Friday, November 7

A Ripe Old Age

[Ninth in a series]

That BabyDoll lived to the ripe old age of 19 shouldn't suggest she never saw a veterinarian. Oh, she had her share of vet visits, not counting those times when I went on "trips".

She had a recurring problem with her fanny - this is, after all, a pseudo-family audience I'm shooting for. Her, uh, glands back there were prone to getting compacted, and three times she was in for surgery to take care of that.

And at some point three or four years ago, she was having problems going number one - her vet (now the third one) prescribed prescription cat food for her and that was that. Of course, since BabyDoll, Molly, and Sherman all shared the same bungalow, they all ate the expensive stuff.

But the most heartbreaking of all was one morning some fifteen years ago or so that I awoke to a cat with completely-clouded-over eyes. Overnight this happened. Talk about getting freaked out.

Off to the vet we went. When he saw what the problem was, and realizing he had no experience in this particular arena - that, and not being able to tell if a cat is pregnant (yes, that vet) - he sent me off to our second vet. I had to leave her at the vet and go off to work, but could not keep my mind on the tasks at hand during the day.

Getting back to the vet later that afternoon, I was surprised to see BabyDoll's eyes again crystal clear. Just some drops a few times a day, and she was back to her old self. And unfortunately I have no recollection of the disease she had contracted, but in all those years since, the problem never re-occurred.

BabyDoll's eyes were always a source of wonder for me. They were always SO big and wide. I always wondered just how all that personality could fit in a head with such big eyes. So much so that one assistant vet once asked during an exam "Is she about to bite my head off? I've never seen such wide eyes on a cat!"

But most interesting was that BabyDoll rarely looked at the camera when I'd take her picture; she'd look at me all-the-time otherwise. The picture above was one of the rare occasions she was ready for her close-up.

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