Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Too Big and So Fluffy

When I was little, I could stretch out in my hammock

When I first came to my family, I was so small and fluffy.  Jen thought I wouldn’t get much bigger after the vet said I was probably about a year old.  As time went by, I started to outgrow my favorite bed and the other pets didn’t seem so big to me anymore.  I still fit in my bed, which Jen calls my “hammock,” though I can't stretch out like I could when I first got it.  It's still very comfortable.

After being homeless, I wasn't used to having food on a regular schedule.  I would sometimes eat all of the food, even whatever Loki and DiNozzo didn't eat.  Loki usually eats a lot, but DiNozzo will eat a tiny bit and come back several times for a little bit more.  I didn't let him do that.  I was too hungry and was afraid there wouldn't be food later.  I started to grow all over and they said I was getting too round.

As I got bigger, I had to get creative to stretch out
As I got bigger, Jen started saying she thought I was part Maine Coon, whatever that means.  Before too long I was bigger than Loki, and he's a big cat.  I also started to realize that there was always going to be more food, so I stopped gulping the food down when it was put in my bowl.  I still like to eat out of the other cats' bowls, but I don't eat all of it anymore.  Sometimes Misha does that and she gets in trouble.  It’s very rude of her to do that.  We don't eat out of her bowl!

After awhile I could feel that I wasn't as overweight as I had been.  I'm still a little on the chunky side, but Jen says I'm fine because I'm a very big cat.  My hair grew longer and my tail is very fluffy.  Sometimes I struggle to clean it because there's so much hair!  Jen has given me a bath a few times, which I absolutely hate.  She sometimes tries to trim my hair, too, especially at the base of my tail because I can't reach and ended up with a little bit of matted fur once.  She also tries to trim the hair around my butt because I get poop stuck in it now and then.  She is never happy when that happens, and that is usually when I get a bath.  As much as I hate baths, it is nice to feel clean and not stink afterwards.
My hair grew longer as I grew fatter
This past spring Jen was using an electric trimmer to cut the dog's hair.  Apparently Misha always gets a trim when the weather gets warm.  Jen called to me when she was finished with Misha and started to trim my hair.  I didn't mind at first—it definitely made me feel cooler and less bulky.  After a few minutes I started to get bored of this and was ready to go play.  Jen tried to get me to stay with treats, which she knows is my main weakness.  I just love food so much.  But I was tired of the trimming game and kept trying to get away.  Jen kept trying to grab me and started to get angry.  After awhile she gave up, meaning I won the game.
Fluffy belly, short-haired top
I did feel weird having only my top half trimmed and long hair on my belly, but that game was too boring.  Still, it was nice to not have all that hair going into the hot summer months.  I mean, I usually sleep right next to the air conditioner, but it's still hot.  The humans kept saying how soft I was after that.  Jen's mom said I looked weird because my undercoat was a light grey, but no one else cared.  They said I felt like soft velvet and would pet me a lot.

My hair has mostly grown back out, which is fitting as we are starting to have cooler weather.  Misha's hair doesn't grow as fast because she still looks like a short-haired dog.  I don't think she likes having so much hair, but I don't mind mine.  Jen said I am the first non-short-haired cat she's ever had in all her years of cats, so I guess we are both learning as we go.  My hair is just long enough to be fluffy, but not so long that it mats easily.


Even though I fight it, I appreciate that my humans help me take care of my fluffy coat.  Sometimes I am just reminded that I am so lucky to have people who care so much for me...and who keep plenty of snacks on hand.

Relaxing on the couch again


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Surgery and Recovery

Just chillin' on the steps

Early on I heard the humans talking about whether or not I was "fixed." I wasn't sure what that meant, but I would find out rather quickly.

I officially became a house cat on May 4th, 2019.  Jen said that was an important day, called “Star Wars Day,” and would also be celebrated as my birthday going forward.  She said I went from being “patio cat” to “basement cat” to “house cat” within two weeks’ time.  I heard discussions about whether or not I was spayed, and that it wasn't too much of a concern because both Loki and DiNozzo were already neutered.  Jen was a little worried I was maybe pregnant because I ate a lot.  She said there are enough homeless cats in the world, and I certainly agree.

After just a couple weeks I went to the vet again about the scabs I had on my back from the fleas when I lived outside.  The vet gave me a shot of steroids and I started to feel better.  Soon after, I started to feel weird and wanted a lot of attention.  I was meowing A LOT.  Jordan, who was still new to cats, wasn't sure what was wrong with me, but Jen knew.  I was in heat, whatever that meant.  Jen and her mom said it would last up to two weeks and then I'd be back to normal.

During this heat cycle, the other two cats kept looking at me like I was crazy.  They avoided me as much as possible, but I wanted to be around them.  DiNozzo even came up and smacked me on my head when I was meowing because I guess I was disturbing him, or Loki.  DiNozzo always treats Loki like he is the most amazing cat in the world.  Loki is cool, but I don't think he's THAT great.  I suffered through my cycle and everyone was very glad when it was over.

About a week or two after my heat cycle ended, I was put in a carrier and taken back to the vet.  This time they left me there.  I was sad at first, but things were happening to keep me busy.  The nice vet lady took me into a room and gave me some sort of gas.  I guess it was supposed to make me sleepy, but it didn't.  She tried some more and I was still awake, curiously awaiting what would happen next.  I heard later that she laughed about it with Jen on the phone and said it was extremely rare for this to happen.  I always knew I was special.  I had to spend the night at the vet without my family, but at least they gave me good food.

The next day they took me into the room again.  This time they stuck a needle in me and I fell asleep.  When I woke up later, I was in pain.  They had cut into my belly!  I spent the night at the vet again, but that time I was really tired and groggy from the surgery and the pain medication.

Jen came to pick me up the following day and took me home.  I was extremely glad to go back to my family, even though I was still in pain.  The entire time they kept saying that Jen was going to have the same thing done in a few days.  She had early signs of cancer and would have something called a “total hysterectomy.” From what they said, I understood what that meant: neither of us would ever have babies.  Jen was okay with that because she had us and didn't want human children, saying that helping to raise her brothers was enough, and I was okay with it because there are too many homeless cats in the world.  I would never want a kitten to go through what I did.  What if they never found a nice family like mine?  That would be so sad.  Plus I already have to share food and toys with Loki and DiNozzo, and that’s enough.

Top: frozen in place
Bottom: trying to eat

A few days later, Jen spent the night somewhere else and returned home the next day in pain.  They had cut into her belly, too!  She told me we could recover together and scratched my head.  I was already feeling a lot better and wanted to play with my toys.  Jen just needed rest.

About two days later Jen and Jordan took me to the vet again.  I had been cleaning my stitches and apparently that was a bad thing to do.  The vet put some cream on my belly and a cone-shaped thing on my head.  How was I supposed to clean myself now?  She told Jen not to lick her stitches and laughed.  When we got home, I was so upset that I just froze in place.  Jen felt sorry for me.  I couldn't really move and it was awfully hard to eat.  Just a day or two later she took off the cone and put me in a pink jumpsuit she had bought on Amazon.  I didn't like it at first, but it was better than wearing that cone!  I could actually move in it and eat out of my bowl.


Top: eating next to Loki in my pink suit
Bottom: resting with Jen after her surgery

Not long later I went back to the vet to have my stitches removed.  I felt so much better after that, especially since I didn't have to wear my pink suit anymore.  Jen had her stitches for a few more weeks and it took her much longer to recover, but she's a lot bigger than me, so it probably took longer for her muscles to heal.  We both felt much better after our surgeries.  I didn't have to go through another heat cycle and Jen wasn't in pain anymore.  We were both grouchy now and then and probably ate more than we should while dealing with the changes in our bodies.  Jen became quick to anger at times with other humans and got more irritated the closer it came to the time for her to return to work.  She seemed to hate that place and I never understood why she spent so much time there.  I heard her say she had discovered the secret to mood swings was chocolate, but I know I can’t have any of that because it’s only safe for humans. 

Eventually I started to calm down and became more relaxed, enjoying the simple things in life again, like an open window and a cool breeze.  I am just glad that I didn't have to go through such a change all by myself and that I could recover alongside my favorite person in the world: my mom, Jen.

Napping on the couch

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Garden Kitty

My life before my family

My name is Sadie.  It wasn’t always Sadie.  The truth is I don’t remember what it was before, and it doesn’t really matter.  I became “Sadie” when I met my family, and that is where my life truly began to have meaning.

I came to my family as a stray in May of 2019.  My human mom, Jen, is a gardener.  She had so many flowers, and I liked to sit in the shade under her lilac tree.  I was drawn to the house by the smell of other cats and stuck around for the plants and wildlife: birds, squirrels, ducks, and so many bugs.  When Jen first saw me, she thought I belonged to a neighbor.  She still called to me and sat down on the step to pet me.  I think she’s one of those people who just pets cats, no matter who they belong to, if anyone.  I went to her right away.  She tried to pick me up, but I don’t like to be held, so she just kept petting me.  She eventually had to go back inside, and I just waited on her patio and in her garden.

The next day I was still waiting when Jen came home from work.  She came to me right away and then brought me some food.  I was really hungry and gulped down most of it immediately.  Jen started to cry, then she got angry.  She said to her mother that she couldn’t believe anyone would just abandon such a sweet cat like me.  Jen and her mother discussed what to do with me.  They already had three people, two cats, and a dog in a small apartment; they couldn’t really take in another cat, even someone as small as me.

I left at one point for a while, and I guess Jen was relieved, thinking I had a home and went there.  I heard her saying this later after I had returned.  When I returned, I stayed there.  They put a box with a towel in it inside Jen’s mini greenhouse so I had a soft place to sleep that was protected from the rain.  Luckily, the weather was not too hot or not too cold.  It did get a bit chilly one night, but the greenhouse kept me warm.  I slept in my box and they would feed me and bring me water regularly.  During the day, I liked to sit in the garden and watch the squirrels, birds, and ducks.  It was the only life I knew at that time, and I liked it.

After living in the greenhouse for a few days, Jen told me that she had waited long enough.  She came outside to sit with me as she usually did.  She then scooped me up and took me inside the house.  She told me I had to stay in the basement until I could get checked by a vet because of the other cats.  They brought my box, my food bowl, and my water bowl to the basement with me, and I was glad they did.  I could tell it was cold that night, so I was glad I had someplace warm to stay.

Me in the basement

The basement was an interesting place.  There were plenty of boxes to climb on and lots of plastic storage totes with writing on them.  The very next day, Jen put me in a cage and took me to see someone they called “the vet.” This vet was a nice lady, except she kept wanting to look in my ears and prick me with needles.  I still didn’t have a name yet, so I was simply called “kitty,” and I would always come running to Jen whenever she called “kitty kitty.” The vet said I had fleas and ear mites but was otherwise healthy.  She called me feisty when I got grouchy with her and said I was very lucky to find Jen.  She figured I was about a year old, though Jen didn’t think I was quite that old.  Jen spent a lot of money to have me checked.  She said that wherever I came from, I was part of their family now because, obviously, I wasn’t taken care of very well before.

I had to stay in the basement a little longer because of the fleas and ear mites.  My ears bothered me a lot, and unfortunately, they still do sometimes over a year later, but I felt so much better after a couple days.  When enough time had passed, Jen told me it was time to leave the basement and took me upstairs.  I didn’t like it at first.  The other cats were new to me, and the dog was really big.  I hissed and tried to get back into the basement at first.  Jen wouldn’t let me as long as she was there.  I stayed close to her and looked around.  There was a cat house with two perches and a balcony.  The top perch had food bowls on it.  There were a lot of toys.  So many toys!  And there was a second floor that had plenty of places to hide.

Sleeping on Jordan

It didn’t take me long to start exploring.  I realized that the other pets kept their distance if I didn’t want them close to me.  The dog mostly ignored me, which was okay with me since she seemed so big.  I soon discovered that Jen’s husband, Jordan, would scratch my head if I came to him.  I started hanging out with him when Jen was at work or if he was up late.  The black cat didn’t like that because I guess that was his person, but I liked to sleep on Jordan’s chest while he watched TV.

Loki, age 15

I soon began to fit in with my new family.  Loki, the oldest cat, is pretty chill and usually just likes to be left alone.  He looks a lot like me: grey with grey stripes, only he isn’t as fluffy.  He is a big cat, and I like to annoy him sometimes.  He will smack me if he’s had enough, and sometimes I get in trouble with the humans because I like to ambush him.  They say he is too old for roughhousing, but I’ve seen him tackle the other cat.  He was born in the wild and bottle-fed, so he is really comfortable with humans and lets them pick him up as if he were a human baby.  I’ve even seen him stand up on his hind legs to get Jen to pick him up.  She calls him her baby, and he loves it.  I heard her say more than once that he was named Loki because he was a troublemaker.  He must have mellowed out as he got older, though he sometimes does things that even I would never do, like dump people’s drinks.  Most of the time, he usually just minds his own business and watches everyone else from the couch.

DiNozzo, age 8

DiNozzo is the black cat, and he is still a mystery to me.  He gets in trouble a lot for attacking me.  I heard them say he used to do that with the dog in the beginning, which is probably why the dog looks at him like he’s crazy.  Sometimes I catch him sniffing me when I’m sleeping, but if he sees me look at him, he gives me a smack.  Sometimes I smack him back because he’s a jerk.  Jen will usually step in before it comes to that.  She says she can tell by his body language before he attacks.  DiNozzo was adopted through a rescue when he was six months old and must have had some trauma before that.  He also seems to be very claustrophobic and will scream if he is put in a cage.  I’ve only seen this once, and it was scary.

Misha, age 9

Misha is the dog’s name, and I’ve heard the humans say she is a Border Collie/Labrador mix.  She’s really smart.  She actually understands some of the human talk!  They’ll say “Milk-Bone” and she’ll get excited.  I don’t know what that means, but it’s especially important to her and has something to do with the top of the refrigerator.  I understand some things too, but I’m not going to start behaving like a crazy dog.  She is really patient with and respectful of us cats, except for our food and litter.  Jen had to put up a latch to keep the door to our litter area partially closed because Misha kept eating our poop!  And people love these disgusting animals?  Gross!  Misha also will steal our food if she can reach it.  Other than that, she seems okay.  She and Loki seem to be best buds and hang out a lot together.  I like to attack her tail sometimes because it’s so fluffy.  DiNozzo likes to headbutt her, but she doesn’t seem to trust him.  I heard Jen say that’s because he used to do that and then smack her.  I still think that cat is crazy.

As for me, in the beginning, they disagreed on what to call me.  Jordan wanted to name me Freya, but Jen said she didn’t want any more Norse god names.  She said she thought I should be named “Sadie” after the character Sadie Adler in the game Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that Jen loved (and still loves) very much.  She said I fit the character pretty well: in need of rescuing but able to take care of myself.  She said later that my name fits me perfectly, considering the character, because sometimes I can be a little crazy, and Sadie Adler was a little crazy at times, too.

I have been Sadie for over a year now and am absolutely loving my life.  The food, the toys, the comfortable places to sleep.  Even with their flaws, I absolutely love my family.  They took me in when they didn’t have to and took good care of me.  I have plenty more stories to tell about the past year, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to tell in the future.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my past and will follow me as I go through life with Jen (my mom), Jordan (my dad), and my siblings: Loki, DiNozzo, and Misha.  Some people might think that living in the wild sounds exciting, but, let me tell you, I can’t imagine it being better than the wonderful life I have right now.

Enjoying my new life!

DiNozzo's Affection

This morning I jumped in bed with Jen as I often do when she sleeps late.   It used to be about getting her up to feed me, but now I just ...