THE FOURTH SAVE OF CHRISTMAS: PIPPIN
Very little is known about Pippin’s origin, only that he was found sick on the streets of Sacramento in the spring of 2006. He came into rescue and stayed there for three months while he recuperated. I met him while volunteering to clean up after and socialize the rescue cats. Pippin caught my attention, because despite being only about six months old, he would clean the smaller kittens. Once I had him on my lap while he alternated his attention between three tiny kittens. One kitten attempted to escape, but Pippin gently grabbed and held his face between his paws and did not let go until the kitten had been properly bathed.
Since I was on the lookout for a playmate for my Persian, Pippin seemed to be a nice match. However, he was not yet ready to go home. I expressed my interest in Pippin, but he accidentally went up on the website for adoption anyway. His post received the most views of any cat at that time. I had to pick him up before anyone else could interview for him.
When I arrived, Pippin was nowhere to be seen. It seems he was hungry and had climbed into the big bag of kitten food. So we plucked him out, and soon he was on his way to his furrever home. He lay in the carrier with his front paws crossed, attentively looking forward, and was quiet the entire hour-long car ride home.
Pippin was a great companion cat right from the start, a one-of-a-kind cat. Everyone thinks he is the sweetest, nicest cat ever, even when they are self-admitted dog people or don’t like cats at all. He loves his people and will sometimes sit and stare with sad eyes until he is invited to snuggle on a lap or be scratched under a chin. He continues to love to clean himself and others, cats or people. He ensures his peers are clean and that they learn to clean in turn. However, he is suspicious of dogs: once he stood guard for hours while two huskies visited, after which he slept for two full days to recover.
He is a special kitty. He is also a special needs kitty who has had his share of medical problems. A few months after his arrival, Pippin became very ill. With the advice of PPCR, we were able to care for him between hospitalizations during which he went through a variety of diagnostic tests, but after all the non-invasive ones had been exhausted, we finally had to approve surgery. It turned out that Pippin had managed to swallow an ear plug unbeknownst to us. The vet found and removed the plug and repaired the damage within five minutes. After surgery, Pippin had a zipper for awhile, but the scar is almost gone now. He is now known as the “earplug kitty” at the vet’s office.
That first incident had no permanent repercussions, but Pippin also has health problems that are chronic. One is that he has a perpetual cold, but we manage to control his symptoms for lengthy periods. He also recently developed partial paralysis in his hind legs, which we’ve been told is neurological. Even with that condition, Pippin can move around well and still often plays with his toys like a kitten. He is not a great fan of chiropractic, but a visit to the chiropractor now and then does appear to help his mobility.
Pippin will be 10 years old in January. He was my first PPCR kitty but is not my last. I now have two other PPCR kitties. I have had Pippin for nearly a decade, and every day I hope and pray Pippin will be with me for another decade. Pippin is very special boy that is loved dearly.