Suppe1

In 1998 I had just moved back to Atlanta from Chattanooga and had rented an apt in a nice complex.   Every morning, as I walked Midgie,  I would see this beautiful cat sitting at the back door of my neighbor’s townhouse.  They never let him in, even when it rained or got cold.  They said he was feral and he and his littermate had been dumped in the neighborhood as tiny kittens.

They adopted his littermate, but left him outside.  However, they did feed him.  Then one day  I noticed he was pawing at their back door asking for his dinner, but the drapes were closed.  The next day the same, and the day after that, etc.  A week went by and I finally went over there and saw the “for sale” sign in the front yard.   They had moved and left him behind.

I started feeding him and gradually he began to follow me over to my apt, but he was very skittish and wouldn’t let me near him.  When winter came, I set up a warm cabana bed at my front door with a warming pad inside and plenty of old quilted bedspreads, plastic, and blankets over it.  And he would use it.

Well long story short, 11 years later I still have him.  I tried to give him a cool name, but because I kept calling “Supper” in those early days to get him to come eat, he decided that was his name.

He’s always been a semi-feral, going in and out as he pleases.  He loves his mom, but to this day will trot in the other direction if I reach out to pet him.  He likes to be near and even in the house, but not in my lap.  Which is why when I was able to pet him the other day, I knew he wasn’t himself.

For the past several months, I noticed he was looking a little ragged and had lost some weight.  He’s always been long and lean, but this was different.  I chalked it up getting older. He had stopped grooming himself. He was eating with everyone, and putting on a cat’s usual stoic face, so I didn’t really pay too much attention until the other day.

Suppie

He was sitting on the back of the sofa looking out the window when I sat down close to him.  Normally he would have bounded off to find another spot, but he stayed right there.  So I reached out and he let me pet his head. Then I ran my hand down his back and discovered under all that long hair he was just skin and bones.

Horrified and upset, I took him straight to my vet.  Dr. Hitchcock did a senior panel and for a 12yr old cat, everything came back pretty normal.  He has the beginning signs of kidney disease, but it’s not bad. Everything else is right where it should be.  But he had an elevated white blood count. So Dr. Hitchcock concluded there’s an infection going on somewhere and put him on Baytril, a strong antibiotic.  Which is fun considering I have to chase Suppie around the house, scruff him, and wrap him in a towel to get the pill down him.

It’s always hard to see our beloved pets get old. And because fe-lions are what they are, it’s usually a surprise when we find out they’ve gotten old and things are starting to go wrong.   I’ve been treating him with extra dinners of stewed chicken and he seems to be responding.  I hope he’ll get through this and I’ll have him a few more years anyway.

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