It was the summer after I graduated from high school. My best-friend, Christina, and I were making our way to my house one afternoon, and driving down the two-lane highway in our little town we spotted three kittens dart across the road. We pulled over and found the three little fur-balls hiding in some bushes, we scooped them up, and back in the car the five of us continued to my house.
There were two girls and one boy. One of those little girls captured my heart, and she’s held it ever since. Her name is Clover, and she will celebrate her 16th birthday in August.
Clover is the best cat to ever exist. And that’s not bias speaking, she has been praised by countless humans for her sweet personality, her dainty paws, and her overall beauty. She is easy going, and well mannered. In my early twenties I took her with me once to spend the night at Christina’s house. I forgot to bring a litter box, but Clover is resourceful, she just peed over the drain in the bathtub. See? That’s a well mannered feline.
Working in a veterinary hospital inevitably means that your home will be filled with foster animals, and surely the occasional new pet. Clover has always tolerated every litter of kittens, dog and puppy, bunny, guinea pig, bird, and turtle, with grace (and the occasional eye-roll). She has been a great cat for my kids to grow up with. And that is definitely something that makes me really happy; to be able to share my love for Clover with my kids.
Like some mature cats, Clover deals with constipation intermittently, so I have adjusted her diet to ensure that everything exits as it should. She doesn’t appreciate being watched while using the ladies room, so I have to act inconspicuous while she’s doing her business, that way I can check to make sure she’s not straining. I am actively looking into other ways I can help her with this problem through additional diet changes (watch for a post on nutrition soon!).
Last November she suffered a stroke, but she recovered pretty well. Her balance is still a little off; she has a bit of a wobble to her now, but she’s able to get around, jump up on the bed, and wander outside for some sun just fine. I know she’s getting older, but I want her to live forever. Not knowing if she would get better or worse after the stroke was a crushing dose of reality. I’ve always appreciated having my little feline in my life, but now every moment is filled with gratitude that she’s still here with me.
She does have it pretty good. She enjoys home cooked meals, daily naps in the sunshine (when we’ve got it), belly rubs and back massages. If you were a guest in our house, she would welcome you by warming your lap with her presence. And with a little scratch under her chin, you would be serenaded by the most perfect purr. One of my favorite sounds is that cat’s purr. I should record it and sell it on CD. It’s guaranteed to lull you into a peaceful sleep.
So what should I get Clover for her 16th birthday, a cat who has given me so much happiness? She already has a nice cat tree, and food dish. Maybe she’d like a new catnip toy to play with….or a pony. I know she’d be content with some salmon and a sunny day, and feeling as though I’m spoiling her a little extra is mainly just for me, but I hope she understands how much I love her. It’s amazing how much joy our furry kids can fill our heart with.
Lucky Clover, and even luckier me.