Everyone who has a pet thinks that their pet does things extra ordinary from other pets. Well, Luck was a sassy cat but I think she had several maladies that resulted in her little quirks and mishaps. I'd like to think of her more of the unfortunate cat that always found a way to get her way.
Lucky was declawed, missing teeth, drooled, snored, had cataracts and seizures. All big things, many of which cats aren’t supposed to have. She won the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Halloween Pet contest photo award (editor’s choice) out of hundreds of entries. I had tagged her photo (wearing a spider hat) as “I’m kinda ugly so Halloween might be my best chance at winning.”
Lucky found my gramma on a rainy night 5- 6 years ago. Gramma went to dump a bucket collecting rainwater? I'm not exactly sure what gramma was doing, but I do know that gramma's eyes were bad and she said at first she thought it was a rat (or she looked like a drown rat) so I like the first version for story appeal.
Gramma Ellie said the next thing she knew the darn "rat" cat was on her bed. Gramma wrapped her up in a blanket and warmed her up. Here is the next edition of this little opportunist's life.
Who knows where Lucky came from, or what her original name was. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Lucky. She was a midget, declawed in the front and attitude from her oversized head to her tiny little toes, enough to make up for those missing claws. Because of Gramma's failing eyesight she couldn't see the "store brand" hard cat food did not agree with the little cat. My aunt Lulu brought Lucky to my parents the summer of 2006 for me to take back to Milwaukee on my next visit.
I wasn't sure I wanted a cat in my little apartment. Or more accurately I'm not sure I wanted a littler box in my little apartment, but for Gramma I'd do it. My mom had taken her to the vet and gotten her shots etc. We were told that from now on she would have to eat soft food, as the hard stuff wasn't being digested correctly. On the ride back to Milwaukee is when I also learned Lucky not only immensely disliked being in cars, she gets carsick!
I tried to treat her like a normal cat, but in addition to the soft-food ($$$) diet she was scared of EVERYTHING. How can this little smidgen of a cat, without claws, who is seemingly afraid of the outside world have even made it to my Gramma's farm (there's really not a neighbor, nor outside road within a gun shot), in the country without being eaten alive?
Thinking she was a country cat, I tried to take her in the "back yard" of my apartment on a leash so she could explore the backyard, but and all she wanted as BACK IN now. She didn't seem to mind becoming a city cat and took ownership of my apartment immediately.
She was comfortable in her new (indoor) setting and liked people. She's a lap cat to everyone who came around (except for my friend Dan, Lucky knew he wasn't a cat person). Who knows what happened in her former life but other animals seemed to cause her to go into cardiac arrest... We found this out when Tiffany offered to watch her at her house off of Lincoln. Lucky would not play nice (or at all) with Teko (the most docile cat in the word). Tiffany's house at the time didn't really have any doors so keep the cats separated really wasn't an option. Although freaked out by Teko (for no reason), Lucky still managed to get onto Tiffany's bed and hiss and growl until Teko gave in and left.
Lucky "ruled" the roost of wherever she landed and also always found the most comfortable bed. She could puff up pretty big but she didn't really meow (unless it was right before she threw up on car rides, and that was more of a moan, moan, heave and vomit). She had a dolphin "squeak" "Eee-er, eee, eee, eer-er" was more what she sounded like.
The summer of 2008 I had noticed that lucky had not peed in her litter-box for a few days. The vet was sure she peed somewhere else, I assured them I would KNOW if she had done that. My apartment was too small for such occurrences. Apparently this is supposed to kill a cat as they poison themselves from the inside out. It was the third of July (the big night for fireworks in MKE) so everyone was getting set to watch fireworks. We had a camping trip planned for the next day. I rushed her to the Silver Spring Animal Hospital and they admitted her immediately. They pushed on her bladder and she peed (duh!). Then they said all of her “numbers” were fine so if I wanted to come back after the holiday weekend and have the oncologist look at her they could run cancer test for more than $1000. I had just dropped $1,100 for them to squeeze her bladder.
I didn’t think spending money to find out “if” my cat had cancer was feasible. Plus if she had cancer it’s not like much could be done. So Lucky, pack your bags you’re going on a camping trip! As mentioned we had planned a camping trip (Tiffany, Steve, Calvin, Cousin Bob and Lindsey and my boyfriend at the time Jason). I thought this might be Miss Lucky’s last weekend with us, so I packed the cat and a shovel in case we needed to bury her in Cheqmuwanegon (or something like that) state park.
The poor thing. My boyfriend wanted to drive. He drove a stupid Corvette. Poor Lucky had to be in her kennel carrier on behind our head in a SUPER LOUD Corvette. I loaded her with Dramamine so she wouldn’t get sick, but I think it was so loud that she was too scared to be sick.
We set up the tent, air mattress, and little box. Lucky stuck tucked away in the corners of the tent during the day but was awake at night. In fact I think she liked gazing out and hearing the wildlife. I was so excited the first night when she went pee!
This trip was also when I realized that she had very bad vision. That’s why she’s such a scaredy cat. We went to a regular vet the next week. They ran all of the same tests as the emergency clinic, across the street, to tell me her numbers were fine BUT she has a tooth that should be extracted. She’s already missing a bunch… I scheduled the appointment and $700 later she had a fang pulled and whatever she had left in her mouth cleaned.
The next Lucky mishap occurred in the spring of 2009. Lucky went into a seizure and I FREAKED OUT. I didn’t know what to do. She started convulsing and I again packed her up and ran her to the Silver Spring Emergency Hospital. Her seizure had ended by the time I got her there and they looked at her but said there wasn’t much that could be done if she wasn’t seizing at the time. The poor bitty it took a lot out of her. She wasn’t the same cat for months!
Seizures are rare in cats, and are most often associated with brain tumors.
She had another one in October of 2009. This time I was better prepared and held her, or attempted to hold her until she came out. Seizures in cats are worse than in dogs because their brains can overheat if they don’t come out of them in time. This time Lucky bit down onto my forearm and blood started spurting out everywhere. I know she was just scared and wanted to make the seizure stop as she’s the sweetest cat (to people). I tried pulling her fang (the one she still had) out of my arm and she ended up clamping onto my fingers. Anther lesson learned… Cats have dirty mouths and I was the one that ended up getting a shot in the rear to ward off infection.
Lucky remained seizure free for some time after that. She spent the summer of 2010 in “Cat heaven” at my parents where she bossed the two big cats (Emily and Emilio both 15+ lbs.) down into the basement where she got full run of the house. She spent the days on the back of the couch, from the picture window overlooking the backyard. She was fed when she wanted and slept with gramma every chance she got. She did sneak out a couple times and would have gone out more if she were able. In the country she was a dare devil, but she would have been easy prey for a fox or hawk; so the parents did the best they could to keep her inside.
She moved back to Milwaukee in August 2010. She was visually slowing down. She began having little accidents in the house, but I thought she was upset that I was spending so much away so I made it a point to hold her often and give her some “Lucky Lovin’” each day. Her coat was unkept and I had to brush her much more frequently. I gave her a bath on Jan 20 and she didn’t even freak out. I knew this was not the Little Miss Lucky Lu that I met originally.
Last night instead of going out I sat at home and watched King Kong with her. Instead of sitting on my lap she sat on the memory foam pillow (I had purchased for me, but she took over) next to me on the couch. I placed her on my lap and chest and petted her and told her I loved her. She moved back to her pillow, which was very odd. I could tell something wasn’t right.
Last night when getting into bed she made sure to sleep as close to my face as she could, I actually picked her up and told her I didn’t appreciate her butt right next to my face. She didn’t care. She moved into the same position. I feel better about not making a fuss.
This morning she did what she normally does – stood with her back legs on the bed and began knocking things over on my nightstand with her front paws.
In the past I would either yell at her to stop or place her outside the room and shut the door. This morning was different. I did start by saying, “Lucky it’s 6 a.m. on a Sunday and I want to sleep!” But I got up and instead of her running to the kitchen to eat she stopped in the living room. She laid down and her body began to fail. She started breathing really heavy and her pupils got huge. I could tell this was not a seizure. She moved over to the mat by the door and I wrapped her in blanket. I carried her out to the car and rushed to the animal hospital.
I called them letting them know I was on my way and hoped that she would make it. Looking at it now I wish I had just held her until she stopped breathing. But she was thrashing around and moaning (not a typical Lucky sound). I was actually hoping it was due to the car ride, but I knew this not to be the case. They came out and asked if they could treach her as her heart rate was down and she was barely breathing. I said yes, they put the breathing tube in and provided her with air puffs. They asked if I wanted to recessitate her and I knew that this was not the thing to do. She’s an old (we don’t know exactly) stray cat who has lived many years past what the vets have expected. They invited me in the room where they were still giving her air puffs long enough for me to say goodbye. Her eyes were glossed and she was barely hanging on. I held her head and stroked her body. They stopped giving her air and you could see her life leave.
They were very nice consoling me and wrapping her body in a bright pink blanket fit for a queen. They took a paw print, which I quickly placed two Greenies inside (her favorite treat).
I’m sure no one has read down five pages of a story about a cat. The story was written for myself. This little stinker helped me through some tough job and boyfriend transitions. She is the constant I had here in this city where I still feel like an outsider even though I’ve lived here for over a decade.
I thank all of her cat-sitters as I know she wasn't an easy visitor to entertain (Anne Marie, Tiffany, and my parents).
She wasn’t the perfect cat, not even close to it. She was a cat who came when called. She ate Science Diet Chicken Flavored hairball remedy soft cat food (as that was the only one she would eat). She loved greenies. She had a good sense of right and wrong and generally knew when she was being naughty (she had me trained). She was always there to snuggle when I cried. I guess that’s why I miss her now because I’m crying and she’s not here. I know she’s a cat. She wasn’t the perfect cat, not even close to it. But she was the perfect cat for me. I love you, and will miss you, my little stinky schmoo schmoo Lucky Lu!