Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Cat Named Luke

This blog started out as a series of email exchanges between our friend Lea Jacobs in Columbus and me. But she writes with such humor and animation I asked her if I could turn her emails into a blog. It’s been on the shelf for a time now (she met Luke and The Boys when they were at the Meet and Greet in Mount Vernon, Ohio), but it’s still a funny piece. and the story still continues. We hope you enjoy it! Here’s Lea’s story of "A Cat Named Luke."

Part I

So I arrived home today a little late from the Wolf Run Bark Park Meet and Greet, and with a new addition (which is the story). Today I went up to Mount Vernon to meet Luke. Who in the world walks from Austin to Boston, I wanted to know? Really, who would do that and why... and actually stick to it? You see, I tripped upon the 2dogs200miles site just shortly after he left and I have been tracing his progress since. To be honest, I was looking for him to disappear — quit. I was amazed every time he made it another leg of the journey.

OK, enough of the lead in. So today I went up to Mount Vernon to finally meet this person. I brought my Corgis, The Girls, and promised them a walk. It had been a long week at work. After sitting, visiting with and listening to Luke, meeting (being slobbered and leaned on by) Hudson and briefly meeting the ADD Murphy, I followed through on my promise. Off we went. How does the overlook trail sound, I asked them? 12 mile views. So off we go. We are about a mile in when we meet a family walking out with their Bernese mountain dog. They stop, say hi and then give a disclaimer about the cat that is following them ... it is not theirs, they say. They think it was dumped.

The cat. Now my disclaimer — I am not a cat person. I have one that moved in about 3 years ago but that is another story. Suffice to say her name is Cat. Yes, she is well fed, loved by Libby, one of my Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and cared for. I do like her but I am still not a cat person. Anyhow, I stray. It seems some days I must give off ‘the vibe.’ Hudson decided I was OK. Dang it, so did this cat. It started following me instead. (Can you say sucker?) And it wasn't OK. Weak, meowing, panting. Sheesh! As much as I didn’t want to, I had to do something. So, while I was able to get pretty close to it — in fact it was just inches from me being able to pick it up — I had Libby (who loves cats) and Addy (who more importantly doesn't), so the cat stayed just out of reach.

Cat Divine Intervention... a young couple comes walking by. Yes, they answer me. They will try to pick it up and then hand it to me, and if they succeed I can take it out. They succeed (figures). Again, dang it. Now, with Addy and Libby on leash in my left hand and the cat in my right hand we walk out about a mile. No, it doesn’t struggle or even try to get down. So, I am now finally home. It is in a dog kennel in the garage until I can get it in to the vet. It is fed and watered and sound asleep.

But let me tell you just one more thing. On the drive home (after stopping the second time to clean up the vomit in the cat’s crate), I think to myself — if it is a male cat I am naming him Luke. Well, turns out it’s a female — I am still naming her Luke. So, when you speak to Luke thank him for me. Actually if you could inflect a bit of sarcasm I would appreciate it ! The storms are rolling in tonight so perhaps it was divine intervention for this cat that I went to Mount Vernon today.

Part II

I am still shaking my head.

Luke is much better this morning. Finally peed. (Sorry, I'm a nurse and I base everything on I's & O's (Ins and Outs)). She slept well (thought she would howl) and is actually very content being a kennel cat... but that is the worrying part. What cat do you know who will sit quietly in a kennel? Still, she looks much better so will get her in to the vet this afternoon. One more thing. If you could also mention that she is available for adoption if anyone is interested that would be great. While I will keep her (and shhhhh, love her) if no other home comes along, I really am not looking to.

The way she followed the people with the Bernese mountain dog and then me and mine, I actually think BL (Big Luke) should seriously consider putting some packs on LL (little Luke) and continuing on...

Just a thought.

Part III

Luke is fine. She is a gray/cream tortoise-shell color — notoriously (per the vet but I am not certain whether she was just trying to sell me on her) very sweet. It is amazing what a little food, water, warmth, love and sleep will do. She was a totally different kitten when I arrived home from work. JoAnn (my vet who I love and adore even more so after this visit) gave her a clean bill of health. Shots, wormed, and de-flead ... yes, Luke had fleas. Damn, nothing I hate worse, so everything is in the washer here. Luke is staying the night at the vet’s and getting spayed in the morning. She is about 5-6 months old, thus due in season any time. Cats in season are definitely not my thing. So, back to why I love my vet... all this is on the house. They have funding to pay for indigent care (I am just cracking myself up here). So, not a penny out of pocket. Well, it is not like they don’t make a bundle off me and my dogs .

Fingers crossed for Luke’s surgery tomorrow! She ought to be ready for her backpacks in a few weeks!

Part IV

Here’s the latest from Lea (as of April 26) on the saga of Luke the Cat …

You know, I started off the year saying I was going to downsize my life... not take on projects, extra stuff... Just coast for a while. Yeah, right. Freaking Sunday morning and I am up at quarter to five for a dog show. Work all week. Trying to help with the Bark for Life... plus get supporters and walkers... got tied up now with you crazy people ...

Oh, guess you asked about Luke, not all that other stuff . Fingers (and everything else) crossed she goes in for her second set of shots tomorrow evening and from there goes to her new home. I swear, as I write this, Cat Cat (my cat — yes, that is her name. Did I mention I am NOT a cat person?) is howling and hissing... and Luke is having a blast playing with this mad, snarling, hissing cat. Go figure. (I know I just mentioned I am not a cat person but let me add that all my friends are totally amazed this kitten got a name — even if it is Luke!)

But back to (cat) Luke. If she doesn't leave on Monday, (human) Luke best be checking his back packs.

Do they make backpacks for cats? I’ll have Ginger check.

2 Dogs, 1 Man, 1 Cat, 2000 Miles. Doesn’t have the same ring but it certainly would sell tickets!


Final visit to the vets with Luke. Waiting in the waiting room and visiting with the vet techs. They are telling about the new family and how excited they are. I am thanking God that it is all coming together.

In the door walks Nicholas (age 5) and his mom Leslie. Nicholas walks right up and says hi. Wonderful people. I liked them immediately. BUT, more importantly so did Luke. Luke is now becoming Gigit. She may have an identity crisis but I am certain her new family will get her through it!

Interesting full circle though. Remember I told you all Luke's (now Gigit's) care was covered financially? Well, it was covered by a special fund set up at my vets by an anonomous donor.

This fund was started with a donation from an anonymous woman. She set up the fund in memory of her dog who died from cancer. This fund was set up to help animals in need. I believe one of the driving forces was to provide care for animals especially in a situation where there is a single owner. As a single owner herself, she was concerned that there be a fund that would provide care for her animals should something happen to her.

The first person this fund helped was a woman very ill with cancer. Prior to her passing her neighbors brought in her dog. Secondary to her illness, this dog had been a bit neglected. He needed surgery. This fund helped then, and helped again when the owner passed.

Over the years this fund has helped Gigit and several others. So, I will send out a huge Thank You note to this person and invite her to walk and meet Luke on Saturday. I hope she can come. I would like to meet her too.

Life here is back to normal and Cat-Cat is much happier.

Me, I am exhausted. -- L.

Many thanks to Lea Jacobs for the great story. And thanks to Gigit's new family for the happy ending.

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