Little J has been having a rough time lately. He is so sensitive to most medicines that whenever his thyroid medicine is upped to the full dose he gets sick. I guess I should have seen this coming. He also gets sick from the vaccines and even antibiotics. We're getting there. Slowly but we're getting there. It's an adjustment for both of us. I broke down in tears while talking to my mom today. I think just even admitting that he's old and he's not ever going to be the lively, rambunctious Little J he used to be was more than I could do. I know it. I know it deeper than any one could ever know it. This guy has been my buddy since he was less than an hour old and I rescued him from the great outdoors in the middle of the night because his cat mama didn't have the sense to stay indoors when she was in labor. I knew he was a firecracker from the start. He was born on the 4th of July and I almost named him Firecracker. When I placed him and his sister in my arms to carry them back into my neighbors home where they belonged, he immediately started climbing up me....screaming the entire time. He curled up in my neck, and I think at that moment, whether I wanted to or not, he was going to live his life with me. He was only the first one to choose me. He's been my buddy since that day almost 17 years ago. Almost 17 years of love and feistiness and I wouldn't have it any other way. But, my Little Mr. 4th Of July is losing some of that fire. He's getting old. So we get used to a new normal. We make it a point to love each day we live and make the most of it. Today is a good day. Whatever tomorrow brings, we deal with it tomorrow. I don't know how else to do it. I took this picture of him this morning. The fact that his is laying on the bed and not hiding in his safe place in the closet made me happy. The fact that he is rolling around purring and playing to the camera (yes my cats do that) made me very happy. Yes...today is a good day.
And of course, I couldn't resist my TuffyBear. I have to remember that this is an adjustment for him too. He's use to his Bub running and playing with him. He's seemed a little lost the past few weeks without the constant companionship of Little J. He's been far more clingy to me than usual. TuffyBear was the 2nd one to choose me. My friend Natalie gave me pick of the litter when her cat had kittens almost 11 years ago. I was hoping for an even tempered, calm cat this time around. One that would tolerate Little J's in your face attitude and would maybe help settle him down. Natalie showed up with a carrier full of kittens. Most were being quiet and calm, but one little guy was very loud and demanding. He was stepping all over his siblings. I picked him up so that I could get a better look at the other ones. As I was oohing and awwing over all the sweet babies, the sweetest of them all fell asleep in my arms. I was his, and he was determined that I was going to be his forever Mom. When I got him inside, he took to Little J immediately. Instant buddies. I wanted to name him Love Bug because aside from that initial first impressions, he was the sweetest, most loving thing I had ever seen. As things usually go, fate had a different plan and he did end up naming himself. My oldest niece came over to see the new baby and while she was playing with him, she said...."Man, you're a Tough Guy." It stuck. And though he was the sweetest thing ever, that name was going to become more appropriate than I could ever imagine. It changed over the months from Tough Guy to TuffyBear because he seemed more like a big teddy bear than a tough guy. It would take all day to describe all the ways that cat has lived up to the name he found for himself. Starting with his first near death experience. When he was a little over a year old, he chewed through the cord on a window fan while it was on. He was very badly injured and even the vet did not expect he would survive. But survive he did. For a week, we got up every 2 hours and forced special high calorie food down him with a syringe. He came out of it with part of his tongue missing and a huge scar on his leg where the electricity exited his body. The ordeal changed him. He became very scared and skittish and very endeared to his Forever Mom. To this day, if I am home, he is near me and almost always touching me in some way. Leaning against me if I am sitting on the couch, laying on or next to me, his paw touching my leg, or arm. I am his most definitely. Whether or not that incident had anything to do with the biggest challenge in his life is not known. What came years later, was the hardest, most emotionally torturing thing I had to ever deal with. I'll save that for another post though.