No, 2017 is not the year of the cat—unless you subscribe to the Vietnamese version of the Chinese zodiac, there’s no such thing. But to purrents, every year is the Year of the Cat!
In celebration of the New Year, humans shared their #MasamangDamoAngPusaKo stories, recounting anecdotes about how their cats were given a new shot at life.
“DON’T WORRY, CATS HAVE NINE LIVES.”
My mom, after listening to me go on about my fur-baby’s penchant for chewing wires, said I shouldn’t concern myself too much. I’ve done all that I could, hiding all phone and and laptop chargers from sight.
“Mimi is just on her second life, right? Masamang damo naman yan, eh.”
Mimi, the youngest cat to have made a slave out of me, looked death in the eye and lived to meow about it. While my mother believed that the rather mischievous Mimi had several more boxes to tick off her “nine lives” card, I didn’t.
In fact, I’m already quite grateful that Mimi was given a second shot at life. I’m not the only one—many other purrents are just as happy to celebrate their beloved cats’ second lives!
IT’S A GIRL THING
Who run the world? Girls!
Yep, Beyonce got that one right. Of course, being female can be tough—just ask Russkulet, an indoor cat who once escaped…and came back scandalously pregnant!
“She had a very difficult delivery, probably because she was still so young. She was less than a year old,” said Cherisse Anne Palma-Rodriguez.
After a long 24-hour labor, Russkulet finally gave birth to two live kittens and one stillborn. She continued to bleed for two days and soon became lethargic.
“The vet wasn’t certain what was really wrong with her and her lab results weren’t definitive. [The vet said] it was probably due to the trauma with her delivery.” She was admitted for three days and put under medication for a week.
“Sadly, none of the kittens survived even if we did what we could to sustain them. But we were happy that our little Russkulet recovered!” She was then spayed and kept indoors – no more telenovela-worthy romantic escapades for Russkulet! From now on, she runs the world from the comfort of her own forever-home.
A LIVING MIRACLE
“Four years ago, I almost lost a family member,” said Ava Marie Lorraine Cruz, referring to her cat’s close brush with death. Still a newbie cat parent, she didn’t know that the vet’s prescription of potassium was a little too much for her kitten, Pumpkin.
Suffering from an overdose, Pumpkin was refused treatment by several vets because he was no longer responding to therapy. Desperate, Ava turned to her religious mom and granny who gave Pumpkin holy water.
At three in the morning, little Pumpkin was found meowing noisily in the shoe box he chose for his bed. “[It was as if nothing happened] the night before!”
Ava hoped for a miracle…and a miracle she got.
A cat’s heart does break. It was something Reilina Villacarlos found out the hard way when her fur-kid, Camilla, stopped eating after a feline friend’s death.
“[Fluffa’s] death affected Camilla. She would just flop on the table and stare at nothing.”
A quick trip to the vet revealed nothing was wrong with Camilla, other than her apparent depression.
“I had to hand feed her. [I made her] drink water from a syringe [and] listen to cat music. I apologized to her about Fluffa. I told her not to follow him, and that he was in a better place.”
It took almost a month for Camilla to recover but she did move on, thanks to Reilina’s perseverance. (I’m so sorry for your loss, Camilla.)
DRIVE TO SURVIVE
“Those days were like hell.”
Aireen Jellen Palao was beside herself with worry when her cat, Yukiki, was hospitalized for almost a week due to multiple health woes. She was afraid that her cat, previously diagnosed with feline parvovirus, would give up after she started suffering from conjunctivitis, rhinitis, ear mites, and loss of appetite.
“Her gingivitis and the necrosis of her tongue made matters worse,” Aireen said. However, Yukiki was a fighter! Despite being weak, she would even put up a fight whenever it was time for her to take her medication.
Everybody was amazed that Yukiki survived despite a turn for the worse four days into her confinement. Then again, given her fighting spirit, her second chance at life shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
ORPHAN NO MORE
Many cats have it rough from the getgo. Guyito, just a week-old orphan kitty when he was rescued, was no exception.
“[For] three weeks, he had trouble pooping then developed diarrhea, malabsorption, and respiratory infection,” Glady Rosales recounted. “He stayed the same weight—less than his weight the first day he was with me—for over two weeks, [at a time] when kittens were supposed to grow heavier each day. He started to refuse his milk and became severely dehydrated so he had to stay at the clinic for a few weeks.”
Things went from bad to worse. “One night, the vet called me because [there was blood in his urine] and I thought that was it. I was composing his elegy on my way to the clinic.”
However, little Guyito wasn’t ready to bid adieu just yet! “He survived that night and eventually gained back his appetite and weight.”
As one of the four felines adopted by Glady, Guyito is no longer an orphan. He turned three this year: healthy, happy, and probably spoiled.
Good for Guyito.
WHEN THE PUSS HAS PUS
Sasha’s story began on a rooftop. She was found stranded and unable to get down since a storm hit.
“She was scared, lost, malnourished, and tired – tired from always being passed by, with so many uncaring hearts just watching,” shared Trishia Mariano Linsangan. “Her struggle to live just kept getting harder—this time, from an unknown sickness. She was reduced to a catatonic kitty that hid away from play, grooming, and food, just to hide the pain inside of her.”
Sasha lost a lot of weight. Her beautiful fur started to fall off. Her sapphire eyes became a depressing grayish shade.
“She underwent daily blood tests and was constantly under observation. Finally, through an ultrasound, we [discovered] what was causing her all this pain: pyometra.” Sasha underwent surgery and fought to survive. Pyometra, an infection of the uterus, often led to death if not treated aggressively.
Thankfully, Sasha was soon back to her beautiful self! She turned two years old this year.
I bet she has many more happy years ahead of her.
NO GUTS, NO GLORY
Perhaps you’ve regretted eating something at one point in your life, whether it’s lechon or too much cake. As for Rue, a princess in a cat’s body, she suffered more than just regret after she ate a needle.
“She was still a kitten then. My mom didn’t notice that she was playing with [a needle] and when she saw her, she was already gagging [on] something,” shared Jonna Baquillas, Rue’s meowmy.
After Jonna brought Rue to the vet, an x-ray confirmed her suspicion. “I bawled and cried uncontrollably, asking the vet, ‘Mabubuhay pa ba siya?’”
Rue underwent emergency surgery and the needle was successfully removed from her gut. However, she her recovery wasn’t a walk in the park. She required small feedings every four hours for two weeks.
“The experience taught me to be meticulously careful with the things we leave lying around.” All the wiser because of Rue’s literally gut-wrenching experience, Jonna is proud that her beautiful ginger tabby healed completely and has become quite a celebrity!
Lil Miss Rue escaped death unscathed, save for an unflattering picture of her while she was under general anesthesia. (Hush, don’t tell her about it; you know how celebrities hate paparazzi photos.)
This year, let us be thankful for the many ways we – and the cats in our lives – were given a fresh start.
Purrenthood isn’t always easy, what with sickness and tragedy becoming added spurs, but every second with our cats—every meow, head butt, or purr— makes it all worthwhile.
So what if the cats in our lives don’t max out their proverbial nine lives? Wouldn’t we be just as grateful if our fur-babies had only one more chance to live again, if they could walk back across the rainbow bridge just once and keep us company until it’s they are summoned to earn their angel wings yet again?
May our fur-kids have long, healthy, and happy lives. Thank you, fellow purrents, for making that possible by providing them a wonderful foreverhome. Happy Meow Year to all of you!
Have a #MasamangDamoAngPusaKo story? Share it on Instagram together with a photo of your daredevil cat and tag @StefdelaCruzMD!
This story appeared in Animal Scene’s January 2017 issue.