did steal these from my mom’s Facebook. A small part of me is a little sad that I wasn’t a better cat owner to them but it all worked out because they ended up in a great home and are loved and it made a huge impact on my mom and Don’s lives! It was discovered that one of them had specific dietary restrictions, and I wouldn’t have known what to do with that or been able to afford that so they needed someone besides me anyway.
They changed Presley’s name to Willy.
Here are a couple pictures of them.
Since then, my mom has begun to pride herself of being a crazy cat lady, and they now have three more cats and recently fostered one more. Here are some more pictures I stole from her Facebook of her cats.
Below is a picture of her foster cat, who she took in when someone decided they wanted her kitten instead of her and decided to get rid of her. How this person wasn’t too attached to her cat to do this, I’ll never understand.
Naturally, my mom is excited about our cats and loves to read their updates and see their pictures. She and Don are also happy to care for them when Rob and I go out of town.
They were our cat sitters when we went to Las Vegas for a few days last month. We were a little concerned going into this, because our cats aren’t around people often and tend to be afraid of people they don’t know, especially Sebastian.
Emilia is very social with everyone and in her eyes, all are welcome to come spend time with her and pet her. Hopefully they’ll throw some treats her way and she’ll be one happy cat. Jameson was shy at first but he came out of his shell & started hanging out with my mom and Don by the time we returned.
Our stay in Las Vegas was only three nights so it was a good trial run because pretty soon, they will be watching our cats for nearly three weeks while we are in Japan. I’m excited to go again but I’m dreading leaving our cats for that long! Especially Sebastian… it’s been such a long road to get him comfortable and earn his trust and it really worries me.
Our poor Jameson has had a time of it. If it isn’t one thing for this cat, it’s another! When we brought he & Sebastian home and tried to set up their first vet appointment, our regular vet was booked two weeks out so we took them to our back up vet for their exams. They sent them both home with a clean bill of health.
As time went on, Sebastian continued to grow, ate plenty and was putting on weight as expected. Sebastian and Jameson are brothers from the same litter so we expected them to grow at a similar rate to one another, but Jameson just wasn’t keeping up. As time wore on, Sebastian grew to be significantly bigger than Jameson, who was so skinny. We took them to the back up vet again and I mentioned how thin he was compared to Sebastian. The vet tech felt him over a little and said he was a little boney but he’s probably fine. So we went on our way.
Emilia and Sebastian would wrestle and play with toys. Sebastian loved playing with all of the toys available and spent hours entertaining himself with them. He & Emilia enjoyed chasing lasers, playing with balls, etc. Through all of this, my concern for Jameson increased, because he was very inactive and just watched the other cats having fun. I began to wonder why he was so lethargic… I think he WANTED to play, instead of just watching the others enjoy themselves.
We still couldn’t get him to gain weight. I was worried he wasn’t getting enough food and maybe the other cats weren’t letting him eat, so I decided I would start feeding him separately. I had him on the dining room table and gave him a treat and he tried to eat it. The desire was there but he would pick it up with his teeth, then drop it right back down onto the table. It didn’t make sense so I knew something had to be wrong with him.
I got him into the vet as soon as possible. We saw a different vet this day than our regular Dr. Mike, but I was happy to see this other vet because he has wonderful reviews online. He took a quick look over Jameson and knew exactly what was wrong with him: coccidia. He had parasites! Due to Jameson’s small size, he didn’t think they could do a blood draw and didn’t feel tests were even necessary. He prescribed us 10 days of oral medication, which I had to give to the kitten daily and he hated it. As soon as we got rid of the coccidia, Jameson was an entirely new kitten! His appetite was back and his energy levels increased so he started to play! We were so happy he was feeling better and it was something so easy to fix. I’m glad I noticed what was going on because he’d basically been going hungry. Poor guy.
At least that issue was solved.
Obviously, Jameson has always been smaller than the other cats. When it came to holding his own against Emilia, he really couldn’t do it so I started to worry about him while we were at work. Our one consolation is that he was small enough to fit in places the others couldn’t if he needed to hide. Anyway, one day, I finally decided I would separate him and leave him in the second bedroom with everything he could possibly need. I knew he wouldn’t love it but I thought he would adjust. I was trying to be a good cat mom and protect him but it backfired, because when I came home, he looked like this.
The two kittens definitely didn’t adjust to being separated for the day and they ran their paws under the door, as they were reaching for each other and crying. They hadn’t spent even an hour of their lives apart before this. When I let him out, I realized that Jameson had been so desperate to get out that he had spent the day rubbing his nose on the bottom of the door until it was raw. I was shocked and upset and full of guilt, maybe even a little embarrassed at my poor decision. Needless to say, I never did that again and went back to giving all three cats free roam.
The good news is that his little nose has since healed all the way and there’s no visibls scarring. It took a little time though!
A few weeks ago, Rob & I ran to the store and when we returned, we opened the front door and just heard loud noises, cats running across the hard wood floors and saw a flurry of fur. Jameson ran from the kitchen to the living room and I could tell he was tangled up in something. It took me a minute to realize that he was tangled in a fly strip! One had been hanging above the kitchen sink and must have fallen, and he had obviously been on the kitchen counter, like he isn’t supposed to be but regularly is. Fortunately, it was surprisingly easy to peel the fly strip off of him, however, one side of his body was covered in the sticky stuff. Awesome. This picture doesn’t even do it justice because it was all over his hind legs, tail and more.
We didn’t really know what to do so Rob called the vet to ask for advice and they said to give him a bath using the blue Dawn dish soap. That’s the stuff they use on animals caught in oil spills so this seemed like a good idea! I was worried that Jameson or one of the other cats would try to lick the toxic sticky stuff from the fly strip off of his body so I stayed home and distracted them with toys and treats to keep this from happening while Rob ran to buy some dish soap.
When he returned, we attempted the deed of giving Jameson a bath and it was a nightmare. I think he truly believed we were trying to drown him and fought us with everything he had in him. We moved as quickly as we could but were totally unsuccessful in removing the sticky mess from his fur and we both ended up bleeding in multiple spots on our body by the end of it. I’ve never seen an animal in such a panic! I asked the advice of people on one of the cat pages I follow and someone suggested olive oil. You just massage it into his fur and comb it out. It was gradual but it worked and it’s non-toxic so we were finally getting somewhere! Although, he was really oily for several days after that.
We don’t keep those toxic fly strips in the house anymore.
At least that problem was taken care of.
We try to responsible in what we feed our cats. We don’t let them have much salt, they eat their boiled chicken completely unseasoned, we avoid dry food for the most part. However, one day, I gave each of them a little taste of whipped cream. This may not be the healthiest idea for them, because cats are lactose intolerant, but I’ve also heard of plenty of people giving their cats a little taste and having no issues. Sebastian and Emilia had their tastes and the two of them were just fine afterward.
Jameson was a completely different story. He spent the rest of the night throwing up and couldn’t keep any food down for the next two or three days. For the first time, he wasn’t trying to gorge himself on everything he could get his teeth on. Right about the time I was getting really worried and considering taking him to the vet, he finally started to get back to normal. This was another embarrassing cat mom moment.
We’ve pretty much decided that if something can go wrong for a cat, Jameson will be that cat. We’ve realized that we really need to second guess everything for his sake, to keep him safe and healthy. No more scary moments around here!
Our little Emilia was battling a nasty ear infection when we adopted her, during which, we made several trips to see Dr. Mike. A month or so later (maybe even less than a month), we had to take her to see him again but this time, it was for her eye! I’m to blame for this and I felt terrible and was so embarrassed to take her into the vet, yet again. She had been picking on the kittens a lot, so I bought some Feliway, which is supposed to be a calming agent for cats. I sprayed it on the chaise part of our couch, because she likes to lay there. The directions say to give it 15 minutes before your cat comes near the sprayed area but I didn’t do a good job of keeping Emilia out of the area. I could tell right away she got some in her eyes. One eye seemed to work through it just fine but the other eye became totally inflamed! I gave the other eye a little time, in the hopes it would clear up like the first eye, to no avail. She kept squinting and sometimes, couldn’t keep it open at all. At this point, we were still finishing up the ear drops and Dr. Mike then prescribed Emilia two eye drops, so this was not a fun time in her life! Fortunately, the ear drops were only a couple times a week but the eye drops were daily.
Even though getting allll those drops was pure misery, I think that somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew it was for her own good. She still loves us.
Please excuse the background dialogue from the television. We are fans of The League, the show about a group of friends who are ruthless in their efforts to win their fantasy football league, but admittedly, much of the humor is very adult. This video won’t be the same without the music though! When I first filmed this, I watched it over and over again, and each time, it had me dyin’!
Poor Emilia. When we first adopted her, we were so excited to share her cuteness with the world, I think we briefly became stage parents, constantly filming her and taking pictures of her. We just wanted everyone to enjoy her!
There is a blog called Five Heart Home and I always thought it was the cutest name. I never would have thought of something so creative for this post had I not made a recipe I found on there for margarita pie. So good! Anyway, I can’t take credit for the cute name of this post but I really wanted to use the title!
We went from being just two people, to being two people with a cat, to being two people with three cats rather quickly. We went from two hearts to five hearts in about six weeks time.
We brought the kittens home at the end of June. They started out in the bathroom until they could see the vet because we wanted to make sure they were healthy before we exposed Emilia to them. The poor little things were both so terrified at first. They stayed close to one another constantly and spent most of the time trying to hide. Our bathroom isn’t very large so they were limited on options but that didn’t stop them from trying! They both ran when we tried to get close so we were very slow and gradual in all our movements with them. They were definitely interested in the food we gave them though! It was so cute, watching their tiny little mouths eat the kitten food. We were forced to keep them in the bathroom for several days as a precaution.
We wanted to take the kittens to our regular vet, Dr. Mike, but he was booked up for a full two weeks. Our bathroom gets very warm, it doesn’t have any windows and it’s too small to really have to house two kittens, a litter box, bedding, etc., so we took them to another vet with a good reputation so we could let them out of the bathroom. Both kittens came back with a clean bill of health! The orange and white baby definitely started to come around before the black “tuxedo” kitten. I don’t think either of them were huge fans of ours at first but at least the orange and white one was gradually figuring out that he was probably safe with us.
Before Emilia met them, she had definitely figured out that something was going on behind the bathroom door. She would sometimes try to look under the door and she would wait outside while we went in, in an effort to get a quick peak. Once the kittens were cleared to meet her, I opened the door just a little to let her see the orange kitten. She stared him for a moment and then the hissing started, so that was enough for the first day! Her little face peaking through the door was pretty cute though.
Once we decided to bring them out of the bathroom, we ordered a little cat kennel to keep in the living room. We figured this would help expose them to their surroundings without overwhelming them, let Emilia get a good look at them and keep them confined so we didn’t lose them in the apartment. Emilia seemed unsure of what to think at first, and just stared at them for a while but finally, she decided that this wasn’t a good idea. More cats weren’t necessary, as our lives were fulfilled once we adopted her, and I am certain she felt the kittens should go back to where they came from.
We kept the kittens in the little kennel for a couple days. I’m not sure if this would be considered long enough to allow Emilia to adjust or not… I think most people would tell us to wait longer but we didn’t. Their little nails kept getting caught in the mesh material and the orange kitten seemed to be getting curious. We let them out and allowed them to wander around a little, exploring their new home. The orange one was coming around but the black cat continued to keep his distance. Emilia wasn’t very nice to them so we definitely had to keep a close watch on everyone during this big change.
Rather than leave the kittens in their little kennel, we set up a kitten station in the second bedroom with all the necessities so they would have room to play while we were gone. Then when we came home, we would open the door and allow them a little more freedom. We had to keep them separate from Emilia because she was significantly bigger than them and they couldn’t really hold their own with her.
Here we are, four months later, and they still can’t quite hold their own with Emilia but they’re getting there. The important thing is, all five of us survived this transition.
We started to worry about Emilia being alone for so many hours during the day, still being a borderline kitten when we adopted her. We both work full time & were concerned about boredom, & she had put on some weight rather quickly, so I also worried she wasn’t active enough and was eating for a lack of anything else to do. She had toys but no one to engage her for hours everyday so Rob & I were giving some thought to adopting another cat, around the same age as Emilia so they would hopefully have similar interests, energy levels and be able to live out their lives together.
I have a tendency to talk about Emilia a lot while I’m at work. One day during a cat related conversation, one of my co-workers chimed in, telling us about a family of abandoned cats wandering her neighborhood. This cat family consisted of a mother and three kittens. According to my co-worker, the mother cat, Rhonda, was owned by an elderly couple in the neighborhood, both of who were on Hospice and could no longer take care of her, and the family didn’t want to deal with her. Rhonda was a beautiful, domestic long hair with very unique markings & I believe she was used as a decoration, something to be admired, rather than a living being. Her owners went to the time & expense to have her declawed and devocalized, but never bothered to have her spayed. They wanted something nice to look at but didn’t want to hear her meow, so they took away her voice. They didn’t want a cat who did normal cat things, such as scratch (something that can be taken care of with scratch posts & toys) so they took her away her toe nails. They should have gotten a statue of a cat because to them, that’s what this cat was good for. The owners family didn’t want to deal with the cat, so they let her outside to fend for herself, with no concern over well being. The owners hadn’t spayed her, but who cares her if there’s no one to care for the kittens? Who cares if she has multiple litters, outside, who could then have multiple litters outside, and so on, increasing the number of kittens born by thousands over the years? Sure enough, Rhonda ended up pregnant. Then there is the issue of declawing. Cats need claws to defend themselves against predators, so without these, Rhonda has no way to defend herself or her kittens against anything that comes along. They took away her method of self defense, which could have very literally cost her her life. They took away her method of defening her kittens if a predator had come along and tried to eat her babies. It’s a mother’s instinct to protect their young, cat’s included, and they robbed her of the ability to protect her kittens. Then there is the matter of her devocalization. So, not only is she unable to defend herself or her kittens, but she can’t even call for help if she is in danger! She can’t alert anyone if she in pain or sick or has a need. Not to mention, can you imagine being mute and having no way to communicate even when you’re happy or excited? That’s what happened to Rhonda.
After my co-worker told me that Rhonda and her kittens were running the streets of Tacoma with no protection, I sent my mom a quick message, asking her if she knew anyone who could help them, mentioning that Rhonda had been declawed. My mom does some rescue work for feral cats & knows a lot of people in the local “cat” community, so she was able to get in touch with her friend, Deb, who got in touch with her friend, Amanda, and we were all put in touch with each other. Amanda went and saved the cats that very night.
I never saw one of the kittens. There aren’t any pictures of him floating around, and when Amanda was rescuing them, a neighbor who had been feeding them decided they wanted to keep one so I never got to meet him! Hopefully they’re good people and he is well taken care of. The fact that they are a family who was taking the time to give them some food gives me hope as to the type of humans they are. So, Amanda left that kitten with them.
During my conversation with my co-worker, I asked if there was an orange one. This wasn’t a make or break, but Rob & I were both interested in an orange tabby. She showed me the pictures she had of one of the kittens, who actually turned out to be orange & white! I forwarded the picture to Rob, who right away said to get him! He wasn’t a tabby but we didn’t care. It was an exiciting day! A family of cats were being rescued & Emilia was getting a friend.
Amanda met up with my co-worker that night so that she could be shown exactly where the kittens were hanging out. Apparently there was a specific area in the bushes Rhonda and her kittens were calling home. I was told that Rhonda & the kitten I never met were sweet & friendly, the orange & white kitten we wanted was fairly easy to catch, but the third kitten, a black & white “tuxedo,” was a challenge. He was terrified and had no interest in human contact. They were finally able to get him but it took something like two hours.
After the neighbors decided to keep the first kitten, Amanda took Rhonda and the other two kittens to her house. She estimated the kittens to be about 8 weeks old. I’d already expressed interest in the orange and white one, so she knew he was spoken for and had a home. After a couple of days, Amanda decided that she was going to keep Rhonda, and changed her name to Junebug. She sent me a picture of her, said she was a beautiful cat & just had the sweetest personality. She said that she seen the nice house Junebug once lived in, and said that she felt Junebug was basically an ornament among their things. Amanda also said that Junebug hadn’t made a peep, pretty much confirming what we’d been told about her devocalization. She said she just fell in love with her & she fit right in with her other pets, and I think it was very important to her that Junebug have a home where she would be loved, and where someone would be sure to keep her indoors, and would be able to care for her properly after all she had gone through. It would be challenging to always know what is best for a cat who can’t communicate her needs. I was so happy to hear this news! I’d actually been asking around to my animal loving friends & family in an effort to find her an amazing home because I, too, was worried about her well being. It was massive relief to find out Amanda would keep her. I also knew she would have her spayed!
That left the black & white kitten. I felt really guilty that everyone else had been picked out but no one had chosen him, like I was leaving one tiny, unwanted kitten to chance fate. I asked Amanda what would happen to him and she said he would be adopted out. Adoption programs are great, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how scared he was. She said he was far more afraid than the rest of them & that he didn’t want to be touched. I kept thinking about him going through the trauma of being alone, going to the humane society, then having to go through the fear he would experience meeting strangers who may or may not choose him. I worried about him not getting adopted because he was too skittish to show anything he had to offer but anxiety. Then, I kept thinking about if someone did adopt him, would they be patient enough with him to allow him the time to mellow out and come around? Or would he end up with someone who thought they wanted a cat, but would be frustrated with him when he wasn’t the cute, cuddly kitten they expected? So, I told Amanda I would talk to my husband about taking both kittens. She was thrilled to hear this. I think that any time someone can provide a good home, taking more cats off the streets & putting them into safe situations, or leaving more room in the shelters for other cats who desperately need a spot, it makes her happy. I knew Rob wouldn’t be thrilled about the prospect of having three cats…
… and I was right. He was open to a second cat & was genuinely interested in the orange and white kitten but didn’t want a third cat. I tried to reason with him but he kept saying no. This went on for a couple of days but I wasn’t giving in!
Rob & I are a team. We consult each other on things, discuss major decisions, get opinions on big changes, etc. We show each other that kind of respect. If one really doesn’t like an idea, then the other one won’t do it. He has a huge heart but Emilia had already cost us so much in vet bills that I think the cost of three animals stressed him out. However, I was unwilling to let the conversation go. The kittens were very attached to each other, I knew we could be a good home to both & I knew we would provide the kind of environment where a terrified kitten would be okay. I also figured it would be helpful to them to have each other. Finally, I put my foot down and said both kittens would be coming to live with us. Under any other circumstance, I would have respected his answer, but I just couldn’t let that kitten go. At this point, he wasn’t happy but he finally gave in.
I told Amanda, who was ecstatic that we would take both, and a few days later, we brought them home. Now, here we are four months later, with two six month old kittens!
Unfortunately, Junebug’s new life was a short lived situation. After being in Amanda’s care for only a short time, she became very ill & they discovered she had something called pyometra, a bacterial infection of the uterus. Amanda took Junebug the vet ER more than once and spent hundreds trying to save her life, but unfortunately, in mid July, Junebug passed. The good news is that she wasn’t alone, because Amanda was by her side, showering her with love. That beats being outside, alone, leaving kittens on their own. It makes me so sad to know she died but I’m glad she experienced some happiness in her final days.
I wish Junebug had been cared for better by her owner’s family. If she had been, she might still be alive today. Maybe if she had a voice, she could have communicated that something was wrong and it could have been addressed sooner… or maybe she never would have ended up with it. Pyometra needs to be caught early and treated aggressively. Maybe the world would still be without Junebug… but maybe not. Out of tragedy, though, came three little kittens, two of which are now our babies, Jameson & Sebastian.
Rob grew up with a handful of animals throughout his life, the most special being a dachshund named Harley. He loved that dog! Unfortunately, Harley passed away a few years ago on Rob’s birthday and I’m sorry to say we don’t have any pictures of her.
I was raised by someone who has lived their life as an animal lover. Once upon a time, my mom had been a dog groomer, and years ago, she was a breeder and had a championship line of show dogs. Before I was born, she had mainly afghans but later, had dachshunds. During my childhood, we had many dogs, a few cats, some birds, a rabbit, fish, I think we had chickens at one point but I don’t remember them… I’m sure there’s been more. Rob & I have spent most of our adulthood with no animals, until May 2019, when we adopted Emilia from the Kitsap Humane Society.
We’ve both had an appreciation of animals but since becoming pet owners, it’s reached a whole new level! We’ve always cared about them but adopting Emilia & seeing how sweet she is, living with her great personality, and learning so much about her, as well as cats & animals in general, has greatly increased our compassion for living beings. Things bother us like they never have before, we want to offer help & support for animals & animal related causes more than we ever previously thought to do. I find myself following animal pages online & wanting to rescue all the cats! When I think about how sweet animals are, it baffles me to think of people giving them up, abandoning them, abusing them or killing them.
People have always said that cats are independent creatures (certainly somewhat true), that they like to be alone (not in our experiences!), that they aren’t very affectionate (lies!), and so on. So much of what people think they know about cats is a huge misconception, and there are even articles devoted to this. Since adopting Emilia, we’ve also taken in two kittens (that’s a story for another blog) and they are as attached to us as we are to them. Each of our cats has their own individual personalities; one is very social and affectionate with everyone she meets, while another is shy at first but comes out of his shell fairly quickly. He loves to be carried, kissed on the cheek & treated like a baby. One tends to keep to himself but slowly, he too, is becoming a tad more affectionate. They’re all so sweet, they all follow us around and want to spend tons of time with us. I am currently sitting on my bed, I have one to my left, one to my right & one by my feet. Maybe people never really take the time to get to know their cats but they should because they are a joy & they make our hearts happy.
I’m sure I annoy my social media friends with cat pictures on a daily basis. I have an album titled simply, “Emilia, Jameson & Sebatian,” and I add pictures to it just about every day. Some of the images I upload need to be shared because they’re too adorable not to, but I realize that some are just pictures of cats doing normal things but I can’t stop myself. I want to capture and share every moment with anyone who will look!
I am sure I also annoy people with some of my other animal related posts. I am constantly sharing things about animal safety and welfare so hopefully, people see what I share, and take it to heart. I’m also a huge advocate for the “adopt, don’t shop” movement, because there are so many animals who are homeless or in shelters, looking for their forever homes. I wish people would stop breeding and contributing the overpopulation of cats & dogs. If you adopt from shelters and rescues, the animals typically come spayed or neutered, with at least some of their shots and having been vetted. Emilia is the only one of our three cats that came from a shelter, but our other two were homeless kittens living on the street that we brought home so we’re still helping with homeless animal problem. We’re having to pay for all their vetting ourselves but we don’t mind. We are giving two little kittens a good home and proper care. It’s kitten season and all the local shelters are so full & have limited resources so its beneficial to them to have us taking and caring for the kittens ourselves. They’re so worth it!
As of right now, we don’t have room for more animals. Rob is interested in adopting a maine coon eventually. They’re a highly sought after cat so it’s rare to see them up for adoption through shelters and rescues, and breeders charge good money for them. We have a hectic few months coming up but hopefully by Spring or Summer, we’ll be in a position of being able to keep an eye out for one! Every once in a while, one shows up in a shelter and when one does, we can give that baby a homeq. Honestly, I am not particular about the type of cat we adopt and guarantee that no matter what, I coud walk into a shelter and walk out with a new animal to love, but since Rob is specifically interested in a maine coon, I’m happy to keep an eye out for one when the time is right. Maine coons are massive in comparison to other domestic cats but are known as “gentle giants,” for their laid back, loving personalities. Rob will be in Japan from November through April, & I’ll be there for part of the trip, so it isn’t really fair to adopt a cat and then turn around and leave when we should be making it’s transition easy and be there to bond with him or her. The goal is to hopefully move into a bigger place by next summer, which would really help!
It’s common for veterinary hospitals to offer a complimentary wellness exam within a certain number of days after someone adopts a pet. After reading reviews & asking my pet loving friends & family their opinions, we decided on a veterinary clinic. This blog post does mention one bad experience with them but before I go any further, I would like to say that we’ve been to see them many times since then, & all our other experiences have been significantly better than the first!
The majority of the people I spoke with about vet recommendations specifically mentioned “Dr. Mike,” who works at & owns a local clinic with his wife. I also read great reviews about him online so I requested that Emilia see Dr. Mike specifically for her wellness exam but it didnt work out so we ended up seeing someone else (I don’t recall this other vet’s name). The other vet gave Emilia a quick once over but to be honest, I felt like this visit was a waste of my time & I could have provided the level of care she did. However, I’m not a vet & maybe I was just wrong in my assumptions of what a wellness exam entails. Anyway, the vet said Emilia looked good so we went along our way.
Emilia was doing a lot of meowing & itching of the ears! She was still her sweet self but it was accompanied by this constant, bellowing meow. At first, I attributed this to her neediness & the separation anxiety she suffered from in the beginning, & I still think it was partially that, but also ear discomfort. When we picked her up from the humane society, they said she had been treated for ear mites and mentioned the “coffee grounds” in her ears could still be seen but were just residual from the mites and it would cause a little itching, so I wasn’t terribly concerned with the scratching at first. I did mention the situation during that first visit, & said I wanted to make sure the mites were, in fact, dead because she was doing a lot more than “a little” scratching. She took a look in Emilia’s ears but said she couldn’t see clearly & that someone could check again on our next visit to make sure they’re dead. What?? So, if they aren’t dead, Emilia just has to suffer through the discomfort until her next appointment? I wasn’t impressed & Emilia continued to scratch her ears.
I then made another appointment and this time, was very clear about the fact that I wanted to see no other vet besides Dr. Mike, & this time, my request was accomodated.
**Sidenote: Emilia has the most adorable face so whenever we take her in, people always comment on it, & Dr. Mike was no exception, immediately calling her a sweetheart. When I told him Rob had chosen her, Dr. Mike said, “Your husband has good taste in cats.” She has the cutest little meows too, where it’s like purring & a meow all in one. Even the vet tech commented on it! I wish I had it on video! I cannot even handle the cuteness.**
Anyway, Dr. Mike actually took a good look at her ears & came to the conclusion that she was suffering from an ear infection. He prescribed her some ear drops & asked if we would be able to handle giving them to her. I assured him that Emilia is the sweetest thing & that, between Rob & I, we could get the job done.
How wrong I was.
We made one attempt to give her the drops that evening & Emilia put up quite a fight, due to a combination of dislike of the drops & pain from the infection. We did it but she spent the rest of the night across the room from us, looking at us with eyes full of anger. We felt awful! We also decided that we hadn’t had her long enough to put her through that and were concerned it would have a negative impact on our bonding. I called the vet the next morning, and they had us bring her back in that very day so they could flush her ears with medication. They had to put her under for this, which didn’t thrill me. I know animals are usually okay but this was our first experience with allowing them to put her under and I didn’t have much of a choice, as we had to deal with the infection. It stressed me out so much! Signing the waivers had my stomach in knots.
He said the flushing of her right ear went beautifully but the left was so inflamed, that he couldn’t see the ear drum & was concerned about the damage it could have, and her ear started to bleed profusely so they had to switch medications mid-way. The good news was that she seemed to feel significantly better after having her ears flushed, which was a relief to us. I felt bad because I had to leave work to get her to the vet and then had to return to work after dropping her off so she stayed there until Rob was off work and could pick her up several hours later. After Rob got her home, she was sweet and the difference was already obvious.
She had to go back to see Dr. Mike 10 days later & while he was happy with her progress, he decided to flush her ears one more time. Our poor Emilia had to go through this twice!
During yet another follow up appointment, Dr. Mike was very happy with Emilia’s ears, told us to go back to the ear drops, which went smoother this time. She still hated them but at least she was no longer dealing with the pain or tenderness from the infection & she didn’t stay angry nearly as long. It definitely takes the two of us working as a team and wrapping her in a towel to get the job done.
During a phone call with Dr. Mike when he was checking on Emilia, I brought up my concerns about the other vet, because it bothered me that there was a possibility that maybe Emilia’s ear infection could have been caught sooner. Maybe if it had been, it wouldn’t have progressed into what it became. I wasn’t accusatory, because there’s no way to prove that there were any telltale signs of the infection during the intitial wellness exam, & I know I’m not a vet. Dr. Mike basically said it’s possible it could have been caught sooner but its tough to say, not having seen her himself and not knowing how progressed the infection was during that initial appointment. I guess we’ll never know. The good news is, he got her all taken care of!
In our 20’s, we were pretty broke. Like, really broke. We lived a paycheck to paycheck sort of life and sometimes, you couldn’t even really call it that because there were times, paycheck to paycheck didn’t cut it. There was definitely a time or two where we had to get help from family to pay our power bill. That being said, we both knew that someday, we’d get some animals but had no business doing so until we could afford them & all that went with them, including vet bills. Our 30’s have been kinder to us, we both have decent jobs & our financial situation is much improved!
Over the last couple of years, I would occasionally check out who was available for adoption on the local humane society web site & regularly made jokes about getting a pet but it never went beyond the joke.
Until May 8th!
I was sitting on the couch in our living room, doing something on the laptop… I can’t remember what but it was probably pet related because I said, “Let’s get a cat.” Much to my surprise, Rob said okay… Part of me wondered (& still wonders) if he was calling my bluff but I decided to embrace this opportunity and that day, we brought a cat into our lives! It was a new “first” for us, because obviously, this was our first pet together so that was really exciting, and after nearly 10 years together, we don’t have many “firsts” anymore.
We knew we wanted to adopt (adopt, don’t shop) so we looked at the humane society web site again, and saw some adorable options but went in completely open minded, with no specific breed, color, etc., in mind. The one thing I knew I wanted was an adult cat, knowing it can be challenging for them to find homes because so many people want kittens. Kittens are wonderful but so are grown up cats!There were a few cats that stood out to us, including Snickers, who was primarily white with some orange markings & much larger than his online picture led us to believe! There was also Angela, a sweet, solid black, four year old with a name I would have kept. Then Tony… just so sweet and friendly with black & white markings. I wish we could have adopted all of them and I hope they all found excellent homes. I feel guilty about any animals we don’t adopt, like I could potentially be allowing them to end up somewhere terrible by not choosing them. I think of Snickers sometimes, because he really didn’t show much personality when we met him but I think the poor cat was traumatized. I hope he is happy & loved, wherever he is.
As you can tell, I had a handful of cats on my mind, the three listed above, along with a gray tabby named Georgetta. Actually, I really wanted everyone in the room but had pretty much narrowed it down to those four! Indecisiveness is not usually an issue for me, but became one when it came to choosing a cat! I refused to even go into the room where the dogs stay! It was a simple decision for Rob though. We walked by Georgetta and she came right up to us & was so sweet & had the cutest little face! I’ve had tabby’s before & know from experience what wonderful personalities they have. Rob had never had a tabby but always heard great things about them & liked the ones he’s met in the past and the idea of adopting a tabby really appealed to him. We played with her through the little cage and she was just adorable. Rob was instantly sold on her and that helped us make a selection. The room was filling with people and Rob decided we needed to go apply for her adoption NOW so we left the room, arranged to meet & hopefully adopt her (first come, first serve basis for meeting) and we got there in time. When we had the chance to meet her outside her little cage, the cuteness and sweetness continued. She was “kneading” the air which, according the woman doing the introductions, is the sign of a happy cat. So we fell in love with her. It’s fortunate we moved so quickly on it, because before they even brought her out to meet us, other people were already showing interest in her. We won, though!
Once we decided to adopt her, we started discussing names. I think Rob wanted to take some time to give it some thought and talk about it but I’m impatient. The one thing we agreed on from the start is, Georgetta was not her name. It didn’t suit her. We kicked around a few options & I suggested Amelia. I threw it out and at first, it was a maybe for Rob but we ended up agreeing on it. He likes names related to Greek mythology, so he suggested names such as Athena. I do like the name Athena, but I didn’t think it was the right fit for her either. She was small and cute so she needed a soft name, so Amelia it was! I asked him if he liked it spelled with an E or an A better and he chose the E, so Amelia became Emilia. To be honest, I prefer the A spelling but that’s alright!
Since she came from the humane society, she’d already had some basic care, including treatment for ear mites, some of her shots & had been spayed. People don’t realize it but it’s cheaper to afford a cat from the humane society, coming with all these things already taken care of, than it is to get a cat elsewhere and then pay for these things individually. Since she was the first cat in our adulthood together, it was nice to have a list of things she’d already had done and a list of upcoming things she would need, simplifying everything for us. This was quite the learning opportunity! She was just on the verge of adulthood, her age being estimated at just over a year. I was planning on going for a cat who was around maybe 5 or so, but Emilia was meant to be ours so that happened instead.
To this day, the car is not Emilia’s favorite place to be. Naturally, she was a little scared on the car ride home from the humane society, with strangers, in a box, in a moving car heading who knows where, so she meowed the entire ride. Once we got home, we carried the box straight into our bathroom to let her out, curious as to how it was going to go. It could not have gone smoother! We opened the box, she popped her little head out, looked around curiously and climbed right out. She was affectionate and felt at home right from the start! It wasn’t flawless but she loved us & bonded with us pretty much right away. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect cat. They say to gradually let your new cat explore, allowing them access to only one room at a time, which is great advice, but she was so happy to be with us that we allowed her a little more freedom. We closed the bedroom doors but let her roam through the main part of our home and it all worked out.
The humane society said she was a stray who was surrendered. Maybe, but we think she’d been exposed to people because she is so social with humans and she’s been just fine living with us as an indoor cat. I wonder if someone decided they just didn’t want a cat after all or maybe something happened to her owner? Or maybe she was a stray who just happened to have a great personality? She meowed endlessly in the beginning and we would soon find out that she was suffering from an ear infection so maybe a previous owner couldn’t handle the constant meows?
Anyway, on May 8th, 2019, our lives changed forever!