Tuesday, July 13, 2010

About Zeus

I ‘met’ Zeus for the first time over a year ago via the phone. Mylène was sharing her home with four cats at the time: Sammy, Sophie, Tarwater, and Zeus. I knew who was who from their distinct, individual voices as they conversed with Mylène and one another. Each had his or her own unique purrs and meows. Long before I met any of them in person, I knew each one as a vocal member of Mylène’s family. Sadly, Tarwater passed away before I got the chance to meet him. At the time, I noticed that Zeus stopped speaking at all. I knew it was him over the phone due to his hugely loud happy purrs, but I don’t think I ever heard him speak again after Tarwater was gone. Even when I finally met Zeus in person, he simply had stopped speaking. There has been a sadness about him ever since. No one can convince me that Zeus is not deeply grieving Tarwater’s absence in his life.

My first face to face meeting with Zeus was not long after the loss of Tarwater from the family. During that initial visit, I witnessed the first sign that he was not well – the onset of vertigo. Later on, I was the one who drove him and Mylène to the vet. We both knew something was not right with Zeus, but he seemed to get better with time. However, the vertigo would return time and time again and then would suddenly disappear again. Mostly the vet said “wait and see”. I saw him struggle in person and over the webcam with his bouts of vertigo. Then one early morning, I got the panicked call that Zeus was in serious trouble and on the way to the emergency vet.

When Mylène finally got to bring Zeus home again from critical care, he was a very sick boy. He looked terrible, even over the webcam. He was too weak to even move himself around. The worst part for me, personally, was that I heard him speak for the first time in over a year. He was meowing loudly and pitifully – in great pain. He was, without question, suffering.

The good news is that Zeus is definitely on the mend. He looks better, he is full of life, and can often be seen sitting at the computer with his person. As a cat person myself, I can’t express how much the thought of losing Zeus was breaking my heart. He is simply one of the most loving, gentle beings you could ever meet. We hit it off from the get go and never looked back. In truth, all the cats in Mylène’s care are special, each in his or her own way. If you get the chance to meet them, you will see what I mean. Each had a rough start in life and each was rescued under less than ideal circumstances, yet each one seems to be genuinely happy and thriving and is simply a joy to be around. Seriously, Sophie has explosively sneezed on me and hit me with enough snot so that I had to change my clothes and I
still adore her. I just learned to keep some tissues at hand to wipe her tiny nose off. It is the least I can do to return some of the acceptance and affection she has given me along with the rest of her family.

Thanks to everyone for your help and encouragement in keeping a wonderful family together.



LiveVegan said...

A very sweet post :) Glad to hear Zeus is on the mend. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Thomas, I'm so pleased you have taken to Mylène's family so well (sorry to hear you missed out on Tarwater; it sounds like he and Zeus had a very special relationship and I hope Zeus continues to improve). Your remarks are very touching. I'm so much *more* pleased however, that *they* have taken to *you*. That is quite an honour to receive. Not all new couples, nor their nonhuman family members, are always that fortunate. Take care.

Lover of Life said...

I'm glad Zeus is feeling better. That's a very lovely post.

M said...

I think that sometimes when we live with our animal family members we can sometimes forget the impact those individuals have upon others. Zeus has definitely won the hearts of more than a few people I know and it seems that he's managed to win Thomas', as well. :-)