Hi! My name is Hendrix and a few weeks ago you met my special girlfriend cat Brandi and read her rescue story. We met through our blogs which we write from our perspective. I hope you enjoy my rescue story and my eventful first six months! Mine, if you want to check it out is: Mr. Hendrix, The Kitty.
Where I live in Ohio, there are many dumped and stray cats because the area used to be entirely farmland and is becoming semi-suburban. At one time I was one of them. I was skinny, scared and had to fight for food and territory. I even have a tear in my ear from one of my fights. I like to think I won. Then on November 3, 2004 I was so tired and sick I just couldn’t go on. I lay down by the side of the road and just stayed there. Soon a blue car pulled off and a lady got out.
She saw me laying there and wanted to check if I was OK. She thought I’d been hit by a car since I only moved my head, so she told me she’d go home and “get Greg” and be right back. Turns out her house was right up the block. She called “Greg” from her cell phone and he met her outside with blankets and gloves.
I was still laying there when they came back. I was nervous but curious so I ran away across the road – but then turned around to see what they would do. They came after me! Finally, the man knelt down and scooped me up. I was so tired I didn’t fight much. I was put upstairs in the bathroom and the nice lady gave me tuna while the man went and got cat litter and cat food. I was NOT friendly at all, but I liked that every time they came in the room they brought food. I didn’t like having them between me and the door either. Look how skinny I was!
They made an appointment for me to go to the Vet the next day to get checked out. The man is very allergic to cats so the lady was calling everyone she knew to take me. Some already had cats so it depended on my health. The Vet trip was very bad. I was still feeling cruddy but as a semi-feral cat I could really put up a fight.
They guessed me to be around two years old and I was 3-4lbs underweight. My blood work showed I have FIV. The lady and man knew that no one with cats would be able to take me and that a shelter would put me to sleep. Still, they called and called and tried hard to find me a home. Lucky for me, after a couple of days they had fallen in love and decided to keep me! Yup, I got a “forever home!”
They scheduled my snip snip (I was not neutered) for two weeks later after I’d gained a little weight and was feeling better. I had conjunctivitis in both eyes, a double ear infection, tapeworms and was starving. The humans had to wrap me up like a burrito and squirt stuff in my eyes and ears daily. I really put up a fight over that. I scratched and bit like crazy. I was also put on antibiotics in my food.
When I went in for my snip snip, I was christened with my name. My humans love classic rock and they had decided to call me Hendrix after the guitar god Jimi Hendrix. But the Vet Tech came out and called “Mr. Hendrix” and so it was. They spent the extra money having my surgery done with lasers so there would be no stitches for me to chew on. There was no way I’d tolerate a cone.
As a semi-feral kitty I was not ready to be let loose in the house. I was moved from the bathroom to a large dog cage (with litterbox and food) and a spare room. I had to stay in the cage when the humans were gone, but when they were home they took turns coming into the room with food or toys – I was not a cat that wanted to be petted, but I liked chasing the string and feather toys and loved loved loved the food. I still thank Bast for the patience of my humans. Many others would have given up on me since I was not a “normal” cat.
After a couple of weeks, they started leaving the bedroom door open when they were home. I didn’t want to come down so they called me “King of the Stairs.” I oversaw the goings on in the house from my perch on the top step. I got used to the sounds of all the electronics (radio and TV) and carpets and floors. The lady started leaving food and water at the bottom of the stairs to try and coax me down. I would come down when no one was watching, eat real quick and run back upstairs. I loved to play so the humans started teasing me with feather toys at the base of the stairs. I started coming down more and since I was not destructive, and I didn’t get up on things or climb the curtains, I was allowed out at night when the humans slept behind a closed door. I still preferred sleeping upstairs in “my room.”
Skipping ahead to the week before Christmas... Since the Man is allergic I was never supposed to be allowed on the couches or the bedroom. Well, try keeping a kitty off the sofa once it discovers how comfortable they are! So, after weeks of shooing me off and even putting sticky tape on them, I finally wore the Man down. He officially threw in the towel when they came down from the upstairs office and saw how cute and comfy I looked!
My first Christmas was wonderful! I got tons of toys, a new scratching post and of course treats. I didn’t climb the tree but loved laying under it.
Although I’d never made a mess outside my litterbox, it became obvious over the next few months that there was something wrong with my tummy. I got constipated and had diarrhea a lot. The Vet would switch my food, give me antibiotics and the cycle continued. Finally I was diagnosed with IBD. It took many Vet trips and green papers to get me healthy after being outside with no meds or healthy foods for so long.
In the meantime, I was getting more comfortable in my home. I was even letting the humans pet me (only on the head, chin and back) and purring. I was no snuggler though. I didn’t want to sit on them or lay next to them and to this day do NOT want to be held. I was learning to trust my “mommy and daddy.” My mommy just adored me and learned fast. I am her first kitty (she grew up with dogs). Daddy had cats growing up (yes, he is allergic, but over time builds up a tolerance) so he knew how to play with me and pet me really good.
I was even making advances to being allowed in the bedroom. I would sneak in every chance I could. Finally I was allowed in to look out the window, but was NOT allowed on the bed. Can you all see where this is going? Why is this important? Because it shows how much my daddy loves me. After six months of allergy meds and basically being stuffy and snarfy all the time, he started letting me on the bed. How did this happen?
In May 2005 I got really sick. It was a terrible IBD flare up and I had to be rushed to the VET and hooked up to IVs. I was terribly constipated and very ill. They weren’t sure I would make it. It was a horrible day.
When I was finally able to go home the next day, the first thing I did was run into the bedroom and hop up on the bed. I flopped down and went to sleep. Mommy pretended she didn’t see me so she wouldn’t have to shoo me off. She stayed home from work to care of me. When daddy got home, she explained where I was and that he should pretend he didn’t see me on the bed or I would think I was allowed up there. When mommy came in, she found daddy and me laying next to each other on the bed. I’ve been allowed up there ever since.
After this incident, my food changed again to a nice high vitamin (for my FIV) and hypo-allergenic food (for my IBD). I am now also on an immune stimulator that gets added to my food daily.
To quickly cover my story from May 2005 to now, I am a healthy 12.7lbs, have clear healthy gold eyes and a shiny House Panther coat. I started as a “snuggle burglar” who would only snuggle with the beans at night (that is right, I wore them down and now sleep on the bed!) and now lay next to daddy while he watches sports and plays Wii. I lay on mommy’s lap while she reads or helps me blog and my purr motor runs like crazy. I am a well fed, well loved, happy indoor only kitty. I haven’t been sick in years!
The important thing to take away from this is that although I am an FIV+ cat, I am living a healthy full life. You’d never know I was FIV+ except my bloodwork says so. Also, my IBD was managed completely once I found the perfect food so no issues there. As a semi-feral cat, even without the FIV, I would have been euthanized at the shelter, BUT with the patience and love of my humans, I am a snuggly, playful furry family member. The only humans who can tell I was a semi-feral are the Vets and Vet Techs.
I make crazy wildcat noises there and can slice and dice them like a good surgeon. I have to be gassed to be examined. Heh heh heh. I blame my evil alter ego Bendrix for that behavior. After all, I’m not the one who jumps up on the counters and piano where I am NOT allowed. I’m not the one who plays “bed mice” with my bean’s feet at 3AM, I’m to sweet. It has to be Bendrix!
All kitties (and doggies) deserve a chance to be loved. Don’t give up on us because we are a little “different.” Bring us breakfast in bed on cold winter mornings. You’ll find yourself well rewarded for your patience (and service)! I hope you’ll come visit me at my blog to read all of my (and Bendrix’s) adventures and realize that I am just as good as any other cat.
Mr. Hendrix and his owners (oh yeah and that evil alter ego Bendrix!) run Mr. Hendrix The Kitty, a blog all about Mr. Hendrix's wild adventures!