Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rambo - The Misnamed Cat

This is a story about Rambo, our beautiful cat that passed on at the age of 16.
Rambo came into our lives quite unexpected one day. I was out at the store with my twin boys while my husband was at home with our youngest son. Walking down the street on our way home we saw that Grandma’s car was parked in front of our house. Always happy to see Grandma, the twins went running ahead of me bursting through the front door to greet her. As I entered all I could hear were squeals of delight. There sitting on the couch was my husband and in his arms was a tiny ball of gray fur. In unison the twins looking at me said, “Can we keep him, can we can keep him”? I looked at my mother in law while she then explained that her sister’s cat had had kittens and if we didn't want the kitten she would take him home. Thinking to myself yeah-right, like that’s going to happen, you bring a kitten into a house that has three children who want a pet, how can I possibly say no we do not want him.

The Saga Continues

The next day we went out and bought all the fun and essential items we needed for our new family member. When it came to choosing a name we thought long and hard about it. My mother in law had said that this kitten would be a very large cat as his father was a Maine Coon. I took this to heart and based my name pick on this information. My choice was Rambo thinking it would be suitable for a large cat, and the fact that I really liked all the Rambo movies with Sylvester Stallone aided in my choice. Everyone put a piece of paper into a box with the name that they would like for our new furry friend. The winner was of course Rambo as you can see by the title of this story. Little did I realize at the time that this little kitten that I thought would grow into a 25-pound cat hit his max weight at 11 pounds, and most of his life was 9 pounds. It’s no wonder people would laugh at me when I would tell them his name.

The Case Of Mistaken Identity

Rambo was an indoor cat. The reason for this being he was allergic to everything from grass and soil to fresh air. If he went outside he would react terribly loosing half of his fur, and would be itchy all over. Our veterinarian put him on steroids to help with all of his allergies.
One day Rambo got outside. Worried we all searched the neighborhood, looking in backyards, calling him and asking all the people we met along the way if they had seen a small gray cat. The next morning I was on the phone calling the local Animal Shelter to see if he had maybe been picked up. My heart sank when they told me that a gray longhaired cat had been brought in that morning that had been struck by a car. At the time we only had one vehicle and it was with my husband at work. I called for a cab and went to the SPCA. As I looked at this cat tears were welling up in my eyes when I saw what had happened to this poor animal. His face was badly damaged from being hit by the car. Not sure of how much damage to the rest of his body he had incurred, I called my husband at work and asked him to pick me up, as we needed to get Rambo to the Vet’s immediately. Our regular vet was on holidays so we had to take Rambo to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic. While examining our cat the Vet asked why we had never had him neutered. Al, my husband and I looked at each other with much surprise. “He has been neutered “ I replied.
“Well this cat has everything he was born with.” Are you sure this is your cat”?
“It is hard to tell from his face, but otherwise it looks like our cat.” Looking more closely we realized that no this was not our cat. This cat was a bit larger in size by about eight pounds. We asked the vet what do we do now. He told us that he could give him pain medication, antibiotics, and that we'd have to take him home, since we brought him in. He suggested we take the cat back to the SPCA the next day, and they would either keep the cat until he was claimed, or they would have the cat put down. Al and I felt terrible thinking that this poor animal may have to be destroyed, but we could not afford to have the surgery done on this cat that needed to be done to restore his face and fix his broken bones. With much hope the cat’s family would find him at the shelter and be able to arrange the proper care the cat needed. We paid the vet bill, carefully put the cat into the car, and that night we made the cat as comfortable as possible in our bedroom with a bed made out of blankets.
In the morning while checking to make sure that the cat was alive and still comfortable I heard “meow, meow, meow” loudly coming from outside. I opened the kitchen door and in dashed Rambo heading straight to his food bowl. After welcoming him home I called the SPCA to explain my situation about the cat I had picked up from them the previous day. They understood how I could have mistaken the cat as mine and they sent over one of their vans to pick up the cat.
I always hope when I think of that cat, that his owners claimed him, and he lived to have a happy and full life.
I have many other stories about Rambo but this one always sticks out in my mind.

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Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have. Thank you so much. Susan

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