Chapter 22, In Which Mom Acts Insanely OR
How Many Cats Does It Take...????
September 13, 1999
Just a year ago I was writing: Gene "and Austin are looking
down from Rainbow Bridge right now, laughing that Mom the "cat
hater" is bringing even more cats in to the house." And
I have been frequently lamenting to Paul that I never thought we
would have 3 cats.
So what did I do?
You guessed it. Another cat. Another homeless cat. Another older
Homer is a tom cat that has been hanging around our hospital all
summer. He has charmed everyone and many employees have brought
in sacks of food. The women in the lab even took up a donation,
took him to the vet, and got him some antibiotics and a rabies vaccine.
This funny looking cat has been homeless in Kingwood for at least
5 or 6 years. Apparently, a home health business fed him at least
that long, gave him the name Homer, and then they moved away 1 or
2 years ago. We're not sure where Homer was in the intervening time,
but he came to Preston Memorial Hospital several months ago. He
had progressed from hanging out under cars in the parking lot to
having his own blanket on the loading dock. Although everyone loved
him, a movement started to find Homer a real home. Yours truly somehow
was nominated as new mom.
I spent several weeks trying to locate Homer but he never seemed
to be around when I was ready to take him home. Today, however,
I was leaving for lunch and saw Homer just going into the woods
behind the hospital. I screeched my car to a halt, flung open the
door and called Homer. He stopped, came back, and let me pet him.
Then I picked him up, put him in the car and slammed the door. Homer
had about 2 seconds of panic then settled into my lap. Off we went
to "The Shed," my local abode. On the way over, twice
Homer stood on his hind legs in my lap, put his front paws on the
steering wheel and drove! Tooncies, the driving cat!
December 30, 1999
Homer is a marvelous cat. Unfortunately, Miss Ripley and the little
gatos won't get to know him. Homer has feline AIDs, so we need to
keep him away from Ripley due to her immunosuppression secondary
to diabetes. Too bad, he is such a mellow, fine fellow. Actually
he has feline HIV, not full-blown AIDS, and the vet says he is very
healthy currently. Cats apparently live 3 to 10 years after the
diagnosis. Homer is 7 or 8 years old approximately. I have since
learned that big cats in Africa carry the feline AIDS virus and
seem to have no ill effects. I just have to be cautious about Homer
getting infections and treat them immediately.
Homer was apparently in a bad accident at one point because one
side of his skull is slightly crushed, he has jaw damage, and he
has chronic sinus problems. He was also a fighter and a lover, because
his right ear hangs limply and his left ear is notched badly. Many
people claim Homer is the father of their cats. In fact, several
months before I got him, he brought "home" (that is, to
the hospital) a pretty female and her two kittens. The mom and one
kitty moved on, but a pretty little kitty looking a lot like Homer
(except long-haired and beautiful), stayed behind. This kitty took
up the position of Preston Memorial Hospital mascot when Homer moved
to my Kingwood home. Employees fixed a box for her on the loading
dock and brought in food so she stayed but remained untouchable.
Homer won't be fathering any more homeless kitties, though, because
a little trip to the vet has resulted in the shrinkage of a most
impressive set of balls!
Homer likes to come visit the hospital still and see all his old
friends and to play with his daughter. If he cuts through the woods
and over the creek behind my Kingwood house, it is only about a
quarter of a mile to the hospital. He will often be waiting for
me when I leave for the day, so he jumps in the car and I drive
him home. He is such a piece of work.