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Cedar Boxes

Cedar Boxes

Tags: pets, love

Two dogs. A rabbit. Four cats. Two parakeets. Nine cedar boxes filled with the life’s ashes of our fur and feathered family for over the last 40+ years. We are down to just one now.

Gimley the cat came to us some seven years ago. He was a feral cat who was surprisingly human-friendly. We fed and watered him but it was obvious he was the neighborhood cat that knew which families would give him the most attention. He was well fed, to say the least.

There came a point where he was being claimed by different families as their own. Of course, he settled on us as being his own.

We already had a cat at the time who was anything but friendly. Atticus was a big black panther of a cat who was indoor only and he didn’t tolerate us giving him rules and boundaries. That’s why it was such a big surprise that he and Gimley sat calmly chatting on each side of the patio screen door.

Then one day we just said, “Oh, what the hell.” We opened the door and the two of them wandered the neighborhood together, returning to home base usually around mealtimes. It would be their routine from then on, although as Atti got older he didn’t wander as far.

Atti was several years older than Gimley. His body started failing and we lost him. Oddly, Gimley became more of a house cat. He doesn’t wander all night anymore, but when he does he gets into trouble. There are a couple of other neighborhood cats and maybe raccoons who have had lively discussions with him over the years.

Those of us who extend our family to include the unconditional love of pets know that there is a cost for that love that requires us to accept the monetary sacrifices which must be made from time to time.

Just last year we expended several thousand dollars to cure a severe abscess in Gimley’s face that developed due to a bad catfight that occurred. It was a horrible mess and took several weeks to resolve with tubes and funnels and vet trips and house arrest. It was both expensive and exhausting for us. It was also our obligation to him.

We found out last week that Gimley has cancer. We’ve had tubes and funnels and vet trips and house arrest preliminarily. We’ve already spent even more than we did on the abscess. Surgery is set for next week and we are told to expect several weeks of recovery without knowing life expectancy. We have also been told it will cost us 3-4 times more than what we have spent already.

As we have with all of them. It isn’t about the money or the exhaustion. It’s about keeping him, for one more day, away from a cedar box.

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