My poor boy was so skinny, covered in sticking burrs, and had (shudder) ticks. I could feel that his hip bones were jutting up. Of course he was filthy. He was sneezing, and the insides of his ears? Truly disgusting.
He went missing August 30, and I didn’t get him back until September 17. He had a hard time of it, but again proved he is a survivor.
I rang our vet immediately and got an appointment for Saturday. Two days to wait! I also bought him a harness, a heating pad, and set up the shed properly with a cat bed and litter box. I still had to go to work from 10-6, and he would have to be locked in when I wasn’t home. No way was I risking him going for another wander.
Big Guy and I spent every moment possible when I was home on my lap, sitting together in the shed, with his harness on – just in case. He growled at my husband if he came out when we were together. BigGuy didn’t have a problem with being fed by him when I wasn’t home. Protective of me? Was I the safe place? A bit of each? I’ll never be sure.
When we went to the vet it was a different experience in Covid-19 times. I was allowed to go in with him. He got a lengthy ear cleaning as he had a raging, smelly ear infection (I wasn’t that close, and masked so am grateful I didn’t get the smell). We did a parasite treatment for the ticks, antibiotics for the cold along with ear drops. I also got him microchipped.
“So, I guess we have three cats now?” My husband said on the way home.
I now had a gardening buddy! It was nice to have someone hanging out with me when I pottered about. He was very calm, as he wasn’t feeling well for a long while – both before and after the vet visit.
He met Lumi through the sliding glass door. It went well! Lumi loves excitement, and other cats. BigGuy didn’t seem to care much about Lumi. He kept calm and observed. He also met the dog while he was on my lap, and she was interested but walked away when I said ‘leave it.’ BG seemed to instantly understand that she was not a threat.
Before long, hubby was sending me pictures at lunch, and updates, and best of all? iDJ was getting huge nose-bumps. Boom! That was all it took for my man to also fall in love with BigGuy.
He was healing, and learning his new territory.
He was also very unhappy when I went inside without him! So… I let him in, of course. He was and is my White Shadow, and I wanted to see what happened.
He was great inside. He ignored Lumi yelling curses at him, ignored the dog, ignored Lokii freaking out with hisses and growls.
He did pee on our bed, and twice on Lokii’s pillow I leave in front of the fireplace so his cold Siamese bones can be warmed. All easily resolved with doing extra laundry and proper animal-pee spray cleaners. After his third day of venturing inside, he never did it again.
He now feels fantastic and doesn’t like me putting the harness on him! So he doesn’t go out much now – and who would want to, in a wet and windy Irish winter? When he does, I stay right by his side and he gets spooked by the sounds of the neighbours on either side, and wants right back in where it is safe. I might have some difficulty when the weather is better, but for now he hasn’t been outside in over two weeks and doesn’t miss it.
Who wouldn’t love being well-fed all the time and cuddles and play with a lunatic Bengal, and humans who cover you up to see if you like it? (He does)
He is SO DAMN SMART. He really thinks things through, and solves problems with kindness and love instead of violence and growling. When he wants me to get up – always after my alarm has gone off – he makes biscuits on me, purring like mad. If he wants food, or play, he makes his little trill ‘mrrrp?’ and we can’t resist.
He loves to play! His favourite game is chase. It worries Lumi a bit as that is a new game for him. But I play it just fine! He will hide in plain sight, clearly in hunting, butt-wiggle position, and I get to jump out at him. Or he jumps out at me! He has never clawed us, not once. And those huge paws are equipped with razors. He’s so gentle and tells us if he doesn’t want something by popping up in the air on his hind legs, but never scratching. It is such an amazing treat, getting to know him.
My favourite picture of him so far. And we have a lot!