The Tail of Gigi and Jessie - 2 sisters
A long time ago, in a far off land … that is 15 years ago in Indiana.
I lived near a pond where ducks and geese took up residency during the summers. There was this one duck that had a bad limp. It could fly alright, but had a little trouble walking. On occasion the duck would use my back yard as a path to somewhere unbeknownst to me.
One day I noticed a scraggly cat stalking the duck. Concerned for the safety of the duck, I scatted the cat away. Then I noticed the cat looked very hungry. I ran to get some food for her and then watched to see what she was up to. Well ... low and behold, she had three babies under the steps of a house three doors down. Panic hit me because the mother was way to skinny and sickly to be nursing kittens.
I couldn’t get the kittens to come near me. I kept feeding “Mama.” After a day, she moved the babies one yard closer under a shed. Determined to rescue her and her family, I sat in the dirt, getting eaten alive by ants for the next few days until I caught them all.
I knew I couldn’t mix them with my other indoor cats, so I converted my spare bedroom into a make-shift quarantine room. After a vet visit for the brood, I bought a big dog crate to put the mama in and a LARGE ferret cage to put the babies in. I wanted them to be able to see and interact with each other without trying to continually nurse Mama.
Mama was not well, completely malnutritioned. She seemed to improve as she was eating special food and putting on weight. The kittens had the normal issues – fleas, worms … but otherwise were ok. They were pretty wild though. Within a couple weeks I was feeling pretty good about the family, then tragedy hit. When I came home, Mama was very week and lethargic seemed to have labored breathing. I rushed her to the ER clinic and they said she had cardiomyopathy and it was bad. I put her to sleep that night. She was such a good “Mama” and pretty girl. She was a tall lanky long-haired torti.
Since the babies were not very tame I figured I would have a hard time adopting them – so I decided I would incorporate them into my household of other furry felines. Tanner was a tannish orange with long hair, Jessie was a gray and black long haired “little” girl and Gigi was a “little” tuxedo girly. She had little white garter belts on her back legs.
While they were still confined to their room, Jessie and I had a falling out. She wasn’t feeling good and tore me to shreds when I tried to catch her and get her to the vets. Xrays showed she also had cardiomyopathy. I decided that I didn’t want to stress her by trying to handle her. So she became the “untouchable”.
The babies missed their Mama but were pretty occupied with the other household members.
Less than a year after they joined the family, we moved to Arkansas.
A while back, Gigi was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I medicated her to the best of my ability which gave her about a year. Jessie was never diagnosed, but I’m sure she had the same problem. Last summer was their last summer. I no longer could watch them dwindle away. Gigi went to the bridge first, then Jessie followed a few weeks later. They had gotten so thin and weak. I loved them both very much. Each one was so special in their own way. Even little Jessie who never would let me pet her even after all those years.
I’m happy to say, their brother Tanner is still around. He is the man of the family. The “Tan Man”. He is beginning to loose some weight. I know it is time for a geriatric blood panel, but I’m a little afraid to do it. He has been a healthy boy all his life. I know he misses his little sisters as much as I do.