Purrfect Ending Story:
I first saw Shounen (then Solomon) at the Mill Creek Festival. It was a hot July day, and he was in the back of the Purrfect Pals booth, buried under a blanket, and his brother was asleep on top of him. I couldn’t see him at all – except for a little gray nose and a little gray foot. He and his brother were a little older than the other kittens available for adoption. I was told by the volunteer that their mama was feral and had been hit by a car. Some wonderful people knew she had a litter of kittens somewhere, so they searched until they found them – under a house that had been rented by a pastor. Those kittens became known as the ‘Bible Group’ – hence the name Solomon (his brother’s name was Moses). I asked to hold him and when he looked at me with those big yellow/green eyes I fell totally in love. And when I saw that he had a shortened tail (some kind of genetic thing) I loved him even more! He didn’t purr or give me any outward sign that he liked me – he just sat quietly in my arms and blinked up at me rather sleepily. Because he was older, and had been feral for the first few weeks of his life, his foster mom wanted to make sure he went to a home that could handle a cat that was shy. Luckily for me, the cat I grew up with started life as a feral tomcat. I knew exactly how to integrate a shy kitty into my home. I met him on Saturday and took him home on Sunday. He lived in my bathroom, and by Thursday he was running to see me when I opened the bathroom door. After having him for only a week, he was out of the bathroom and taking up 3/4 of my pillow at night.
I wasn’t sure what to name him. I kept calling him Baby Boy, Silly Boy, Funny Boy…every nickname ended in ‘boy’. So I ended up naming him Shounen (pronounced ‘SHOW-nen’) which is Japanese for ‘young boy’.
Life was cruising along pretty well for the two of us until about two years ago. He started looking a little…strange. He developed a bald patch on his lower abdomen. His fur changed from a beautiful pewter gray to a rusty brown color. Bald patches began appearing all over him – from his neck and shoulders to the base of his tail. I kept taking him to the vet and no one could tell me what was going on. I was terrified. I knew he was sick, but I didn’t know what was wrong. Finally, I found a cat specialist and she was able to diagnose him with Cushing’s Disease. My heart broke. I knew Cushing’s Disease in cats is rare, and I knew it was not easily treatable. Someone must have been looking out for us though, because the disease had not progressed too far, and we were able to schedule surgery to remove the tumor that was causing his Cushing’s Disease. After a successful surgery and a year of meds, he’s made a full recovery.
Next month, Shounen will be 11 years old, and you’d never know he’s a ‘senior’ cat and survived a potentially devastating disease. Adopting him has been, hands down, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As soon as I walk in my door he is at my feet saying hello. When he hears you opening a can of tuna, his little tail stands straight up and shakes like a maraca. Catnip filled toys are his favorite, and he is the master of stalking and ‘killing’ all kinds of fake mice. He sits on his cat tree with his front legs hanging over the sides like he’s Superman. When I go to bed, he always starts the night cuddled against my side.
I’ve moved three times, been in and out of relationships, and he has been my constant throughout all of my life changes. To be honest, I was kind of nervous about adopting him. I’d never owned a pet on my own before. But now that I have him, I can’t imagine my life without him. He is my Shounen – my baby boy. Don’t you just love happy endings?