It’s been nearly a week since Manchas was curled up next to me at 11 pm and then didn’t come for breakfast at 5 am. I have no idea where she might be. We’ve searched all her regular hiding places in the house and anyplace she might have gotten stuck. Thinking she may have gotten out somehow, we’ve searched the perimeter of the house and around her mom Garfield’s home down the street and the abandoned house where she was born.
All of the cats in La Yacata are gone. My father-in-law’s two gray tomcats, the neighbor below’s orange tabby, Pumpkin generation 7 (or 8). The little yappy dog we nicknamed Ferocious was poisoned about two weeks ago, so I expect that’s what happened to the cats.
Manchas was an incredible comfort to me these last couple of years. She was MY cat. She chose me as her hoo-man and wouldn’t have anything to do with my husband. In fact, she’d often get up and leave the room when he entered. She tolerated my son if he was non-threatening and moved slowly. But me, me, she loved.
Fuzz has been running around in the mornings, continuing the game of hide and seek he and Manchas would play. Even when she was here, Fuzz hardly ever found her being visually challenged and all. She’d perch on the top of the cabinet and watch him run back and forth searching.
I haven’t quite gotten up the nerve to put Manchas’ food dish away. As long as we don’t find a body, perhaps there is hope?
Fuzz “Klepto” Lightyear has taken up a new hobby, burglary. Anything is fair game, but his favorites are hair scrunchies and eyeglass cleaner cloths. My son is at his wit’s end with Fuzz’s stealing. He has begun a “No Open Door” policy when it comes to the furry beast, but somehow that hasn’t stopped the thievery.
Manchas has also had enough of Fuzz. In order to maintain his substantial girth, he steals whatever is left of Manchas’ food after he has licked his own bowl clean. Manchas gets royalty incensed at this and punches him. Fuzz remains unfazed by her ol’ one-two.
Cocoa is also fed up with Fuzz. Although Fuzz has at least 50 places where he can comfortably slumber, he’s decided that the best place is to nap on Cocoa’s blanket. No amount of harassment from Cocoa will move Fuzz once he’s settled down for a snooze.
Manchas confirmed she was not pregnant by going into an agonizing heat cycle. She was miserable. Fuzz was annoyed. Cocoa was baffled. We were at our wits’ end trying to find something to calm her. Fishy treats lasted all of 2 seconds. Catnip was sniffed up in record time by Fuzz.
We were extra careful to keep her in the house. Her last escape was stressful for everyone. And now that we could confirm she was not pregnant, we needed to make arrangements for her sterilization.
The space capsule came out and we corraled Manchas in it. She hated it. She hated the ride. She hated the sun and shadows. She hated the traffic. She hated the dogs at the vet. When it was our turn, we explained that she didn’t like men and that she was very fast. The vet, who was a woman, made a special note that she would take care of the operation or at least the anesthesia administering, rather than passing it off to her dad, the head vet and that she would make sure that when the capsule was opened, it would be in an enclosed space.
Since Manchas had eaten at 5 that morning, the operation couldn’t be done until later that afternoon. So we left her there, still in the space capsule, to be picked up at 5 p.m.
We were first in line when the vet opened his doors and rushed inside for our little Manchas only to find out the vet had FORGOTTEN to give her the operation. She was still in the space capsule in the corner of the shop. He said he’d do it right then and to return in an hour. So we did.
She was totally wigged out, as is to be expected after such a trauma. The ride home was terrifying for her. When we got her home, she insisted on dragging her body from one end of the room to the other–shadows spooked her but she seemed to recognize Fuzz, Cocoa, and my feet. I tried tucking her in her basket, but she kept getting out. I finally just let her situate herself for the night–and I don’t know where she slept. Her face was filthy in the morning.
The next day she could walk better but was in obvious distress. She didn’t want to eat. Fuzz was ok with that–more food for him he thought. The vet gave us pills to give her in lieu of a daily shot since I know she wouldn’t be riding in the space capsule ever again. I tried dissolving it in milk, but she wasn’t interested. She wouldn’t eat it mushed in her food either.
By day 2 she was up and around and starting to eat. She was even more tolerant of my son and husband, at least as tolerant as not running from the room every time they approached. My son even said she let him pet her and PURRED for a few minutes. Now that’s something. By the end of the day, she had managed to remove her bandage, but she wouldn’t let anyone check her surgery site for infection. She wasn’t having any of those pills either. So we kept an eye on her and hoped for the best.
About a week after her operation, you couldn’t even tell she’d had some major trauma. She was back to her regular, curious self. She even curled up with Fuzz again, now that those hormones were out of the way. They took up playing hide and seek in the mornings after breakfast. Manchas has a decided advantage though. Not only is she more fleet of foot than lumbering Fuzz, but she isn’t blind in one eye. They both seem to enjoy the game though, so no harm done.