Today my sweet little kitty Reba is on my heart...
I say "sweet" 'cause she is, but she definitely has a feisty side. We adopted Reba and her sister, Faline, when we moved to this house almost 14 years ago. Actually, we hired them (room and board was their salary) to patrol the area. They have pretty much lived outside during the day and slept in the garage "mansion" at night. Faline was the boss. Reba quietly walked away with shoulders slumped and head down if Faline wanted the spot by the door. There was an understanding between them. Faline was the huntress. She shared some with Reba, but she was the "catcher." One time they worked together and caught a Stellar's Jay. He got away, but they held onto him for a long time.
Faline left us when the girls were young in elementary school. Someone hit her (probably in our driveway) and she made it back to the shady tree area near the apple trees to die. Harv found her after she had not come home for a day and a half. It was sad. Faline was so cuddly. She drooled when we pet her. She didn't bite us when we decided we didn't want to pet her anymore. Not Reb's... She wants what she wants.
Reba became a huntress after Faline left. There were perhaps fewer "treats" left at our door, but Reba took over where Faline left off.
We always say that Reba acts like a little dog following us around the yard. If we go out to throw the ball for Raney, she'll follow us out into the yard and hang out in the safety of the bushes. Sometimes she walks us almost all the way to the mailbox just to be with us.
She and Raney have become friends. They kiss sometimes and rub each other. They're definitely siblings.
She loves to jump in our laps when we're on the deck. But we have learned to be careful about how we stop the cuddles... She loves to keep an eye out for an open door so she can run in the house and go hide under the guest room bed. And, more power to the person who tries to get her out of the house. Claws and teeth are on the ready.
Recently Harv has noticed that she's lookin' skinnier. I didn't think so until last week. She looked real skinny to me, though. Seemed like she was drinkin' more water than usual. So, I took her to the vet.
Harv and I had a talk before I took her 'cause we wanted to be prepared in case we got a bad diagnosis. I was feelin' all business-like. "She's 14. I don't want to be treatin' a cat for cancer or diabetes or kidney problems. She's 14. If she was 2, maybe I'd feel differently..." And the honest reality (as harsh as it sounds) is that I'm really more of a Raney person than a Reba person. That doesn't mean I don't love Reba, though.
So, I took her in on Wednesday. My 52nd birthday. I kinda hated the thought of her having some major health issue and subsequent major life decision on my birthday, but she was sick. The doctor looked at her and found that she had a high fever and was dehydrated even though she had been drinkin' lots of water. (I felt myself gettin' a little emotional in the examining room. Not crying, but feelin' like it was just under the surface.)
We made the decision to leave her there and they could do blood work and urinalysis and give her hydration. The possibilities for this mystery illness at that time were sort of wide open... Kidney problems, cancer, etc. The tests they ran ruled out kidney issues, leukemia, and FIV but they found that she is anemic which means, most likely, that there is some kind of inflammation somewhere... There are other things that they said which I can't remember, but it boils down to a mystery right now. We have an appointment on Tuesday for an ultrasound to see if there is an obvious place of inflammation...
Yesterday I went over there to see what the status was on her. Not a lot of change. They let me visit her. They had told me that she was grumpy (a cat with IV fluids and receiving lots of pokes is bound to be grumpy if you ask me). When I got to her, though, she was as cuddly as she could be in a cage hooked up to fluids. She licked a little bit of food off my finger. She purred a little bit. She ate a little food from the bowl. She turned on her back -- as much as she could -- and asked me to rub under her chin. She let me kiss her. Then I sent Sarah and Hannah over there with some of her food and her treats. They cuddled her, too.
I kinda surprised myself (and am surprising myself right this minute) with the amount of emotion I felt when I saw my little bitty kitty feelin' yucky.
I'm gonna pick her up later today to come home for the weekend.
How did this feisty old cat get to my heart? How in the world did I get so teary about her sweet little self?
I mean, seriously. We hired her.
She's done a great job of being the cat this family has needed.
Love that little girl.