I moved into my apartment in December. Sometime in March or April my Stripey-Cat lost her ability to walk. She could wobble once she got up, but she could barely stand up from a lying position, much less waddle gracefully the way she had before. I moved her bed down onto the floor because she couldn’t jump up on the couch to get into it.
I was worried, so I took her to see Dr. Jonen at Valley Animal Hospital, who, with Dr. Kroenlein, had been so good with Cammie. Dr. Jonen wasn’t sure what the problem was. Stripey’s back legs were very weak and her front legs acted like they weren’t talking to to rest of her. Stripey seemed to be in pain, and there was a possibility that it was arthritis since she’s 10 and has been a bit heavy for a while. (“She’s a big girl,” said Dr. Kroenlein when he first saw her. Much nicer than saying, “What a fat cat!”)
Dr. Jonen decided to try Stripey on a painkiller and prednisone. We had to drop the painkiller because it made Stripey sleepy and didn’t seem to help her get around any better, but we kept her on the prednisone. She’d been on it for about two months when one day she hopped up the couch and meowed, indicating that I should put the bed back where it belongs, thank you very much.
It was miraculous! I called Dr. Jonen. Strange to call a vet and ask, “Uh, not that it’s not a good thing, but why is Stripey getting better?” but Dr. Jonen was delighted to hear it. She said that Stripey had probably had a blood clot, stroke, or some sort of neurological incident that the prednisone and time were helping to resolve. Always nice to have good news to tell a doctor and get it hopeful response, but her answer made my stomach hurt anyway.
My Stripey had had a stroke, just three months after Cammie died. I could have lost my Stripey-girl. But Stripey is getting better! Now she hops up to her spot on the back of the couch to watch me work. No way could she have done that three months ago. I am so grateful for that, and to Dr. Jonen for helping her (and me) feel better.
So I had a thought: Why wait until Stripey was Over the Rainbow Bridge to get a tattoo of her? So I emailed some photos of Stripey to Jackie Rabbit at Star City Tattoos and Body Piercing who did my Cammie-Cat cattoo.
I told her what had happened and that I wanted my Stripey earth-angel looking up at my Cammie-Cat in her stars: earth and day, star and night. I wanted a tattoo of Stripey as an honorarium, not a memorial. She’ll be in her own star soon enough.
So now I have a half-sleeve “cattoo.” Cammie always was the shy one, so it’s only proper that she peeks out from under my short sleeved shirts while Stripey is out there for all the world to see, as she always is.
I have both my girls with me all the time, now, and when I pick up Stripey and put her in bed with me (my new bed always was too high for her to hop onto by herself), she cuddles up to me and holds my hand with her paws, and we drift off to sleep together with our #cammiesstar looking over us.