Update for Bandit

Update for Bandit

We’re only six weeks into 2008, and already the year’s had a bunch of surprising turnarounds. First there are snow flurries outside; the next day it’s 65 degrees. Political candidates are campaigning, then dropping out of the race. And the Super Bowl victory, of course, went to the undefeated Patri–er, the Giants?! With 35 seconds on the clock?

It seems that our dear Bandit has also been suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. As the year began, he was on top of the world. He’d just been named as Tabby’s Place Special Needs Cat of the Month for January, 2008, and was basking in the celebrity of it all. (The Special Needs Cat of the Month has the honor of his or her update being sent to sponsors of the General Fund, who receive an update on a different cat each month.)

One particularly icy day, Bandit was snuggled on the chair with Sneakers, and Onyx climbed over any and every thing to claim my lap (all right, I take that first sentence back; some things never change). Our boisterous boy went from asleep to ready-to-play in no time at all. He loved revisiting his old friend, the stick with feathers attached, even carrying it around the room in his mouth like he’d just bagged the bird himself. Sneakers was a bit miffed, to put it mildly, when I rested the feathers on top of his head; he gave me a take-that-thing-off-me glare that chilled me to my…uh, sneakers. But Bandit was tolerant as ever, letting the toy rest atop his head and then, in a display of excellent paw-eye coordination, grabbing it and running. There was an ensuing frenzy of scratching-post activity and shoelace swatting, and then Bandit ate a big meal (several of them, in fact), perhaps to compensate for all that expended energy. After filling his belly, he parked himself by the window to soak up the wintry sun.

Which was exactly where I found him the next time I visited, this time sharing the lookout with his other black-and-white buddy, Francis. Poor Bandit wasn’t feeling quite as athletic, though he did valiantly muster up all his resources to chase a toy mouse for a moment. I thought perhaps it was the static bothering him–you couldn’t pet him without giving him a shock!–but it soon became clear from looking in those beautiful big eyes of his that Bandit was not feeling so good. He was unusually lethargic, then vomited and had a bout of gastrointestinal distress. Tabby’s Place employees Katrina and Danielle responded with immediate TLC, taking Bandit’s temperature and cuddling him.

As this was going on, Sneakers, not one to budge from his chair without a very good reason, instantly woke and climbed atop the closest kennel to get a better look at what was wrong with his best pal. Onyx went straight to the couch and put his head right next to Bandit’s. Hubert Humphrey once said that “the greatest healing therapy is friendship and love,” and Bandit was lucky enough to take both of those with him to Tabby’s Place, and to receive even more from all the staff, visitors, volunteers, and sponsors he’s met. As Angela filled you in with her recent update, Bandit has since been diagnosed with lymphoma, and will soon start a chemotherapy regimen. Let’s hope that with enough loving thoughts, well wishes, and purr-provoking petting (plus the top-notch medical care he’s getting), Bandit starts to feel much better and is soon back to being his healthy, playful self. After all, 2008’s only just begun; there’s still plenty of time for more wonderful comebacks, and if anyone can make that happen, it’s our beloved Bandit (Eli Manning’s got nothing on him!).