Saturday, January 16, 2010

LC - A Summary Of Her Life

THE BIG THING: 


Her name was LC.  She came to me in October 1993 and left in January 2010.

Her name came from her black/white markings.  Her markings gave her a strong resemblance to a cow and I finally thought of Elsie from Borden's.  From "Elsie", came the letters "LC", which in turn stood for "Little Cow" (and "Lucky Cat").

She was lucky, though it might not have seemed like it at first. The 3rd evening, I discovered her eyelids were sealed shut from dried "eye stuff" every time she slept.  She was bumping into furniture and finding her food by smell.  The poor little thing was going around blind until I got home and dabbed her eyelids clean with water.  Fortunately, her initial vet exam was already scheduled for the next morning.

The vet decided that the eye infection was probably due to the serious ear mite infestation I had not known about (she was still in hiding mode).  AND, she turned out to have worms!

Doesn’t sound very lucky.  But the vet said I should return her to the pet store because of the health issues.  She would surely have been immediately euthanized.  The vet receptionist was the person who named her “Lucky Cat” after that because of her initials and because I decided to keep her.

She was lucky in other ways, too.  Skeeter was friendly and protective of her from the first and let her sleep with him.  They played together constantly.  I had gotten LC to be a companion to Skeeter while I was gone all day and it worked out perfectly. Their time alone together bonded them.  And fortunately, Skeeter was then big enough (at 18 months) to protect LC from mean old Tinkerbelle.

You see, Skeeter was MY cat; LC was Skeeter’s cat.  I never ignored her, of course.  But I made sure that LC became oriented mostly toward Skeeter.

Under Skeeter’s watchful eye, LC learned to hunt mice and explore the big back yard.  It was mean old Tinkerbelle who showed LC how to get up over the fence (and I sure wish she hadn't).  Hunting frogs was something LC learned on her own.

LC never did do anything especially cute or funny or unusual.  She was “just” a plain old steady cat.  While Skeeter could jump unusually high to snag birds and suddenly leap into a pile of honeysuckle vines from a sleeping position to emerge instantly with a mole or young rabbit, LC was a very deliberate business-like huntress. 

While Skeeter enjoyed his food with impressive enthusiasm, LC ate slowly and only as much as she needed. Where Iza insists on trying to “cover up” uneaten food, LC just ignored any.  Iza simply must run up to the top of the kitty condo every morning when I open the drapes; LC stopped using the kitty condo almost entirely after Ayla arrived and started napping there.

I suppose the only odd thing about LC was that the only treat in the world she liked was regular Hill’s Science Diet for Seniors dry kibble.  And only when dry.  If she dropped a piece out of her mouth, she wouldn’t touch it again.

The only thing close to an odd habit was that she used to sit on the bath mat guarding me when I took my showers.  She would always be there staring out the open door. 

Oh, and there was the bubbler water bowl…  From the first day she discovered the bubbles inside as the reservoir refilled the bowl, she was determined to catch them.  She even figured out how to cause that.  She began shoveling water out of the bowl to make the bubbles appear.  She never did catch one, of course, but she was a very determined huntress.  I had to dedicate the walk-in shower stall to the water bowls so that the splashed out water could drain away.

LC’s most dangerous moment came when she discovered that ice is not always safe to walk on.  She had learned that she could walk out onto the pond and look down into the water.  One time the ice broke under her and she fell in.  Fortunately, I was watching her at the time and ran to get her out.  She was unable to get out on her own.  She never walked on ice again.

LC had a long, extremely healthy life.  Until the thyroid problem developed and she required twice-daily meds in the last year of her life, she only had to take the dreaded “pink stuff” a couple of times.  Her only injury was when she somehow peeled the skin back over one eye on something sharp in the house.

She took Skeeter’s loss 13 months ago very hard.  Even in their older years, they were always close, indoors and out.  She became a bit withdrawn (though she was friendly to Ayla).  At about the same time, she finally became unable to climb the fence.

Her last few months, she began to seek more attention from me.  She always did like being stroked and scratched, as long as she was safely on the floor and could leave.  She would even give me head-bumps and would reach out a paw an tap my leg.  But I started to pick her up more often and hold her on my lap gently and she would stay longer and longer.

On her last night, she hopped up on her own for the first time ever (I think) and stayed there for a long half hour. She seemed fully alert and comfortable that last night.

I will be trying to gather some special pictures of her over the next few days.  Ayla and Iza tell me they want to say a few words themselves about LC soon, too.