Wheel alignment

Friday, 19 August 2011

Tugging at the heartstrings

I've always considered myself a fairly unemotional and controlled guy (picture Jennie nodding in agreement and rolling her eyes) but when it comes to animals, I'm a complete sook!  You may remember an addendum to a recent post about a tiny, gorgeous and very hungry stray kitten which turned up in our garden a few days before we headed to Thailand. We fed it and let it stay whilst we tried to track down the owners.  No success at all in finding a home and all the local cat rescue places were full, so what to do?

A neighbour was feeding our cats whilst we were away and she offered to feed the kitten too if we wanted to take the risk of leaving it with our two big males and we could sort out what to do when we got back.  We didn't have a lot of choice short of the unthinkable so we took her to the vet for a check-over and a vaccination just to be on the safe side.  The Vet pronounced it a "her" and said she was in superb condition and around 8 weeks old. (You can see where this is going, can't you?)

On getting home, our neighbour said that the kitten had taken complete control of our other two cats (including Jennie's alpha male, Thomas), and had been no trouble at all, even accompanying Thomas on his rounds visiting all the neighbours!  We'd studiously avoided discussing keeping it whilst on holiday, much less talking about names but after being greeted so enthusiastically at the front door, it was done and dusted in ohhhhh..... less than 2 minutes so I'd like to introduce Annie to the world:

Little Orphan Annie
(and her toy mouse)

Sooo cute!

We'd both forgtten how hard work kittens are - chewed book edges, hands with bite and scratch marks and Jennie's large Peace Lily in the lounge has been virtually destroyed!  Oh yeah, and she steals anything that can be carried from our bedroom dressing tables and they pop up all over the house.

On a more sober note, I thought that today was going to be a day when a lot of tears were shed.  On Wednesday evening, we got back from our weekly pub quiz and my cat, Henry, was walking oddly and it was clear that he was in a lot of pain.  Checked him over, couldn't see anything but it looked like his stomach was the problem.  Left him overnight and in the morning, we found he'd pooped runny stuff in our sun room.  We thought he'd either eaten something bad or maybe even poison. Yesterday, he just slept a lot but didn't seem in any discomfort.  This morning, he was in pain again so I rang the vet who doesn't come to Coromandel on a Friday so we legged it 50 km down the coast to Thames.  Henry and I have been great mates for nearly 12 years and I was anticipating the worst so you'll appreciate that I shed the odd tear on the way down.  Little buggers have a way of getting under your skin, don't they?  The vet examined him and almost a miracle - he had a blocked urethra and couldn't pee, apparently not uncommon on older male cats.  I'd be in pain too if I hadn't had a pee for 3 days!  We left him with the vet and got a call this afternoon that they'd fixed the problem and that we'll be able to pick him up in a couple of days when he is fully recovered.  Repair cost is going to be between $400-$700 but  what do you do with family?  Crikey, I should have trained as a vet to beat the economic outlook, but simply overjoyed to have him still with us.  Big, badass biker image in tatters!

Henry loves a wheelbarrow ride!

Addendum:  Sorry to say that Henry didn't make it (see comments below) despite the best efforts of the vet. Annie immediately adopted me and it really does make you wonder about Karma!


  1. Geoff

    Blocked urethra?

    Try caustic soda crystals - works a treat on my shower drain!


  2. Geoff:

    Your skin is tougher than armour, but you have a heart of marshmallow

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. I must say Annie is absolutely adorable. I can see how you were drawn in. All she had to do was bat her eyes. Did you ask her if it hurts to be that cute?

    I am glad Henry is doing better and hopefully you will have many more years of giving him wheelbarrow rides.

    It is hard to lose a kitteh. Thinking of Sir Baxter (gone almost 3 years) will still bring a tear to our eyes.

  4. I have had to resist many doe-eyed kittehs at the pet stores, we promised ourselves no more pets so we can travel. I know if one would happen to show up on our doorstep all bets are off. Fortunately for me, Basil is a brute and keeps the garden and his territory clear of intruders and my big, badass biker image intact.
    Alice is adorable, ahem... I mean, uh, cough, cough, glad to hear that Henry is doing well.
    And stop posting this mushy, heartstring tugging crap, I have a rep to protect. *sniff

  5. I can feel for you on this one Geoff, Moses has been with me for 15 years, survived a marrige, several house moves, almost run over with a motorbike (long story), and being locked in a wardrobe for threee days! I would be lost with out him.

    So well done on the u "farkle", but I am a bit surprised that the shirt you wearing didnt scare Annie away...........hhehehe

  6. Nikos:
    I think that option might be next if Henry doesn't behave himself. Vet rang this morning - he's pulled the catheter out and also tried to remove her arm! Meanwhile, the vet bill-o-meter is running....

    That's a shocking thing to say to a fellow rider. You'll accuse me of eating quiche next.

    Being a female, Annie already knows what it's like to manipulate guys :-). Henry and I have all sorts of fun together. Didn't realise our neighbour was watching a few years back until she shouted, "You need grandkids, you do". How embarrassing!

    I guess I should apologise for tarnishing the image of badass bikers everywhere. Tell you what, I'll make the next post a technical one about tyres as partial damage limitation.

    Hahaha re the wardrobe - we've had not dissimilar incidents! I'll have you know that photo was taken a few years back and whilst the shirt might still be in the cupboard, I don't wear it as Jennie has similar views. Smartarse.....

  7. Geoff:

    now that I think about it, it would have matched your lucky, RED shorts

    Riding the Wet Coast

  8. Bob:
    Rub it in, why don't you??? Sigh......

  9. You big softie! Nice kitten though....

  10. Jules:
    Succinct and totally accurate! :-)

    **Shuffles feet and blushes**

  11. OMG - too cute! So funny she took over the other cats. Oh yeah, kitten stage. I still have a shredded couch from the last kitten we had in the house. :)

    Scared me with the story on Henry. I'm happy to hear it ends well, and he's all fixed up. (and geez, that had to be painful, poor guy!)

    Yeah, you're gonna have to rebuild that "tough biker image" now!

  12. Hi Kari!
    Yep, I think our boys are bemused by her cheek!

    Thanks so much, hoping Henry will be home tomorrow. He's peeing normally again and has started eating again according to the vet. Then comes the $$$$$!

    Will go out and mug some old ladies tomorrow :-)

  13. Sad news Guys,

    Henry my cat passed away at the vet clinic during the night and we're heading off to fetch him in a little while.

    Someone wiser and more articulate than me once said, "Grief is the price you pay for love". I wouldn't have it any other way despite how I'm feeling at present.

    It's almost Karma the way Annie came into our life just 3 weeks ago. Funnily enough, Jennie told me this morning that a thought of that nature came into her mind when Annie turned up but she didn't say anything.

  14. Sorry to hear that news Geoff. Very sad. Maybe Annie was there for a reason.

  15. Thanks so much Gary. Yep, you've really got to wonder...

  16. So sorry to hear the news Geoff. It's always difficult to lose a beloved pet. Condolences to you and Jennie, and may Annie be a bright spot in this sad time.

  17. Thanks so much Kari, it's really appreciated. Henry is now resting near the highest point in our garden, overlooking the harbour - the perfect spot.

    Annie's already taking some of the pain away with her antics and snuggling in for cuddles!

  18. Geoff, I'm glad Annie is there to help. My condolences as well over losing Henry.

  19. Thanks a lot Lori, it wasn't the greatest of weeks but interesting how Annie came into our lives and how she made a real fuss of me after Henry had gone.

  20. Well I think you know how I would feel.....so sad.... having lost both of ours....single malt won't help but I can't think of anything that will.

  21. Hi Dylan
    Thanks mate - just time I guess, plus remembering the good times.