September 18th 2006 6:16 am
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After a month-long illness, Finn's brother Boo died Friday. The rest of the cats don't seem to notice, but Finn really misses his bunny. He spends most of his time on top of the bookcase in Boo's room, staring at the corner where his box and food used to be, and the rest of his time following us around and asking to be held. So I'm moving Boo's stuff to Finn's page. Here's Boo's bio from Annedale's page:
August 6th 2006 2:55 pm
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I've been bottle-raising orphaned kittens since I was three. My mom is a veterinarian, and people were always showing up with cardboard boxes full of kittens that showed up in dumpsters, parking lots, construction sites, highways, you name it. As a vet's family, we always had too many pets, so I never got to keep any of my babies. I always swore the first thing I would do when I had my own place was raise a litter and keep them all.
As it happened, I did it in the wrong order - I had to keep Finn, so I moved out. Finnbar and his brother Patrick were my first children that were all my own.
I always loved the feisty kittens, and Finn was one of the fiestiest. I got him when he was just an hour or two old, and for the first few days I thought he had a breathing problem - till I realized that little wheezing sound was this tiny thing - with no eyes or ears to speak of yet - hissing. He couldn't see or hear or stand on his tiny legs, but he was determined nothing was going to get to his siblings without getting through him, and he wasn't going down easy. He cried less than his siblings, and washed their faces when they got upset. Once he figured out I was his family too, he drank his bottle fastest, took his medicine best, sat still through his baths and just squinted and bore it while I dried him off. I named him "Peter" at first because he was my rock, the steady one that took care of the rest of us.
My family and friends all rue the day I decided to keep Finn, because he's still protective of us, and he still hisses fiercely and bites when anyone approaches his family. But to me and Eddie and Patrick, Finn is one of the two sweetest kitties on the planet.
He worries about me when I'm upset, sits on the computer as I plow through those graduate-school essays, waits at the window when I stay out late, and loves nothing more than to ride around in my arms, feeling loved and very very tall. He's a little emotionally unstable, and will chew on our hands like a horse cribbing his stall when he gets stressed, staring up at us with wide eyes. He also chews on me after he drinks milk, as if to tell me he remembers that I'm the one that brought him milk when he was tiny.
He'll hold my finger with his paw, pet my face and lean his cheek into mine when I hug him, and put a paw on my shoulder when I pause by his shelf. He takes care of me as much as I take care of him. Life can only be so terrifying when I've got that kind of love backing me up.
I coddle Finn and Pat more than any cat (or person) should probably ever be coddled, but nature seems determined to remind me that even good food and safe toys and keeping cats indoors does not make me the All-Powerful Kitty Protector. Finn and his litter were sick little things, and I thought they were going to die for sure at least three times. I swore to myself I'd never raise kittens again, because I can't stand the heartbreak. When his sister, who went to one of my mom's best clients, died at 9 months old from a heart condition, all those baby worries came back. Patrick's heart didn't show any signs of the disease 'till he was three, and we started treating him before the murmur even started. Finnbar, though, had a murmur - a bad one - when he got his emergency visit from his grandma after Hallie died. Cats who get hypertrophic cardiomyopathy before the age of two have a life expectancy of only a year or two. I sobbed at the vet clinic, on the couch afterwards, and then everytime he'd get in my lap and purr. He got stressed after his first annual, six months later, and almost died in the car on the way back from the vet. He was open-mouth breathing and turning white, and I was driving back to mom's place as fast as I could while crying, and my kitty put his paw on my knee and just stared at my face, like he was trying to tell me that it was ok.
But Eddie told me that Finn had a good heart, the best, and any kitty with a heart as strong as his was going to be fine, because I needed him to be. And he is. Thanks to some very inventive prescriptions and a grandma who goes to every feline cardiology lecture she encounters, Finn's heart doesn't even have an audible murmur now, and last month was his third birthday - the one the veterinary textbooks said he'd never get to celebrate. And with luck and more grandma magic, he'll live to see a lot more.
It's just enough to remind me, as if I'd ever forget, that every day I live with Finn is a gift. I could keep writing about how much I love him for the rest of the night, but I'm getting teary-eyed, and he's trying to distract me by getting wild in the drapes. And I'm certainly not one to sit here crying when he's playing "I'm a Big Monster Who Lives Behind the Curtain." It's time to go enjoy being Finn's mom.
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