Meet My First Baby

I want to introduce you to my fur-baby family members.

I’ll start with my first baby.

He came into my life one rainy day in very early January. I was 19. I was working as a veterinary assistant at a little one vet clinic near my college, but far from home. I was driving a 240 Volvo sedan. All was good.

A ground of scared looking young teenagers came in the afternoon and produced a little black fuzzball from their coats and proclaimed that I needed to take this little guy or else they’d be force to take him to the pound down the road (literally). Recently brokenhearted by a immature cheating boyfriend, I scooped up the little black furball and said I would take him in. Actually – the vet said he could be the office cat, but that evening I couldn’t just leave him in one of the boarding kennels, I just HAD to take him home with me.

We washed him up. He was covered in fleas and smelled of dusty cigarettes. He didn’t mind the bath and waltz all over the clinic, just checking things out. He was happy as a clam. The vet asked if I knew what I wanted to call him, but I had no ideas. The vet was from India, and in his thick Indian accent he said, “What about Elvis? He’s got these black hairs. And he thinks he’s the king, already.” It seemed perfect.

When closing time came, I wrapped him up in a towel and we left in my Volvo for the drive home. As soon as we hit the freeway he cuddled up on my lap and promptly fell asleep.

Once home, I walked in to my T.V. watching parents and announced, “I’ve got a surprise for you!”

They both thought I’d gotten a raise, which they told me later. When I unbundled the little ball of fur they were both speechless and that child-hating look of disappointment came across their faces.

“He’ll be MY cat, don’t worry. I’ll keep him in my room. I’ll buy his food. Don’t look at me like that.” I’m sure that’s what I said. It was many years ago now, but looking back, that’s what I must have said.

At the time we still had my childhood cat, Muffin. I received him as a pre I wanted him to have nothing to do with him, too! Muffin was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia at about age 5 or 6 after having spent most of his time as an outdoor cat. The vet at that time said he should be put down because he’d likely not last another year with this disease. We told him no, that we’d just take him home and make him an indoor kitty and nurture his final months. I’m sorry – but that cat lived to be almost 17 years old.

So, I fearfully kept Elvis away from Muffin so that he wouldn’t contract FLV. And, thankfully he never got it. Muffin lived out his final months with a pesky little kitten to help him feel young again.

But Elvis and I were like peas and carrots.

Two months (almost to the day) after I got Elvis I was in a tragic car accident on my way to work. My precious Volvo was totaled and I was rushed to the ER. I don’t remember much about that morning, my memory is foggy. But, I had to have 74 stitched put into my head around my left eye and my eye was swollen shut for several days. I was scared and lonely and afraid of what my face would look like. I felt ugly. But Elvis still loved me. He didn’t even notice anything happened. He still wanted to be next to me all the time. He still licked my cheeks. He still slept under my covers. He was still in love. And while the previously mentioned boyfriend showed up for a day and a half to console me before he was off again, Elvis was by my side through and through.

Elvis is still my baby. He still loves me just as much as he did then, though he doesn’t keep as much contact as he used to. But he sleeps on a pillow under my desk. He follows me when I got down the hall to the bedroom. And he sleeps in my lap when I read in bed. If I’m in bed, he’s in bed. That is, until my dear hubby (DH) has to come in and take him off to the kitty bedroom where they sleep at night. Elvis gets a little too cuddly for DH’s comfort and they’ve slept in the laundry room ever since we’ve been together. If Elvis had it his way, though, he’d still sleep under the covers right next to me, occasionally liking my cheeks and eyelids.

I love my baby kitty. He’ll be six years old this fall, I cannot believe it!

Love each other,

Tina

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