Today’s guest post comes from Zibou, Lulu, Ratso and their human family:
Zibou was 5 days old the day she and her twin, Lulu, moved into my heart.
She is 21 years and nearly 3 months old today.
She was born on February 20th, 1995 in Karachi, Pakistan where my then husband, Pooh, and I were living. She was the tiny underfed kitten of a of litter of two.
A Pakistani street cat’s life expectancy was of approximately one to one and a half year. They must survive the lack of fresh water, mice, good care and potential stray dogs attacks.
To choose one over the other kitten meant letting the second one face certain death. Pooh and I decided they would keep each other company (to be fully honest, Pooh said “Zibou will be Lulu’s toy”. As if…)
We had decided to wait until their mama – a thin impetuous tabby cat – would have finished their waening but one day we realized that the mother had been accidentally separated from them so we immediately took them in.
That’s why and how baby Lulu and Zibou moved into our home : blind, hardly no fur, their skin almost translucid…
One must imagine a town with only one vet cab, no pet shop, no specific food, no nothing… We purchased a baby bottle in which we had to insert a straw in the teat to fit their weeny mouths. We fed them with formula milk every 4 hours.
Soon enough, we potty trained them; taught them to lap up, to clean themselves (they grew a real passion for the bath tub or the shower!). There was no cat food available, so I cooked meat and fish for them but we very often had to “stimulate” them as it did not seem to taste that great for their delicate palate… instead, they became fond of cucumbers, melon, yogurt or “romek”, the local cheez whiz. Later on, in France, they would always prefer green beans to steamed fish…
There was no cat litter so we used cheap rice for their pipi boxes.
6 months later, we found another kitten. Ratso was a loud baby with a scarred nose and a crocked spine. We immediately fell in love with him.
Having two or three cats meant the same logistic approach, and it was fun to have a real cat with 100% kitty behavior when Zib and Lulu were a bit “humanized”
We have been blessed with three wonderful happy and loving cats. We have found memories of gecko chases, cockroach chewing, racing and sliding in the long marbled hall, of playing “Tarzan” in the curtains… and when we returned to France, they added the sacking of the fridge.
Ratso was the first one to cross Rainbow Bridge, in 2004. He had a chronic kidney insufficiency. We helped him from October 2003 till July 2004. We helped him to go the day we knew he was in pain.
Lulu left, one sad morning of June 2009, quite unexpectedly.
I remember that when we adopted them, Pooh and I thought “we will be on our 40ies when they pass away, we will be grown ups, we will know how to cope with the unavoidable sadness”. That is bullshit. We are never ready and it is always too early…
Zibou suffered a stroke heat when she was one. Dr Pirzada, her Pakistani vet saved her. She’s plagued with arthosis since she turned 9. She had two sarco-fibroma surgeries at 17 and 18. She turned blind at 20. But this amazing princess has overcome everything. She has learnt to “whisker” her way through the house and garden and knows how to get fresh water or any thing she needs from us.
Earlier this year she had two heart strokes. It made me realize that each new day with her is a gift.
Her life is clearly behind us.
Today, she sleeps slightly more and I know her heart is tired. However, she’s as healthy as can be and and lives a sweet happy life.
Tending for a vulnerable blind cat sends me back to her early days… She is the discreet witness of a whole part/span of my life.
Her vet once told me that the love she gets is essential to her willingness to stick around. I must confess how much I cherish this idea…
Thank you for reading their story don’t forget to email us if you’d like to have your own story featured.
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