Friday, January 25, 2013

The Jaro Cat

I am a cat person.  When I was born my parents had Clio. She was a very smart black kitty with a hoarse meow. My parents had to move her across the country and apparently she meowed the entire way in the cargo area on the plane and her voice was never the same.

The first cat that I picked out was a little tabby from the barn where I went to ride horses.  I named him Toto because at the time The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie.  Toto also became known as "tripod" because he lost one of his back legs in a very unfortunate accident.  It was during the winter in Michigan and he used to climb into car engines to get warm.  Well, our neighbor turned on the engine when he was in it and he lost his leg and a few toes on his other back foot. I remember walking home from school that day and seeing blood on the snow leading to our house. Luckily, he ran straight home and my mom was able to rush him to the vet. Our veterinarian, Dr. McClure did an amazing job saving his life.  When my mom told me what happened I replied "well, that's okay, his leg will grow back."  I was eight.  I still remember when he came home from the vet. We would have to carry him up and down the stairs at first and he would get these phantom pains where his leg used to be.  He recovered and proceeded to run (hop) around the neighborhood at astonishing speeds--no joke.  He lived to be nine before he got hit by a car...that was a very sad day.

We also had Godzilla...a stray that picked us when I was a teenager. My dad insisted on the name. I still remember him saying "you promised that I could name the next cat Godzilla." Godzilla had a knack for getting stuck in live traps and garages around the neighborhood.  If he did not come home at night we would walk around to everyone's garage to see if he was meowing inside. He was one of our sweetest kitties and luckily we had him around for 17 years.

Along with Godzilla we also had Fiona. She was a high strung, moody and slightly mean Siamese cat. We got her right after Toto passed away. My parents always say she was our "worst" cat. She was loving in her own way but would sometimes attack your ankles if you got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. She did trust us though. She knew we were there for her. One night she got a Jujubee candy stuck on her tooth. She came running back to my dad, opened her mouth and allowed him to reach in a get the candy off her tooth. Taking her to the vet was another story. She had notes in her file calling her aggressive and warning the veterinarian not to take her out of the her carrier. They used to just reach in, inject her vaccinations and that was it. She was never examined again after she attacked the veterinarian. True to her nature...she lived to be almost 20 years old. There was no quit in her.

Right now Andy and I have Storm and Jaromir (pronounced Yar-O-meer). Storm is gray like a storm cloud so that is how she got her name. Jaromir is named after Pittsburgh Penguin Jaromir Jagr, #68. Storm is extremely curious and runs toward a loud sound vs. away from it. Jaromir is the complete opposite and is your stereotypical "scaredy cat."


We just found out Jaromir has heart disease. We have put him on heart medicine in hopes it will make him feel better. It seems to have helped a little but dialing in the dosage has been tough. One of the medicines drops his blood pressure and it was too much at first and he fainted. I was not there but it was very scary. I want to make him feel better but I also want to give him a good quality of life. I wish he could tell me how he feels and what he needs. Hopefully we can get through this and make his health a little better. My coach said "lots of people take heart medicine and live for a long time, why would cats be any different?" I hope that is true.

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