Rupert (the Wanderer)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Rupert - Post-Vet Trip

Early one cold evening this past winter, when storm after storm cut loose, replenishing California’s reservoirs when it was most crucial, two neighbors showed up with a stray cat that they had heard meowing plaintively on the opposite corner. “Could you keep him for just one night?” After devouring a fairly large amount of dry cat food provided by Jill, our temporary visitor spent an hour or so pounding on our windows with a vigor worthy of a rock drummer. The venetian blinds were only a brief impediment. He dove right through them, perched on the windowsill, and began using the window pane as a sounding board. Since the semester was just starting and I needed sleep, I let him out. I didn’t want him to go wandering in the streets again, but he didn’t leave me much choice. He eventually came back in and slept most of the day. The insistent nocturnal preference, emphasized by his trademark “Windowpane concerto with timpani,” did not let up for two or three weeks. Finally, though, with the encouragement of a considerable amount of wet weather, he began to see the advantages of sleeping indoors at night.

Rupert, as the feisty visitor became known as, went to the veterinarian yesterday, and it was an exhausting experience (see photograph, taken soon after his return home). Dr. Perrault commented that there was evidence of malnourishment in the past. Dr. Perrault’s assistants detected an old one that had been embedded in him 11 years ago, but the registration has long expired. We suspect that Rupert had long been surviving on the intermittent kindness of various tenants, and it is likely that he has only eked through the past several years before this winter because the drought kept him from the predations of inclemency.

Friday, August 25, 2017
The test results have come back, and Rupert appears to be suffering from a hyperthyroid. It will cost a thousand dollars to treat this condition. He needs dental work, too. Another $500. Compassion’s price-tag. So many refugees from misfortune these days; hard to say no to that which has no way to convey how hard it was to find his way to this doorstep.