It was one of those stories that gets all the people upset.
The cat people. The kind people. The generally-unconcerned people.
All the people with real, live, beating people-hearts.
Dingo was spotted as a string of a cat, bones and eyes and blustering sadness all over. Still, he was spotted, and that was his first small salvation.
Once the animal control officer confirmed that, yes, Dingo was a living creature (who knew a cat could live with virtually no flesh on his body?), the next step was to scan him for a microchip. If this poor whisper of a life had ever been loved, there was a good chance he’d been chipped. People who love can lose their creatures; but, if they plan, they can get them back, too.
Between his bony shoulder blades, Dingo held a miracle: a microchip. Yes, this cat had once been claimed, chosen…cherished?
The microchip did exactly as it should, connecting the animal control officer to Dingo’s people. I can scarcely imagine the torrent of thoughts in the officer’s head as the phone rang: This cat is 500x skinnier than he should be. That means he must have been wandering for at least 400 years. That means his people have been missing him since at least the time of the Renaissance. I can’t wait to tell them the good news…
But that’s about the point when “good news” got goofed up.
Yes, said the people on the phone. Yes, that declawed grey-and-white guy with the green eyes — that’s our cat. That was our cat.
But no, no. He isn’t anymore.
No, no. We don’t want him back.
No, no. Please don’t bring him here.
The miracle of the microchip fizzled like an old fuse.
But even though his former flames — I hesitate to call them family — turned away, Dingo’s tale had already turned towards the light.
Dingo’s family of origin may have outed him, but he was born in the right neighborhood. His animal control officer was Tabby’s Place’s animal control officer. His casa was our casa.
His future was certain.
Less certain was his colon. (Now that’s a transition sentence. Eat your heart out, New York Times.)
Presumably as a result of his time on da street, Dingo’s doody was what scientists call “all bollocksed up.” In addition to weighing less than the average sparrow*, Dingo had a cataclysmic case of constipation. He needed our extremely unglamorous interventions to get cleaned out. We followed the enema extravaganza with an ultrasound, which happily showed nothing sinister. The only oddity was one colossal colon.
Or, in technical terms (and here I’m not joking): a megacolon.
No, kittens; this is not the lost, gastrointestinally-superior member of The Avengers. Although Dingo has requested that we make him a cape embroidered THE MIGHTY MEGACOLON, this is actually not a point of pride. (Scratch that; when you’re a cat, everything you are is a point of pride.) Megacolon is, per the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, “a very dilated, flaccid, incompetent colon.”
In even-Angela-can-understand-it terms, that would be: a problematic pooper. Constipation city. Mega-miralax time.
Thanks to meds, a special diet, a few more unglamorous interventions, and the love that moves the sun and other stars, Dingo is recovering — nay, resurging — nay, nearly resurrecting on a daily basis. He has gained approximately ten Vin Diesels in weight, and things are moving along nicely.
Sure, he’s a Special Needs cat. But what are a few meds and prescription meals between friends? And, make no mistake; Dingo has found his friends, his family, his people. And, once they meet Dingo, all the people are Dingo’s people.
With his excremental excitement, Dingo is not likely the first cat on every adopter’s list. (“What are you looking for in your new companion?” “Hard, dry stools and an incompetent colon. Oh, and white feet.”)
But with his resilient joy and infinite affection, Dingo is the first cat who will smelt you down to love on arrival.
His first family is a mystery; we can’t know their motives, won’t judge them, wish them well.
His current family is a guarantee; we will love him with all the love we have to give, no matter how mirthful or messy it gets.
His future, forever family is a dream yet to come; but I feel confident it’s coming.
So ring dem dings with us, kittens. Thanks to one cat, all the people are rich in love.
*OK, OK, maybe not the average sparrow. Maybe the Dwayne Johnson of sparrows. But still.