This month, my furbabies and I will celebrate special annifursaries.
December 6th marks one year since I was charmed into adopting a fast-moving, hearty-eating, loud-purring little purrvert that would be christened Harley Dude. He has gained about seven or eight pounds in that year, but not lost any of his craziness.
And even though he has destroyed my sofa, broken a vase or two, and run across my boobs in the middle of the night--more than once--I adore him and can't imagine life without him.
December 12th will mark a wonderful 10 years with my beauty girl, Millennium Joy. Those of you who have only started following my blog this year don't know, but last year, shortly after our 9th annifursary, Millie got really sick and spent three days in the animal hospital, hooked up to an IV tube. She was dehydrated, not eating, not cleaning herself, and showing signs of lethargy. I know my girl and her behaviors, so it didn't take long to realize that something was very wrong.
I spent a weekend crying and worrying. I happened to have a Chorale gig with the symphony. I thought people would just roll their eyes when they found out my red eyes were caused by worry for my cat, but it turns out that the Chorale is made up of cat people. I had more hugs and promises of prayers that weekend than I ever would have dreamed of getting for a cat.
In the end, the diagnosis was pancreatitis--which can be fatal in pets. I spent two weeks watching every move Millie made, and terrified that I'd go to work one morning, only to come home in the afternoon to find Millie dead. It was terrifying and stressful. But slowly, my sweet girl started feeling better. The vomiting stopped. The meds stayed down (though she HATED me for shoving them down her throat twice a day). Her litter box started filling up again, and her food dish going down. On her first night home from the hospital, I nearly cried when I watched her wash herself--it was a sign that she wasn't giving up, even though she didn't feel well.
Recently, I sat with Mom, watching Millie and Harley interacting with Bella and Duchess. Scratching Millie's back, I looked at Mom and murmured, "I love this cat. I can't tell you how much I love this cat. I love Harley, too, of course, but the bond I have with Millie is much older, and therefore stronger."
Millie came to me in 1999--a crazy, wonderful year. After a horrible falling out with several friends in fall 1998, I jetted off to London for the spring semester of 1999. It changed my life--my whole perspective on the world was changed. When I returned, I was a different Meg than the one who left in January. I needed to live on my own for a change, without roommates and distractions. Mom and Dad, however, recognized that I needed some companionship, and surprised me that Christmastime with the shelter baby that would become Millennium Joy. She has been everywhere with me since then--except, of course, England--and she has seen me through many highs and lows. I can even credit her with keeping me going through anxiety and depression.
So yes, I celebrate annifursaries. Maybe it's silly. Maybe you, reading this, are rolling your eyes and thinking, "They're just cats." No, they're not. They're family, and on December 12th, 1999, and December 6th, 2008, I made the same promise to two spunky little kittens: that I would love them, take care of them, and keep them safe for their whole lives.
Even when they throw up on me in bed, or scratch the hell out of my couch.
The bottom line is that Millie and Harley have given me ten times what I've given them.
Happy Annifursary to my sweet furbabies!
Millie, on the night she got home from the hospital. She was so tired.
Sharing the Sweet Spot.
Home from the hospital, to find that the new little snotwad is still hanging around.
Awww, sharing is caring!
Helping me decorate for Christmas this year...by staying out of my way!