Nov. 03, 03
Dude, that Blind Little Kitten
Last fall, about this same time, it was getting pretty cold in
Missouri and I have many cats whom I feed outside. I
noticed a kitten, I didnít recognize as mine, sitting all humped
up as cats do when they are sick or cold.
I thought it was probably wild and I passed by it a few times and
then finally I bent over and picked it up. I quickly determined
he was a little male. His body was just skin and bones and
very little else.
I brought him inside and fixed some warm softened kibble for
him and he ate hungrily. I kept him inside and made sure he
knew where the litter box was, as you would expect to do
for a strange cat brought inside. Later I came to
realize he was blind.
We kept the kitten through the winter and it grew and prospered
into a beautiful yellow/orange tabby tom cat. My husband
would ask "Where is that little dude?" I finally just named him
Dude. It fit for several reasons. (For one thing my husband
could remember his name.) He is no longer little
but he is still that little dude to my husband.
He is a most amazing cat. We have enjoyed him ever so
much. He has such courage and optimism. I am a natural
clutterer and I regularly have to de-clutter my surroundings.
This should be a real difficulty to a blind animal but not to Dude.
He thinks itís an adventure to figure out how to get across
the floor to wherever I am. He rarely falls and though he
doesnít run or leap onto things he still can manage to get
where he wants to go if it is at all possible.
We have three kittens, I have yet to find homes for, and
they treat him like an Uncle Dude. They frequently lay in a
puddle all togetherÖÖsometimes in layers. He never seems to
mind. If they are laying in the floor around me he just treats
them like so much clutter and walks around or over them too.
He isnít afraid of anything, that I know of, and I have to
really carefully watch him around other animals who he may
get too close to for their comfort. I put him outside on a
lightweight nylon rope and he loves it outside. I canít bring
him in for very long in mild weather as he protests.
Now that the Missouri winters are beginning I can only
leave him out for a short time, of course. I let Dude take me
for walks and he really enjoys exploring our large fenced yard.
I keep him on a leash because he can climb
our chain link fence like it was a step ladder.
Dude has now been neutered and we keep his claws clipped
and brush his coat a lot. He has a full thick coat and a beautiful
plume for a tail the very tip end which is white. I have other
yellow tabby cats but he is the only one with a white tail tip.
I am frequently glad to be able to quickly distinguish him from
the others this way.
Sent in by: Sue Landis
Dogs and Cats With Bladder Stones
Seems like we've had a ton of letters lately from dogs and cats
who have developed bladder stones and crystals in their
So Tippy and Alfred got busy and developed a special web
page that will tell you exactly why stones and crystals form,
and what you can do to prevent them.
Actually it's pretty easy to prevent, once you understand why
they form in the first place.
Here's the links:
Why Bladder Stones Form
All About Bladder Stones in Dogs and Cats
For long time readers, you will remember that
developed bladder stones on two different occasions.
Actually, it was because of Tippy's second surgery, where
she almost died on us, that got us to seriously begin researching
what was going on with her health.
Out of all that came the two pet newsletters and our
current lives helping pets. You can read Tippy's story from
the second link above.
PS: Tippy got in trouble this evening! She's such a good dog
and hardly ever gets into trouble, but the woman of the
house left some garbage out on the sidewalk for the
teenager of the house to burn tonight.
Teenager went out on a date with girl friend and neglected
to burn the trash before he left. Inside the trash were some
remains from Kentucky Fried Chicken.
About an hour ago I went outside to check on Tippy
and the horses, and she had the bag of garbage ripped
open, papers scattered all over the front sidewalk, and
was licking the now empty box. We never, ever allow
her to have chicken bones, so when the woman of
the house and teenage son get home later, they may
end up spending the night in the dog house instead of Tippy....
(Actually Tippy sleeps at night on the couch upstairs or
on the floor in front of my bed)
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