Kitty Von Bismarck was an orange tabby cat who found me coming home the eve of St. Patrick's Day, 2010. He was chasing Kitty, my neighbor's Calico, across the driveway, where she decidedly turned and hit him. He wasted no time in turning his tail up and marching his way to mewhere she then tried to chase him across the yard, hissing and spitting.
I chased Kitty away, far as I could tell this new cat had done nothing to her. He purred, allowing me to pet him and hold him; he was skinny, I could feel his ribs. I laid out food and water bowls for him,wondering where he had come from. No one knew had moved into town anywhere near my house, and I had certainly never seen him before.
He was still around when my parents arrived home an hour or so later, just as friendly to them as he was to me. They couldn't figure out where he had come from either, though my dad supposed he was around 2 years in age.
Days went by. Weeks went by. The little orange tabby still strutted around our backyard, he just wasn't underweight anymore, and was larger than Kitty. Kitty still didn't like him, she hissed and tried to swat him whenever he came near.
My family let him on the back porch so Kitty wouldn't eat his food. Leave him alone too long, and I ended up with cat poop to clean up. Leave the kitchen door open, and I had to chase him through the house. A little flea collar was a nice help, as my father then stopped complaining about any flea bites when he picked up Bizzy, as I had begun to call him.
My father told me, "Looks like he's not leaving...If he's going to hang around you should get him neutered." I started looking around at the Vet Clinics,I didn't have a lot of money, and anyone with a pet knows they can get expensive. After a few days, "you should get him neutered" turned into "you should get him neutered and get his shots done". Which later turned into "get this test done, and that test done...".
During all this time my brother, Quentin, and his friends came up with a name for out little visitorKitty Von Bismarck; our little German unifier. Suddenly my father decided since I was paying to have all this stuff done to a stray cat, I could keep him! I just wasn't allowed a litter box, so he was an indoor-outdoor cat...still went to the bathroom on the back porch if no one let him out. And he was spraying everything! At least he was getting neutered in four days...
Borrowing a pet carrier from Quentin's girlfriend, Aja, I brought Bismarck to the Vet. I needed my father's help getting him in, and he cried the whole way. We believe he was scared we were going to dump him somewhere!
A little timid when first brought back home, he quickly came out of it, he rather enjoyed being able to strut through the house...even if he was only starting one room at a time. He found my room without being shown, and jumped right up onto the bed, a nice loud purr following suit. Despite my father's reaction, I bought a food and water bowl into my roomBismarck decided he liked eating in my room better than the kitchen or back porch.
Months went by; he quickly learned his way around the house,and was very vocal when he wanted attention or decided he wanted to go outside. He loved playing with his toys,especially the ones on stretchy strings and his squeaky mouse. He enjoyed bottle caps, too; but would stop the moment he knew you were watching him. He gave my brother John a strange look every time he was called"Mix-Master Biz".
The foot of my bed was his. I made the mistake of sitting there once, and he tried to push me off rather than choose a different area to lie on.
On Wednesday, the 18th of August, Bismarck and I were playing in my room when I noticed a flea. I promptly brought him outside, I would have to give him a bath later. I worked that day, and the next,and the next. Today, Saturday the 21st,I slept in, later than I had intended to. My mother had fed Bismarck just a couple hours earlier, and we decided since we both were off work to givehim his flea bath.
I went outside, calling him, taking his little mouse toy with me. He didn't come, I walked around, looking in all his usual hiding spots, but couldn't find him anywhere. Then I saw him, curled up onthe side of the house beside the glass doors to the pool room. I called him, he didn't move. I went up to him, he looked up at me slowly. His right hind leg had deep red marks in it.
I ran inside calling my mother, she wasn't answering, but Quentin heard me, and ran downstairs. "Get Mom," I told him, "Bismarck's hurt."
He ran into my mother's room as I ran back outside. I picked Bismarck up carefully, his right hind leg just hung. He felt "top heavy". I met my mother at the backdoor, we brought him upstairs, and she looked at his leg. It bent in every direction, and his thigh was like a blood pocket. I grabbed my wallet as Quentin called his girlfriendwe had to find a Veterinary Clinic open after 4pm on a Saturday. Easier said than done.
The three of jumped in the van and started down Lexington Avenue,originally to get Aja and Ashton. My mother was holding a crying Bismarck and Quentin was on the phone with Aja trying tofigure out where we were going to go. We skipped picking up Aja and Ashton, as we found somewhere out of town to go.
I stopped in front of PetSmart, my mother got out and ran inside with Bismarck as I parked the van. Initially the nurses at the hospital centre there were just going in the order everyone had shown up, my mother trying to keep Bismarck from crying and jumping away from the nearby dogs. After my brother and I ran up the nurses asked us what was going on, and we were quickly seen to a room.
A nurse came in, took a quick look at Bizzy, and said it looked like he had been hit by a car.
He was taken back to have IVs attached and X-rays taken. The upper part of his little leg was in shambles, they said a brace wouldn't be able to fix it, they would haveto put a plate in, and that would be if they didn't have to amputate it alltogether.
"But that isn't what concerns us," the Vet told us, pulling another X-ray up on screen.
The car hit had busted his diaphragm. All his lower organs were pressing up against his heart and lungs.
If they could get his stable, they could transfer him to an emergency animal hospital not too far away, where they could attempt to move his organs back to where they should be. It requires special training that most Vets don't have, and it's a procedure rarely done. IF he were to survive that, they would have to make sure he was stable again before they could attempt the leg. And IF he survived everything, he would be spending a few weeks in intensive care, if not longer,and then he could still get an infection which would be dangerous. Either way, he'd be in a lot of pain for along time. Overall I'd be spending over $5,000, and chances are high he wouldn't even make it.
I made the hardest decision I can remember making, and had him put down. Quentin, mom, and I said our goodbyes, and were there with him as they did it. It was like he just fell asleep.
Now I don't have a little orange tabby greeting me each day I come home from work. No little Bismarck crying in the hall because he wants to play and everybody's busy.