A Tiny Rescue
Yesterday morning, I opened my side door.
And received a shock.
Then the next two hours of my life took an unexpected, and all-consuming turn.
On the porch was a sorta stray cat I call Tiny. She is small, and with long fur. I say sorta stray because she, I think, actually belongs to a neighbor. It is obvious though that while she might have an actual owner, she is treated like a stray. For years and years now, she is on my front porch twice a day to eat.
One day, about five years ago, I realized that her long fur was horribly, and I mean horribly, matted. My heart instantly went out to her. I gently picked her up, brought her inside, and spent close to two hours carefully, ever so carefully, snipping off the countless tangled matts with small, sharp scissors. When I was done, Tiny looked a fright! She had tuffs of long hair still, but all adjacent to scalped patches! She truly looked a fright but I knew that she was, without question, no longer in pain and discomfort. Then I gave her a bath, and combed out her remaining fur.
Tiny took all this abuse with remarkable grace. It was as if she was SO relieved to have some vital grooming.
After she was towel-dried, I returned her to the front porch whereby she devoured her lunch. She then scampered off, and I could only wonder: Her nominal owners are going to think: WTF?
The years passed and Tiny required some attention occasionally but nothing like she did during the Matt Emergency.
But…yesterday morning, I opened my side door.
And received a shock.
Then the next two hours of my life took an unexpected turn.
Standing on my side porch was, unexpectedly, Tiny. I had never seen her on my side porch. She looked up at me. I looked down. And my heart seized.
Tiny was a mess. Her face was nearly covered with…ick. It was obvious she had a bad cold or something and had been sneezing and sneezing and all this…ick… was hardened across across her face. Her eyes, too, were surrounded by…ick. And her nose was clogged by…ick. Her body fur was dirty and old leaves and small twigs were tangled in with the dark fur.
But her tail. OMG. OMG. It was obvious that she had been having, ah, digestive problems and this had, ah, overtaken her tail. What was supposed to be a lovely line of long fur was now a line of petrified…ick.
I stood, taking all this in.
Tiny then bolted into my house. She had never done this before. I had but one thought: Tiny is crying for help.
Twenty minutes later, Tiny was finished with her bath in very warm, very soapy water. She was kinda sorta OK with this. Kinda sorta. She was then placed atop a thick towel, and ever so gently towel-dried with another towel. With this done, I placed her atop the washing machine, and spent a half-hour carefully brushing her out and snipping off tangled matts. The bath had removed most of the ick from her tail, and with much tenderness I attended to restoring Tiny’s tail to its former beauty.
The bath had revealed a shockingly thin Tiny. My heart had seized up again. How old was she? I guessed very old. How long had she been so ill? Was she dying?
With her body thus renewed, I warmed a small towel and carefully, slowly cleaned her face and eyes.
Then I stood back. Tiny had been fully restored to at least the appearance of health.
Next on the salvation list was food. I opened a small cat of Fancy Feast. Tiny scarfed this up. I then placed a bowel of water on the washing machine. Tiny drank and drank and drank. This surprised me as there was a water bowl outside.
The onside temperature was 50 degrees but I was loathe to let Tiny back outside until she was fully dry. So, she spent the next hour in my office, with much of this happily ensconced on my lap.
Finally, I let her back outside, whereby she quickly scampered to a beam of sunlight. I kept looking out the window for the next hour and she remained in her beam of warm light.
The she wandered off.
That night, I was thrilled when she returned to my front porch for dinner, and was enormously relieved that her face remained, mostly, free of…ick. I brought her back inside for a quick refresh.
This morning though, Tiny was not on my front porch. My heart sank. Had she died?
My. Heart. Sank.
Late in the afternoon, as I returned from the Cross House, Tiny scampered up to me as I got out of the car! SQUEE!!!!!!!! She looked good! She also followed me to the side door, and raced in after I opened it.
She walked right to the washing machine, and looked at me. Then she looked up again at the washing machine. It was obvious. She wanted, and damn well expected, some more Fancy Feast. This really impressed me. Tiny had, with remarkable intelligence, already figured out: Ross + inside + big white metal thing = tasty food.
Wow. Tiny was smart!
Her fur still looked clean and her face, importantly, was 97% free of ick. When she had finished her dinner I warmed another towel and rubbed her face to its maximum beauty.
I had to wonder.
Tiny had been so obviously desperately sick. Yet, but a day later, she was clearly in vastly better shape. Did the shock of a bath, and having a deluge of love and gentleness cascade over her, transform her health?
I suspect so.
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