I thought for sure he was a stray (but he wasn't). He was covered head to toe in bumps from what looked like flea dermatitis.
He was sleeping in a sun patch, on the mat at my front door.
That was the first time I saw him.
It would be the first of several firsts in my learning about cats...and life.
Song the cat was quiet, determined, passionate, dignified, and so full of faith and love. He seemed to be primarily siamese lynx point with gem-like blue eyes, cream-colored fur with espresso tips and stacked rings on his tail.
No collar and no care in the world, he stretched out to make himself longer to soak up more sun patch. I offered him some water and a spoonful of canned food which he slurped up with abandon.
I looked forward to the afternoons when he would show up like clockwork. After all, I had the perfect sun patch for him…and snacks.
I soon discovered he belonged to a neighbor right across the street.
As she watered her yard, she yelled out to me,
“Don’t worry about the bumps! It’s just from fleas. I ran out of flea meds!”
I offered her some of Cumin's meds and by the end of the week, Song's fur was lush, soft, no bumps! Soon his bald patches grew in and I could really see him in his regal glory!
Song visited daily and before plopping down on the mat, he’d sit in front of the screen door and just look inside and look at Cumin.
One day I noticed black crusted lesions on his ears.
I learned from his guardian it was cancer.
She said there was nothing they could do.
My heart just dropped. His guardian and I talked a lot about possible options but she didn’t believe any would work.
Now it gets tricky, right?
Song is not my cat and I can’t tell his guardian what to do.
This was the first time I was ever confronted with just how different standards of care can be from one guardian to the next.
So I painfully watched his cancer grow with each visit while being guilty of sneaking some baby sunscreen on his ears and vitamin C in his snacks.
Then on one extraordinarily hot day, Song wasn’t on the front mat.
I didn’t know where he was.
Turns out, he was sleeping under another neighbor's car.
And he got his hind leg rolled over.
Still, he hobbled up my front stairs, leg dangling, to let me know he needed help. He was amazing, with his calm demeanor and his knowing that everything happens for a reason.
His guardian wasn't home so I took him to emergency myself.
The whole experience was so stressful, from whether Song was going to be okay to the financial aspect and then the legality of it all.
By the time I reached his people they thanked me but said to just put him down.
I looked in his eyes and they still had a spark. It was just his leg. I knew Song had more life to live, despite his leg, despite his cancer.
I assumed the responsibility and took the doctor's advice to have his leg amputated (vs. putting a pin in it) and his ear tips removed of cancer. We rushed together a yard sale that weekend to help raise money towards his $6,000 bill, which today would probably be over $10k. 😱😩 (No GoFundMe's or social media to put out a call for help, in those days.)
His healing went incredibly smoothly although we had a rough start.
His guardians didn’t agree with what I chose to do and said they’d take care of him from here.
But can you believe, despite trying to keep him indoors, Song would jump off his bedroom balcony and hobble to my house???
Finally, his guardians gave up and Song spent his recovery with me.
I set a few alarms through the night and would gently carry him like Superman flying in the sky to the litter box as his leg healed.
His ears healed beautifully and the cancer never came back.
Then one day, his original people just picked up, moved away, and left him behind.
That’s when we officially became his people.
Song lived many long, happy and healthy years.
And do you know, not once did I ever hear his meow?
Song taught me a lot about faith and love.
No matter what he went through, he was always so full of gratitude. He knew that Life was happening FOR him and not to him.
He also reminded me:
find my people and love them well!
They will lift you up so that you can fly high in the sky, like Superman ⭐️
💌Love Note about responsible cat guardianship: I noticed after the surgery he leaned on the cold side, hence the occasional sweater. But cats regulate well and normally don’t need sweaters.....even though they’re cute in them😻