Fred was a cat. She was about 17 when we had to say goodbye. She was a good cat, a great hunter, and a royal pain in the ass. Here is her story.
It was 1984 when Linda Hunt, single mom with 2 teenagers started building a house. With the help of her brother-in-law and his cronies and her dad they finally finished the house in1986. It was about this time that I came down the road and Linda’s and my romance began. Shortly after this, daughter Lisa came home from school and said, “Mom, you remember you said I could have a cat after you got the house built” “Well here it is, this is Fred.” She went on to say that Fred was definitely a boy and when he is older we can have him fixed.
Kittens are cute and Fred made himself at home and rapidly became one of the family. Shortly after the arrival of Fred brother Chris came home with his “promised” snake. But that’s another story for another time. Fred made himself at home and everyone love Fred except for this one quirk. Fred would jump up on your lap and of course you would start petting him. He world purr and you would think he is going to sleep. When all of sudden he would jump up and bite you and leave. He never broke the skin and continued the quirk until he died.
Fred’s biggest downfall was, like most cats, he liked to hide. So, a couple of times he got locked in one of the kids bedrooms. And when he wanted out he wanted out. There was no one in the house to open the door so Fred tried his best to get out. He scratched at the door and clawed at the carpet to no avail. When the door was finally opened tempers flared! Fred was banished from the house!
About 3 months later I was at the house romancing when I noticed that Fred looked funny. Upon close examination I figured out 2 things; 1) Fred is a girl and 2) Fred is pregnant. Needless to say the whole house was in a tizzy. Lisa assured Linda that she would find homes for the kittens. And Linda relented that Fred could have the kittens in the house with everyone promising to never lock Fred in a closed room. Fred soon delivered 4 kittens and they were soon playing all over the house.
Before Lisa could find homes for all the kittens I guessed it was time to have Fred “fixed” a hysterectomy if you will. We took Fred to Dr. Tom Reed at Bargersville for the surgery and he reported that Fred had 5 embryos and was recovering well. Come get her in the morning. Fred recovered and was soon put outside forever. And for the next 16 years she tried to get in the house every time a door was opened.
Fred stayed on the front porch mostly and we had a dog crate for her to sleep in. She ate and drank on the porch and almost every day left a souvenir of her hunting prowess. There were mouse heads, mouse gall bladders, half eaten chipmunk and even a very small weasel. Fred ruled the neighborhood for several years.
We got new neighbors and with them came several kittens. As the kittens became full grown cats they started eating Fred’s food. Fred would let them have it but sometimes a cat fight would ensue. The feeding the neighbors cats soon became a nuisance and I stared a campaign of re-homing the neighbor’s cats. It only took about a week and the neighborhood cat population was under control. Fred was back in control. However one day I noticed Fred had huge lump on the side of her face.
I took Fred to Dr. Reed and he said it was an infection probably from a cat fight. I left Fed there and Dr. Reed lanced the infection and kept her overnight. I picked her up the next day and he said to keep her inside for 2 weeks and gave me antibiotics to give her every day. Have you ever given a cat a pill? You can’t hide in their food or treats. You have to “simply” poke it down their throat hopefully not losing any fingers.
When I got Fred home I put her in a large dog crate in the garage with some water to drink when she woke up from her stupor. Evening came and Fred was still zonked out but I did put a dish of cottage cheese in with her so when she came to and was hungry she could eat a little. Lights out, bed time.
Next morning after a cup of coffee and time to let the dogs out I went to the garage and opened the door and turned on the light and looked down and Fred is still out of it. But, there is something in the crate with her. I step down into to garage and went to her crate and there were 2 dead mice. The mice must have come after the cottage cheese and Fred came out of her stupor just enough to kill them and then go back to sleep.
Wow, no one is ever going to believe this. What to do? Contrary to my best judgement I went and woke up Linda with get up you have to come see this. So an unhappy wife followed me thru the house to the garage and I open the door and said, look! Look at what she replied. Look at Fred’s crate.
Needless to say she was speechless for a bit. I didn’t think to take a picture but I do have a witness. Fred recovered from her surgery and lived a couple more years until she could no longer defend herself. So we decided it was time to say goodbye. Fred was aa great cat as far as cat are concerned. Believe it or not I still miss old Fred.
Thanks for listening,
The Crotchety Old Man
Edited and approved by Linda