Lemur is going to have oral surgery this morning. He has early stage renal failure so being anesthetized is challenging for his body. We have no other choice but to have the surgery performed because he can’t eat with the painful tooth in his mouth. I gave him sub-cutaneous water twice yesterday to support his kidneys through the surgery and they will super hydrate him this morning before the surgery. It’s all we can do besides pray.
I had a dog, named Curley, when I was a child. I wanted a cat but Mom didn’t like cats so that didn’t happen until I went to college. My senior year I lived in a house with two other young women. We each got a cat…three college girls and three cats in a three-bedroom house. I have not been without a cat since then.
Over the years I have probably had close to fifty cats to care for. When I lived on a farm in Illinois, we were the first farm out of the city. When someone had a pet dog or cat they wanted to get rid of, they would stop at the end of the driveway in the middle of the night and let their pet out of the car. The animal would find its way up the driveway and into the barn for shelter and we would have another pet. The cats were often pregnant so within a few weeks we would have a litter of cats! I took so many cats to the local spay clinic to be neutered I asked if they would give me a free spay for every dozen I brought in! I found homes for some but we kept many. Both of my children loved cats and cats are an asset on a farm for keeping rodents in check.
Some would find their way to the house (usually in the arms of a child) and others were more feral choosing to live in the barn. We had inside cats, outside cats and some that came and went between the house and barn. It was interesting to me to notice the variety of personalities of the cats. Not knowing their backgrounds, I was curious as to why some were easily domesticated and sought out the companionship of humans while others were wild animals that no amount of coaxing would tame.
Lemur entered my life as the cat of a friend. Paul was my travel agent in the nineties before we started booking travels ourselves online. As I sat across his desk planning a trip one day, I noticed a framed photograph of a cat. Upon inquiry, he told me his “Lemur” story.
Paul lived alone in an urban neighborhood and Lemur was the neighborhood cat. A stray that was smarter than some, Lemur made the rounds of the “hood” winning the hearts of the people and getting fat on multiple dinners every day. This was Lemur’s life for several years until one day Paul was moving across town and discovered Lemur sitting in his car as he loaded his things. He took it as a sign that Lemur wanted to stay with him so he took him along and Lemur became Paul’s cat.
For seven years Lemur and Paul were best friends. As a single man living alone, Lemur got all of Paul’s attention and captured many hearts of family and friends. He is a wonderfully loving soul in the body of an extra-large, soft white feline. What’s not to love?
Paul developed an incurable medical condition and came to me for CranioSacral therapy for the last year of his life. Our relationship went beyond that of client/practitioner. Paul was my friend and I continued to listen to his Lemur stories until the end. Paul died at the young age of fifty. At his funeral service I stood with his four sisters and asked which of them was going to take Lemur. My ears couldn’t believe what they were hearing when they said none of them. “Well, who then?” I asked with genuine interest. “We are taking him to the 5A’s,” said Eva. I could hear the embarrassment in her voice. The 5A’s is an animal rescue that puts down animals that are not adopted within a week. I heard myself say, “No, I’ll take him” before my mind had even processed a thought. The next thought was, “I’ll find him a good home.”
We had three cats and three dogs living in the house at that point in time and three more cats living in the barn. I brought Lemur home and put him in an inside kennel to protect him from a large male cat named Chong that belonged to my daughter and was quite aggressive toward strange cats that showed up at the farm. My fears for Lemur were unfounded.
Lemur is an “alpha” cat. He has a powerful presence that intimidates other animals…dogs and cats alike. After a week in the kennel I figured everyone was ready to be friendly so I let Lemur out. Chong approached Lemur with a threatening demeanor. Lemur took a few steps toward him and Chong turned and ran upstairs. There was never a fight.
Lemur adores humans. I have never seen him act aggressively toward anyone. Small children can maul him and haul him around and he loves it. When I moved out of the house and into my cabin on the lake to pursue life on my own, Lemur was the only animal that I took with me. My husband kept the dogs and the other cats on the farm which seem right. But Lemur and I had established a bond and I could not leave him behind.
There are many stories about Lemur and hundreds of pictures taken in the six years he has lived with me. But the impressive thing to me is the quality of gentleness and strength that this animal exhibits. He is the epitome of power and grace. I haven’t had anyone meet him who isn’t instantly enchanted. He is a special animal and he has been a loyal and true friend to me through a time in my life when extra support was needed. I am here for him now, to support him in whatever ways I can, as he enters the final chapter of this incarnation.