Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Romeo on a Snow Day, March 7, 2018

I have a bad habit of not posting about my animal friends until they have died. That's not the case today.

Romeo was one of three pets that we inherited from our next-door neighbor when she went into the hospital and never came out again back in September 2011. Romeo had been one of four cats she had owned: Tinker, Baby Boy, Romeo, and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet were longhairs, Romeo, a bright ginger, and Juliet, a deep, dark brown. Tinker, a plump Calico, had a habit of running away from home. One day he ran away and never came back. The other three cats also ran away on a regular basis, but usually came back home. Baby Boy once somehow wound up in the ceiling of our basement, years before we took him in. Juliet ran away and never came back, as far as anyone knew; when our neighbor's sister was having the house made fit for human habitation after her sister checked into the hospital, the workers found her mummified corpse amidst the junk on her back porch. Whether she came back there to die or somehow got trapped there and starved to death, I do not know.

Romeo had also run away at the time we took the neighbor to the hospital. But he didn't run far, and I frequently saw him lurking in her back yard. When we decided to take in Hershey and Baby Boy, we also brought Romeo over.

Romeo was covered with ticks, huge, tan things, maybe the size of match heads, maybe the size of corn kernels. I carefully plucked them off, one at a time, and stuck them to pieces of tape, which I then folded over to encase them while allowing for inspection. Perhaps as a consequence of this, Romeo developed a nasty case of intestinal worms.

It was while Romeo was being treated for these worms that we made an important discovery. Romeo had been a nasty, disagreeable cat after we took him in. He would often hiss and swat at the other cats whenever they tried to eat. I warned the vet about Romeo's disposition so they would not be surprised when they began treating him. Instead, Romeo started to purr as they handled him, and rolled around in near-ecstasy during the examination. Romeo wasn't being nasty; he was being insecure. He wanted to be the center of attention, not just another cat in the house.

Lately, Romeo has been showing signs of wanting to try to get out of the house. This concerns us, mainly because a desire to run off and hide comes upon some animals when they are nearing death. Romeo is up in age, sixteen or older. He shows no signs of illness, but cats are good at hiding these things.

Today, I found Romeo gazing out the front window at the falling snow. I grabbed my camera and snapped off a few photos. Even though the snowstorm didn't live up to the dire predictions locally, it at least made a pretty backdrop for these photos on a Snow Day.

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