I was sitting publishing last week’s magazine when my partner (R) exclaimed! I went over to his computer to discover that at least two of our cats could be with us for the next 20 – 30 years!

R was reading an article entitled ‘Bedford cat which was ‘runt of the litter’ turns 27‘. We will both be absolutely devastated if (and obviously when) something were to happen to any of the three cats that we have, but this gave us hope. One of our cats was the runt of his litter and little Smudge is a rescue cat.

Reading this story there are so many similarities between Wadsworth (the Bedford cat who is now 27) and Smudge – both poorly and sick when they were adopted/rescued; back and forth to the vets (in 5 months a minimum of 12 visits); constant pills (with Smudge it’s monthly injections); eats cat food, but is partial to a bit of chicken or fish! We sat over lunch and worked out that these two cats (hopefully all three) would be with us for at least another two decades :) which would mean that they could start looking after us?

Well … wishful thinking!

After the last trip to the vet, when he learnt that Smudge would probably have to have an injection every three to four weeks for the rest of his life; it made us realise how ill he had been and was still. Unlike Wadsworth though, we are lucky as Smudge chats to R all the way to the vet; selects not to come out of his cat box until he really has to when he arrives; sits quietly on the table and lets the vet investigate whatever he wants to; and then gets up and gets back into his cat box when R says ‘let’s go home’.

R arrived home after the last trip, sat down and told me what the vet had said. For someone who is a Dragon, knowing that you’ve got to spend unplanned and unbudgeted money every three to four weeks could be difficult; but he smiled as he was talking and said ‘we’ve got to do this to keep his strength up’. He paused and then said ‘the vet didn’t charge me for the visit, only the injection (all of 2.50 €uro’s) and will only charge me for the injections in the future; unless it’s something else that he needs.’

What kindness!

One of the things we’ve both become very aware of recently is how kind both the vets are! Talking to another friend of mine who also lives in France (Dawn) and we both agree that the one thing that we found suprising is how reasonable taking animals to the vet is here. Our vet is aware that Smudge is a rescue cat (after all he saw him less than 24-hours after he arrived) and along with the range of discounts we’ve had in the past, he did ask R if he wanted to give Smudge his regular injections. When R said ‘no!’, the vet responded by saying ‘don’t worry I won’t charge you for the visits’.

Ping Pong balls flying, I’m watching Smudge rush around the room as he plays; and can’t help thinking about the past 5 1/2 months that he has been here! Looking forward to the next 24 years at least

© 2013 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum