The focus of my blog has been on my feral cats, their behavior and their lives. Today, I thought I would write about the group that lives inside my house. I have often talked about Marvin, formerly known as Orange Kitty, but have rarely discussed our other inside cat, Jake and our dog, Misty.
Misty, is our 11 year old Samoyed. She is a beautiful girl and full of life. She came to us as a very shy, scared 3 month old pup. She came to us with very little human interaction. This proved to be a difficulty as she was so scared which often led to growls and hiding behind me for safety. She did not like anyone except us to pet her. It was a difficult time learning how to best deal with her. She did settle down, but remained friendly to only a handful of people. Strangers frightened her. She had to always be on a leash when others came to visit. Yet, with us and her small circle of “acceptables: she was a sweet girl. We have used DAP phermones on her, Composure calming treats, multiple flower essences and St. Johns Wort. The St. Johns Wort did the best to calm her for many years.
Misty came to us with recurrent urinary tract infections. These continued to be a presence in her life. By the age of 6 she was on prescription dog food as well as frequent long term antibiotics. By the age of 8, she was on antibiotics daily as she was not able to prevent the infections. It was discovered she had an anatomical abnormality of her vulva. Urine would often collect in the extra folds resulting in infection after infection. Surgery was an option, yet there were many risks involved. We decided at the time to forgo the surgery and to continue to treat her with antibiotics. When she turned 9, her infections continued despite being on daily antibiotics. She also was presenting with epithelial cells in her urinalysis. This was a concern. We took her to a specialist who felt the best course of action was surgery to repair the vulva. Unfortunately when they started the surgery, they found a cancerous mass in her urethra. It was small, but the surgery could not progress for fear of spreading the cancer. She was soon diagnosed with TCC (traditional cell carcinoma) of the urethra. This was not an easy cancer to treat as surgery was not an option. After more testing and seeing the oncologist, we decided to do a course of 19 radiation treatments done over a period of 4 weeks. Misty did great. She breezed through the sessions with very few side effects. Two months after completing the radiation she went on a course of metronomic oral chemotherapy. This was to keep any remaining tumor from growing or spreading. After 2 months she was declared to be in remission. It is now 2 years post her initial diagnosis and she is still in remission. She stopped the chemotherapy drugs in April and is still going strong. She is still rambunctious and does not act like an 11 year old dog with cancer. We are so happy that we chose to do the radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
Here she is at Christmas this past year
Jake is our 7 year old indoor only kitty. He came to us from the Humane Society in 2008. My son had always wanted a cat, but with Misty and my husband having some allergies we really didn’t think it would be possible. During the summer of 2008 we volunteered at the Humane Society with the cats. It gave my son and I an opportunity to have some kitty time. We would take a few of the cats out of their cages and allow them some time to play and cuddle. In late July a new group of 10 week old kittens appeared. We took one of them out and the bond with my son was instant. The kitty did not want to leave his arms. It was magical to watch their interactions. After much thought and planning we decided to give it a go and adopt this sweet kitty. It had been since I was in high school that I had been around a cat. This would be a new experience. We decided to call him Jake after Jacobs Field(now known as Progressive Field home of the Cleveland Indians). The stadium was frequently called “The Jake”.
Jake has been an absolutely wonderful cat. His bond to my son has never changed. Jake spent many many years hardly leaving my sons side. In August of 2014, my son left for college. Jake had a rough time adjusting, but managed to pull himself together. At that time, he finally decided it was ok to have Marvin living in the house and it was also time to start to play with this cat! It was a completely new side of Jake. He would groom Marvin, chase, roll all around and spend time being a playful cat again. It was so much fun to watch him blossom. He still looks forward to visits home from the college boy and most visits it is as though his boy has never left. Poor Marvin doesn’t quite understand where his playmate goes for those college visits home.
Here is Jake and also one of Jake and Marvin
Just a quick word about Marvin. He is just the sweetest kitty. I think to myself daily how glad I am that I gave him a chance. It was such a rough start bringing him inside. He is still scared of the vacuum, lawn mower, snow blower and other loud noises. When visitors come to our house, they will never see him. Yet with us he is very endearing. He gets along well with Misty and truly enjoys Jake. He has come so very far.