For "just being a cat" Ricky had a pretty busy year.
Last year around Halloween, Ricky started urinating in the bathroom sink. But other than that wasn't acting out of character. He done the same thing about a year earlier and I took him to the emergency vet at that time. They told me had a urinary tract infection and gave me some antibiotics and pain meds and we were on our way. For whatever dumb reason, I never put the two episodes together (2011 and 2012), so it wasn't until I found blood in Ricky's urine in the sink that I rushed him to the emergency vet. Obviously, way far past when I should have. I felt so guilty and all sorts of horrible thoughts ran through my head.
I couldn't live without my Ricky if I caused him to not make it, I thought at the time. They couldn't even get a urine sample because his bladder was empty. The vet on duty was wonderful and told me about feline lower uterine tract disease. As this was his second bout with this problem, I was told that he was now diagnosed with FLUTD. Boiled down to a lay perspective, it means that he has an increased tendency to form painful crystals in his urinary tract. So, after another round of antibiotics and pain meds, I put Ricky on a prescribed cat food that I can only buy at PetSmart (and costs $1.67/ can. Oy, eye roll). But he hasn't had any problems since; and I've stopped calling him my special needs cat. :-)
Odo and the Pool Roof...
As I wrote about in January, Ricky and I went from being a two inhabitant, pretty calm house, to a feline dominant house with a little bit o' craziness thrown in when Odo joined the family. Ricky was so unhappy when I brought her home. He was the king of the castle, got to do whatever he wanted, when he wanted. Slept on the bed where he wanted. Basically, I was just a servant in Ricky's castle. Then along comes Odo and get's attention and is different, and smells, and urg.... shouldn't be here.
So Ricky protested, and protested big time. One night I let him outside because he was really agitated with Odo. Then, at his normal time, he didn't come home. Thirty minutes passed and he still hadn't come home. I went outside and looked and looked for him and didn't find him. Then I heard a little feeble cat meow. Ricky was stuck on the roof of the pool building and he couldn't get himself down.
I called Morgan and my close friend M, who lives in the same apartment complex, to help get him down. We just couldn't figure out how we could get to where he was. Morgan left after I reassured him both Ricky and I would be okay. Then M called, and I told him what was going on and bawled. Animal Control wouldn't help. Neither would the fire department (so much for living in property owned by a private company). Eventually, I came to the teary conclusion that there was nothing we could do until the morning.
So with a heavy, heavy heart, I headed inside to try to catch some sleep. But I was so worried Ricky would freeze or hurt himself up there, that I went out and checked on him every two hours. I later found out that M went out on the alternating hours to check on Ricky, too.
So morning came and Ricky was still up there. Luckily, I have some sympathetic pet-loving maintenance folks, who "maybe just forgot a ladder leaned up against the roof there" if I wanted to climb it. But then, seriously like a miracle, M showed up and rescued Ricky. He climbed across the (terra cotta tiled aka slippery and not secure) roof like Spiderman until he got to Ricky. Then he took off his sweatshirt twirled it up and swung it at Ricky until he jumped down.
Within minutes of Ricky jumping down he was safe inside the apartment. I totally cried. Probably forgot to thank M, and ran inside after him. What an adventure.
But for the most part, Ricky has a pretty great life. He hangs outside on the porch most summer nights and is more than happy to greet me at the door and all the way to (and inside) the bathroom everyday when I get home from work. With the help of a feline pheromone plug-in he learned to not only accept, but love his new sister Odo.
Ricky still loves his pipe-cleaners and will spend 20 or more minutes trying with all of his might to get a pip-cleaner into a bathtub full of water.
In his third year he has come to love plastic bags. Pouncing on them. Curling up in them. Laying on top of them. He loves them. So when I saw this crinkle sack toy at PetSmart (thanks for the birthday coupon, by the way, PS!), I knew I had to get it for him for his birthday. So far its on the floor with a plastic bag over it that he lays on. Go figure.
I truly love my little Ricky. Call me a crazy cat lady, I don't care. To know that he purrs when I get home from work and curls up next to me on the couch (once in a blue moon) and needs me everyday is what is important to me. Ricky is a little bit more dog than many cats out there and maybe that's why I love him so much. I mean he comes running when I call his name.
But for whatever reason I love him so much, I know that Ricky came into my life to save me. Save me from what I don't know. But I know he saved me. He is the sweetest, most handsome (according to the vet) cat.
Happy birthday, Ricky! Oh, and happy birthday, Senator John McCain. Funny how their birthday's are on the same day. ;-)