Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The post about Eli
Eli came to me in a litter of fosters in the first year I was fostering. It was probably August of 2002. I had a mother cat and she came with four kittens. Turned out not all of the kittens were hers.. I ended up taking seven more orphans shortly afterwards, and through a series of events that I am not going to get into here, I ended up adopting Muffin and Eli.. I do not know why it is Muffin and Eli.. but it always has been. Kinda like when you are a kid and your presents come from 'mom and dad'.. So I consider Muff 'older' than Eli, hence his post being first (since again I'm working in reverse order here)
Eli started out life as a very normal very happy kitten.
But that above mentioned series of events, left him quite vulnerable and he got several cases of URI as a kitten and he did NOT like being medicated. I was so new to medicating kittens, that I'm sure I bungled it more times than I care to even pretend to admit, simply adding to the problem. He actually got calcivirus, and had blisters in his mouth so badly that his whole tongue was all blister at one point. He came very close to dying that Thanksgiving, and spent that weekend at the vet clinic being cared for. As a result of all of this, he ended up with two blocked tear ducts and a huge fear of people. Part of me wonders now if I had sent him on to a new home if he would have learned to trust new people, but I feared for him and wanted to make sure he had a good life, even if he wanted nothing to do with me.
His blocked tear ducts made his life VERY complicated. Because of them he had a lot of debris on his face constantly as well as backing up into his ears. I would often have to sneak up on him, and get a tight grip and clean his ears out for him to make sure he could continue to hear. At one point I talked to a vet and we did a 'tear duct flush' hoping to remove some of that scar tissue and make life easier for him, but it was unsuccessful. The holistic vet who worked at the clinic suggested laser therapy, and twice a week for several months I would sneak up on him, catch him, load him up and bring him in and he would get laser. It helped a great deal, his ears stopped being so disgusting and full of gunk. As he started feeling better, Eli seriously started protesting the being caught aspect of this treatment, so I put a stop to it.
Years went by, and I could tell he had long ago forgotten why he ran when he saw us move, but just knew he had to. I had learned about Rescue Remedy about that time, and thought what the heck. I dosed his food, and dosed him when I could (dropping a few drops on his back). Soon I could see him giving himself those few extra seconds before running, trying to decide if I really was a threat. I could then walk into the room with out his running. Then I could walk across the room as long as I wasn't walking in his general direction, and then I could walk in his general direction as long as I wasn't making eye contact nor reaching for him.. His life improved DRAMATICALLY! After a while I stopped seeing continued improvement and figured that it had done all it could for him. I was glad he was more relaxed, but sad we didn't have a good relationship.
Then one winter he discovered his greatest and best love ever.. something he loves beyond reason, beyond fear.. something he just adores and will put up with me and my husband to get. Static. yes, that 'I walked across a carpet and shocked the living daylights out of myself' static.. He LOVES it. it cries for it starting as soon as the weather starts getting cool (long before it will actually happen) and keeps crying for it all winter and spring, and used to get upset with us when it stopped happening - like it was our fault. Often I will pat him in the dark and generate static on him, and you can watch it light up like fireflies. (or when you chew a wintergreen lifesaver in the dark) I am hoping one of these days to get a video of it, but it will require that not only Eli and I are available in the dark, but a third party to do the filming (or generating the static while I film)
So his love of static (yes, he is weird, I know this) and time have helped him understand that we can be trusted and sometime after he turned ten he willingly put paw on my leg for the first time. I nearly cried. When I looked up one day a few months later and he was sitting on my leg all on his own (he would sit there if I picked him up and put him there and continued to pat him) I announced to the world my joy.. now he's 12 and he regularly comes into bed and plops himself down between my husband and I and presents his belly for rubbin. He has all that time to make up for.
Eli also has the nickname Squeaky, because he does not meow.. he makes a odd little squeaking noise. He also responds to his name.. when he walks into a room we call "SQUEAKY!" and he squeaks back at us..
He also really REALLY likes his nip..