Denny Towers has been a flurry of activity lately…there is so much to do and time keeps persistently ticking by…
Following Stewie’s birthday, we had a lovely Thanksgiving with all of the kidders enjoying a bit of turkey (but no other dishes were deemed appropriate for the furkids, so no stuffing or green bean casserole!)
And then as the end of the month rolled around, it was time to celebrate our sweet kitty Munchkin’s birthday. She doesn’t get mentioned much on these pages, mainly because she’s not a pug, but she is the senior member of the household. I had honestly only a rough estimate of her age but when I pulled out her vet records to see the date of her first vet visit, I realized that this year marks her 16th birthday!
For those of you not familiar with Munchkin’s story, this sweet little girl ended up under my front porch one freezing January morning in North Carolina. Our house was covered in ice and the freezing wind was whipping around. When my brother headed out to his car to go to work, he heard a pitiful mewing coming from under the porch. He stopped and found Munchkin cowering under the deck, trying to hide from the elements. He scooped her up and brought her inside and gave her to me. As he went off to work I wondered what to do with her. She was so tiny – could not have been more than 6 weeks old if that. A look around outside found no other kittens or a mother. Had she been left behind? Did her mother intentionally leave her? We’ll never know. But given Munchkin’s diminutive build, we have always believed her to be the “runt” of the litter. Probably left behind on purpose given her poor chance of survival if left out in the elements. As I already had a cat, Tigger, I was hesitant to keep her. I called her Munchkin because of her diminutive size, thinking whoever she ended up with would probably change it. But, as everyone around me predicted, I never gave her up and she became a permanent member of our household.
I often wonder what happened to her littermates. Are any of them still alive? Did any of them ever leave NC? It’s doubtful any of them have had the globe-trotting adventures that Munchkin has. She’s lived all up and down the SE US. When I was doing my nurse contracting work, I used to pack her and Tigger up in carriers and put them in the backseat while I drove to our new home in whatever state we were going to live in for the next few months. She would settle in and sleep the whole drive, never complaining. When I moved to England, she preceded me and flew into London, her first time on a plane. She lived happily in the UK, scaring me by climbing out of 2nd story windows and into trees. (She also went missing in the UK but thanks to a microchip ended up back with us – but that’s another story.) When we moved back to the US she was ferried on the Queen Mary II in kennels that have housed the pets of royalty and celebrities. Upon arrival in the US, we drove cross-country to TX, stopping to stay in strange and not-so-nice motels along the way. And once here she saw countless dogs come stay with us; some as fosters and some as new family members.
And through it all she has remained a sweet, even-tempered girl who adapts and learns to live with whatever changes she has to deal with. She has been my rock, with me through thick and thin. I owe her so much.
She had a trip to the vet for a senior check-up this past week. Everyone, including the vet, kept commenting that she looked remarkably well for 16. To me, she still looks like a kitten. And thankfully she has remained lively and active. Occasionally I’ll see her bat around a toy when she thinks nobody is looking, which makes me smile. On this trip we found that she had lost a bit of weight. Blood tests showed she has developed an overactive thyroid, a common condition in senior cats. We will be starting her on a new medication to correct the imbalance. All the other tests showed she remains in overall good health. I’m relieved. She is my rock. She has been my constant companion for 16 years and I cannot imagine life without her. Here’s hoping I don’t have to for many years yet.
I love you Munch!