Well life after a hurricane can be challenging as we learned very quickly. We had no water or power for 10 days. Fortunately the weather cooperated as it was early October so it was not too cold or too hot. In fact it was beautiful. We had water from our disaster supplies and friends brought us more. We had plenty of batteries for lights plus lots of candles. I have to say that candlelight dinners have never been the same for me since that incident. Don't think of it as a romantic evening anymore, now think the power is out!!!
House was damaged, but we could live in it and had lots of workers for weeks on end redoing the roof, the ceilings, the windows, etc. It was a very busy place.
The cats took all this in stride and thought the dumpster (that sat in our driveway for days filled with debris) was a great place to play. Now how they managed to get in is beyond me, because that thing was over 6 feet tall. Of course I was horrified and scared to death that they would get hauled away. Most of the time I kept them in what we call the "Cat House". They would come out in the morning and run and play with supervision of course and then be in by 3:00pm for the night.
But now that Casey was in the picture, they wanted to stay out and play so did not always come when they were called. Sometimes Casey would go off and roam, but always appeared before dark. I was in the process of getting him trained to the indoors so to speak, but he didn't really like it. The cats had finally accepted him more or less – in other words they ignored him all except for one. Dinstuhl, otherwise known as "Baby D" just loved Casey. She was a tortoise shell with lots of chocolate in her coat. She was named for a Candy Store in Memphis, TN which had wonderful chocolates! She was the runt of the litter, but she had spunk. She and Casey would play together, go roaming together, hunt together – they just loved being together.
When the holidays arrived we celebrated our first Christmas with Casey. It was a festive time for all and we were so thankful to have our house back together again. The weather had been nice, but in December it turned very cold. We even had sleet on Christmas Eve. This cold, cold weather continued into January. Right after New Year's, Casey just didn't seem right. I took him to the vet and they ran some tests, but could find nothing wrong. Over the weekend he grew worse so I took him to the Emergency Clinic. They weren't able to discover any problem other than a fever. They called it a FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin). He was given antibiotics and I took him home. That night he grew worse and after many calls to the ER, they suggested that I keep watching him and get him to the vet the first thing Monday morning. I held him in my arms all night long. It was one of the longest nights of my life.
Monday morning we were at the vet when they opened. They looked at his eyes and saw they had become jaundiced. They had the report from the ER. The vet was not optimistic. Casey went down hill during the day and died the next morning at 8:15am. I was devastated! I shared it with my other kitties, but not one seemed to care except Baby D. She looked up at me and then touched her nose to mine. I call that a kitten kiss. I felt that it was her way to share in our loss. (Now I know you all may think I am crazy, and I admit I am – crazy about cats. Other cat owners understand I know.)
My veterinarian asked to do an autopsy because he wanted some answers. Casey had been a healthy cat from day one or so we thought. I agreed. They discovered his liver was not the normal size plus there were problems with some of the other organs as well. His blood work was not good. Two of the veterinarians said they couldn't believe that he had survived as long as he had because of all the internal problems. I knew that Casey was a survivor and that he had hung on as long as he could because of all the "TLC" that he received.
But it all happened so quickly. We wondered if he had been poisoned, but we could never find a clear cut answer. It was indeed a mystery. Needless to say Casey was gone from here but was in a forever safe place. I knew that there was a new cat in Heaven.
He was gone, but his legacy would live on and that will be the next part of the story.
To be continued…………..