THE ELEVENTH SAVE OF CHRISTMAS: GORGEOUS GEORGE
A wealthy woman purchased Gorgeous George from a breeder when he was a cute little kitten. She had him declawed at four months old. When he was in his third year, he peed on a living room chair and was banished to live exclusively in her stepson’s bedroom. Shortly thereafter he had a serious urinary blockage due to crystals that had been building up in his urine. In great pain he was rushed to the hospital, where he was lucky to survive. Yes, his peeing on the chair, something he had never done before, should probably have been treated as a sign he needed to see a vet about his bladder. He was put on the appropriate urinary dry food and has had no further such troubles. He and the stepson bonded, and he lived his life in the young man’s room. When the man moved out to his own apartment several years later, George went with him, but soon afterward, Purebreds Plus was contacted by the man, who said he could no longer care for George. We went to get him.
When George suddenly found himself in a very new place without his bonded friend, he moped. And he lay about, disconsolate, and refused to eat. We became increasingly worried. Gosh darn emotional Ragdolls! (I do think these very sensitive cats have a harder time with change than most cat breeds.) We syringe fed him. We gave him fluids. We got a vet to prescribe an appetite stimulant. All to no avail. We got a blood panel done. He was perfectly normal and healthy. He just wouldn’t eat. We continued syringe feeding him. We gave him a zillion choices of food in addition to his prescribed diet. In desperation, we asked our vet to give us a tiny bit of an anti-anxiety medication. He ate the day after his first dose. Yaaaay! After five days we discontinued it. He was finally eating and recovering.
George made steady progress from then on, showing more and more interest in us and his surroundings. It is as if his personality began to emerge again. We all fell in love with him. He went back on his prescribed diet. Soon he looked you right in the eye and was ready to have fun . He was doing well.
At about that time just the right adopter, a single woman who had retired early, showed up wanting him. She was a gutsy, very pet-experienced person and was in no way daunted to take home a big, 18-pound Ragdoll boy. George was to be her only pet and treasured companion. It was great to see this formerly morose boy so full of the spirit and life he needed to win a stranger’s heart. He did his part, charmed her, and home they went. Happy adoption.
At the time he came to rescue, George had a huge adjustment to make from a very restricted life in a bedroom, where he was super bonded with his one human, to a totally different world in a busy foster home with other cats, cat cuddlers and folks all around him. It is a testament to cats in general, and to him in particular, that he had the great heart and life exuberance to make that transition happen.
Over and over, we see cats forgiving the unspeakable and moving forward into an enjoyment of their world, courageous enough to give their hearts again to a new human friend. In this, and many other ways, cats set a great example for us all.