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Breda the Cat

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

This all started with a bladder infection.

The smaller of our two cats, Cloud, got a bladder infection that caused him to start piddling on the dining room floor. We got the infection cleared up, but the piddling remained. We tried everything, and even tried giving him to Squeaky, who eventually found that he was piddling on her carpet, as well. She sent him out to live on the family farm of her fiance, where he is currently chasing bugs and birds and having the time of his floor-piddling life outside.

But we still had Abigail, the Maine Coon we adopted shortly after getting married. Cloud, always aggressive and feisty, had always driven the more antisocial Abby nuts. We found that not having a second cat was even worse, though, in that she constantly cried for attention after being at home alone all day.

Obviously, we needed a second cat in the house. Our preference was for a more laid-back feline that wouldn’t terrorize Abby, while still providing company to keep her from driving us insane. I’d had Himalayan cats growing up, and my experience had shown that long-haired cats tended to avoid the psychopathy of tabbies.

Last Sunday, headed home from lunch after church, we stopped at a whim at PetSmart to see what they had up for adoption.

We found a long-haired cat with the name “Symphony” on the cage. She seemed very lethargic, but was a pretty cat. When the volunteer noticed our interest, she pulled the near-limp cat out of the cage and handed her to MrsWhitebread, whereupon the cat started purring. It was only then that we noticed that Symphony didn’t have a front right leg.

The volunteer explained that she had been found limping along with her right leg drawn close to her body, and a shattered canine tooth which was badly infected. An x-ray determined that the right elbow had shattered into pieces, rendering the leg unusable, and that this injury appeared to have occured early in the approximated two year life of the cat. Our theory is that she fell or was thrown from a tall distance, which broke her leg and shattered the tooth on the same side.

The pet rescue program paid for the operation to remove the useless leg and infected tooth completely from privately donated funds, which must have cost a fortune. The surgery took place on April 1st, and “Symphony” seemed to have made a full recovery.

Almost from the moment she was first handed to us, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that this would be the cat we would take home. We filled out the paperwork, bought a carrier and bed, and set the cat inside. She immediately plopped down in the same position we had found her in, completely exhausted.

She was very skittish and tired easily when we got her home, which caused me to worry that she might be in a great deal of discomfort and might not ever really be happy. The last week, however, has been a series of pleasant surprises about her ability and her attitude. This is a seriously happy little cat. She doesn’t appear to be in any pain, even when being picked up, is constantly affectionate, and has even started playing. (How does a three-legged cat chase a ball across the carpet? I can’t explain it, but it involves scooting and is absolutely hilarious. Video soon.)

We named her Breda, with Breda‘s permission.

Her health seems excellent. She is mildly overweight, which is not surprising considering her inactivity in the month following the surgery and the wet food they were feeding her. Now that she is playing and eating dry food, I’m sure that she will trim up a little bit.

Anyway. Pictures:

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