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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Our Extended Family

Miss Dida in her bath
Photo of Dida by myself last year, in one of Dida's favorite locations.

Dida, our calico, likes to hide between the shower curtain and the shower liner when she's nervous. She thinks that no one can find her there.


Lately, Mark and I are dealing with our cat Dida, who is going through some health issues.

Dida suddenly started limping this weekend. She had a spazz attack Friday night in front of us, where she gallivanted all over us and the furniture. The next couple days, she had trouble getting up on the couch. She looked nervous and frankly a little weird. She spent a lot of time sleeping and alone which is unusual - she is usually very sociable.

Monday morning, Mark persuaded me to take Dida to the vet, since she was still acting strange. I'd call her name and try to make eye contact, but she'd stay sitting, hunched over, looking off into the distance.

Well, long story short, Dida has heart trouble. One of her hind legs was injured by a blood clot. It's my theory that Mark and I were witnesses to the exact moment of the clot, that is, when she had the spazz attack Friday night.

I raised two of Dida's kittens until they were around 7 years old, when they passed away suddenly a couple years ago. It's now coming together that all three have had congenital heart trouble.

Missy, a beautiful tiny calico that was so sweet and dear probably had an aneurysm. Suzy, an equally beautiful grey calico that was adventuresome and spirited had a blood clot to her hind legs. I had to put her to sleep after a long, distressed night at the emergency room.

Dida is lucky in comparison because we can try to medicate her condition. She's not an easy cat, however, and giving her pills or getting her in the carrier means a half-hour run around the apartment, much hissing and a wrestling match.

It's the plight of every pet owner - you commit yourself to your pet, making decisions for her best interest without knowing if you're doing the 'right' thing. I'm realistic about Dida's future. I'm prepared to keep her comfortable, pamper her, but not go to any extreme lengths where her dignity is compromised.

Tonight, Dida is extremely happy to be home from the vet, and is settled beside me on the sofa. She's forgiven me for our earlier wrestling match and is purring, with full knowledge that she's very much cared for.

Dida and her original litter of five kittens were rescued from the rail yards near Hell's Kitchen, around 42nd Street. Since the rescue, she hasn't stepped outside. She loves to watch birds and squirrels in her spare time.

Dida considers herself to be a true New Yorker.

Lower photo by myself last week. Dida rested comfortably on Mark's leg, while he slept.

For earlier posts about Dida, click here or here.


Anonymous said...

Oh I hope she has many more good years ahead of her! She's beautiful.
I found your blog a couple of months back and have been a loyal reader ever since. I like the way you write, and I have very fond memories of NYC from 2005 when I finally got to visit the city. Just wanted to say hi from Finland :)

Patrizia said...

I read everything.

I hope Dida is feeling better. I know how a cat can become part of a family ... I used to have Susanna with me, she lived almost 15 years and fortunately (for me) I had already moved out by the time she was so sock that my mother had to bring her to the vet for a shot to get her to sleep forever.

I like your blog, it makes me wish to come to NY soon ... even though it is quite hard now, with two small children. Maybe in future!

Jilly said...

So glad you took her to the vet. On medication, hopefully she will live a long time. She's such a beautiful cat and this is a gorgeous photograph of her. It's so sad when our animals get sick.

R&R said...

Here's hoping that Dida's medication helps her have many more happy years.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. I hope the cat is well by now.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Dida's lucky you and Mark were around to see her spaz attack and get her checked out. You can tell from the top photo that she's a lovely, spirited cat!

Kitty said...

Welcome Liisa
Thanks so much for posting. I'm flattered to hear from my readers. Hello to Finland!

Hi Patrizia
It's tough to be there until the end for your animals, but in a way, it's good to be there, too. I hope that with your next pet you can be there.

NYC isn't easy with little kids. I'd feel vulnerable with little ones around. When they can walk and you can drag them around, it's easier!

Hi Jilly
Thank you. You're around dogs all the time so you must know the drill. It's part of what owners are responsible for and it's tough.

Welcome R&R
I will pass along your kind words to Dida!

Thanks Mr Lincoln!

Hi Spandrel
Thanks dear! She's very brave and will get through this.

Carolyn said...

What a pretty Kitty. I am glad she is feeling better.


Mab said...

So glad that your cat Dida is feeling better now,it was good that you saw what happened and could take her to the vet.My terrier x has epileptic fits and they are horrific to witness.Dida looks as though she loves having her photo taken.

Kizz said...

She's so amazingly beautiful. I love the shower curtain photo especially.

You know that my cat has the heart craziness too. I always highly recommend Phil over at Whiskers for holistic suggestions to make her feel happier.

Good luck!

BrianC said...

What a cutey. I love having my cat asleep in my lap or sprawled on my chest as she purrs. Check out the cat I posted on my blog a couple of days ago.

Eva said...

Aww, she's beautiful!

I'm sorry she's got heart trouble, but what a relief that it can be medicated. I'm happy to hear that she's back home with you. Many many huigs from me to Dida, and a huge "boff" from my dog - who happens to love cats!

Mr. Parson said...

I love kitties.

Olivier said...

j'espère que Dida ira mieux, elle est très belle.

I hope that Dida will be better, it is very beautiful.

Janet said...

How fortunate that you rescued her! She is living a comfortable life now and I hope she recuperates to live a lot longer.

Mom Knows Everything said...

It's very fortunate that they are able to figure out what is wrong with her and treat her. She's a beautiful cat!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

I hope Dida's feeling better soon. Best Fish x

Ming the Merciless said...

Great story!! Glad to hear Dida is doing well now.

At first glance, it looked like Mark has a huge hairy gut hanging out of his pants (2nd photo). Only after reading the post that I realized that it was his leg in the photo.

HA! I'm one to talk. *sucks in gut*

Nikon said...

I'm glad to hear that she is improving, too.
I have a cat, a rescued stray, who went from a 5 room apartment to a studio - I feel bad for her. She loves to watch the birds out the window, too.

Kitty said...

Thanks Carolyn!

Welcome Mab
It's scary when you see your pet helpless, isn't it. I hope your doggie is all right.

Kizz, thank you so much.
I've heard about Phil. One of Mark's best friends has cats and goes there, since he used to live in the East Village.
We'll go this weekend! We're all excited.

Hi Brian
Dida sleeps with us too. It's a lovely feeling, I agree.

Hi Eva
Thanks so much to you and your dog for the kind wishes!

Hi Adam
Dida says 'what's not to love', lol

Hi Olivier
Thanks so much

Welcome Rambling Sound
I look forward to reading your blog. Thanks. Dida knows she has it good.

Thanks Tammy and Fish!

Thanks Ming
Haha about the gut. I had to do a very careful cropping job, lol

Hi Nikon
Cats are so adaptable, they're such troopers. It's nice you have a roommate. I wouldn't be able to live completely alone.

Dana said...

we recently discovered "pill pockets" for a non pill taking cat in our family! they are wonderful. It is a treat they want to eat and they dont notice a pill tucked into the hollowed out center.. worth a try?

Kitty said...

Thanks so much, Dana
We need all the help we can get. Right now, it's a 2-human job.

I like the idea of medicine and treat combined. Hopefully it can take the stress out of such confrontations!

Unknown said...

I do home Dida gets better.

Anonymous said...

oh gosh, Kitty - I missed this yesterday.

Dida is just so beautiful. I hope she is OK.

It's amazing how attached to our pets that we get, isn't it? I still really miss my cat - every now and then I forget she is gone and I see something black (a bag or a coat) out of the corner of my eye, and for a moment I think it is her.

Kitty said...

Thanks Mr Keropok!

Thanks RB
I think about my past pets, too. I feel I carry them with me.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Dida is really beautiful!
I hope she is feeling much better now. I know well how a pet can become part of our family. I have a dog, Flora, and I love her so much too. On my current post you can see Flora at the beach.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure which is more beautiful, your cat or your photography. I hope she continues to recover.

Kitty said...

Thank you Sonia and Anonymous!
She is on fluids now for her kidneys, but otherwise acts like she's fine and reasonably happy.

I will pass on these wonderful good wishes to her. :-)