Jackie Boy and Four-Legged Family

Not everyone feels this way, but most pet owners do, I think: that our four legged friends (and two legged as may be--thinking Kathleen's chickens--I want chickens, too!) are family. We love them, cherish them, and they are, next to our children's hugs and kisses, the best therapy in the world. There's nothing like puppy kisses and cats purring our laps to help us relax our breathing.

It might even be worth the coughed-up hairballs and mysterious wet spots in the carpet.

We've lost some of our four-legged family members, too many in the last two years, and I've learned over the years to fear urinary tract infections in my cats. We lost Frankie to it, and battled it in Jackie and Danny this Christmas (while accepting that we were going to lose our Aphrodite to feline AIDS at the same time). You can imagine my fear when Jackie decided to let me know last week that he had another one--pawing ferociously at the closed shower door until I got up to see what the racket was, opened the door for him, and in he jumped and promptly squatted and peed bloody urine while staring me in the eyes.

Smart boy doesn't need to show me twice, although he repeated the activity the next morning just to make sure I'd gotten his point. I put him in the carrier and waited for Rick to get home and take him. 

Danny is always near his brother, so tried to keep as close as possible (and in the process bowing the carrier enough that the door won't stay in anymore), and Samantha wondered what Jackie was doing in her crate.

Fortunately, the shot seems to have cleared up this latest round, but I worry, given my history of repeat UTIs and permanent daily antibiotic regime (with still reoccurring infections), how long we'll have before we go through this again, and if we'll lose one of my ginger boys to this. It's a nasty infection in male cats, and Frankie was not the first cat I've lost to it.

All I can do is try to feed them the right food, keep an eye on them, and love the hell out of them while they are here. Which, if you think about it, is about all we can do anyway, be they four legged family members or our children and spouses. 

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