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Look What Dragged The Cat InJune 27, 2007

You should sit down.

No, really, you should.

Last night, at 11:37, Lala burst into our room. I was sound asleep. She yelled, "Rachael! GET UP NOW! You need to come out here!"

My reaction was "WE DON'T HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER!" but I was still sleep-unverbal, so I think I said something more like, "Wha? The hell?"

She said, still dragging me, that nothing was wrong but that I had to come RIGHT NOW. I decided if she was going to show me something on the internet I would f*&king kill her.

But no. She led me into the kitchen and showed me what was on the floor.

Digit.

My boy. My beloved man-cat, who disappeared FOUR MONTHS ago. End of February, beginning of March. Fifteen WEEKS ago. Eulogized here. Love of my life, huge piece of my heart, part of ME, one of the best parts of me, my crotchety cranky baby-cat who was BACK.

Sitting, no, swaying on the kitchen floor.

Lala said she'd heard him crying at the back door, as he always did, just as she was getting ready to turn in. She'd had to check his feet for the extra toes before she believed it was really him.

I dropped to my knees, and he started to purr, even though he could barely raise his head. I was crying the second I saw him, and shaking seconds after that. I've had six or seven dreams since he "died" in which he showed up, was just there, and I looked up at Lala and told her to tell me I wasn't dreaming. She said I wasn't.

She ran around and did all the things I couldn't do, got water, got two kinds of food, got towels.... I couldn't let him go, couldn't stop crying, couldn't stop touching him everywhere, trying to figure out what the hell had happened to him.

See, that cat and me, well, we're a pair. I'm his heart, and he's mine. He always comes back, always makes his way back. I knew he hadn't run away, because he's a one-man cat, and I'm that one man. We sleep paw-in-hand. I might be the only thing he loves besides his freedom.

I felt him everywhere -- no immediate signs of trauma or a car accident -- he could support weight on all four legs, although he had no strength. One eye was gummed shut, but I could see the eye was still there, and when pried open, looked like it had vision. His back end, always a problem for a tranny-cat with crystal issues, was a horrible stinking horror that I won't describe for the sake of your fair sensibilities.

It was midnight, and I had two choices -- I could take him to the emergency vet, an automatic four hundred bucks just to enter the doors, and they'd transfer him to our vet when they opened at 7:30am. Or I could let him sleep, at home, where he'd finally made it. I chose the latter, and made him a bed on the couch, where he seemed to be content to rest. But when I got up to check on him half-an-hour later, he was in the hall, as close as he could get to me without coming in the bedroom. I spent hours out there in the night, just holding his paw and trying to figure out what had happened.

We were at the vet at 7:30 this morning, and the best we can figure is one of two things: He got caught in someone's basement, someplace with water and an occasional mouse, but that wouldn't explain the pads on his feet being so worn. What I think is more likely is that someone "humanely" trapped him as a seeming stray (O Digit who broke out of a collar in two days or less, every time)  and took him far, far away and released him (a kindness, sometimes, when the only shelters around are kill-zones). And he's been wandering, trying to get home for almost four months.

He's lost half his weight, from sixteen pounds to eight. He weighs less that Miss Idaho. His rear end is a nightmare and needs surgery (partly because he hasn't been eating his expensive prescription cat food for months, and partly because flies are a bad, bad thing). His bladder is hard, as if it's full of stones, and the doctor can't hear his heart, which he and I both found strange. (It is possibly that I love him so much that I got his zombie back instead). He is severely dehydrated, and can't have surgery until he's stabilized, and I feel like such an asshole for taking him right to the vet, where he'll have to stay for days, when all he wanted was to come home. Makes me feel like I made the right decision to keep him at home last night.

But the doc thinks we might get him to a place where he can fight back, and if anyone can, my Digit can. Of course, he's gonna be PISSED when he finds out about the kittens I saved in his name. And even though this might be overkill, when he gets better (I hope I hope I hope I wish I wish I pray he gets better), he will be kept inside. And if he turns into the cat from hell, which he will, demanding to get out, he will be chipped (already in the works), and he will wear two collars at all times. I'm not kidding. The other cats will make fun, but he will wear two collars. And maybe an orange CalTrans vest.

I'm beside myself with joy. And worry. I can't lose him again, not just yet.  I had JUST gotten to the point where I could say his name without breaking down. But mostly joy.

Also, I went to Long's after the vet, and bought not one, but two fire extinguishers.

Yep.

O, joy. My heart lives.

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Comments

I am so glad to hear Digit came back, and I hopehopehope the vet gets him back in fighting shape. I'm not a praying type, but you guys will be in my thoughts! And let me tell you, you are one of the few bloggers who can make me cry!

I am so happy for you. I'm sorry to hear that he's rough but it's absolutely amazing that he made it back. Good luck with the rehab.

That's a fantastic story--hurray! It made me tear up a bit--I'm very happy for you, and for Digit.

The universe IS a benign place! I am so happy for you and Digit!

Such happy news! Congrats on getting your furry darling back, and congrats to him for making it back home!

DIGIT!!!

I got to that seventh paragraph, and literally burst into huge sobbing tears. Not delicate girly weeping, but industrial grade now-I-have-to-wash-my-glasses tears. I had just popped online to check some blogs before I went to the grocery store, but now I am TOTALLY not in any shape to leave the house.

So add to Digit's list of accomplishments: he ruined my dinner plans! I will have to eat a can of soup or something! But you know what? THAT IS TOTALLY OKAY!!!

If you need help defraying the vet bills, please please post a pattern for sale, or set up some other way to help you out. The internet loves Digit!!!

I'm so happy for you! I hope Digit gets better soon...

I'm crying. That's just so amazing.

Tears are running down my face. All my thoughts are with you and Digit.

*blink* *blinkblink* !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm stunned--and so, so, soooo happy for you and for Digit! How incredibly wonderful!

Now, THAT is an awesome story. I'm so glad he came back. I don't even know you, and I was holding out some hope that he was somehow on his way home. ^__^

Awwww. Yay :-)

God. I just knew it, right after you wrote that Lala said it wasn't something bad. It totally reminds me of all the times my bad ass cat made it back from certain death. I'm so totally thrilled for you. And him. Wow.

That is amazing!!! Digit surely has a special place in the heart of th kitty gods.

I can't believe I'm tearing up at this! I'm so happy for you and I'm frantically sending get-well kitty vibes as hard as I can to Digit. My hunch is that if he worked so hard to find you again, he'll work just as hard at getting better. **HUGS!**

I am so very happy for you. I am crying with joy for both of you. What an amazing thing to happen.

What an amazing story! I'm sending good thoughts to you and Digit. :)

OMG! I'm so glad you got your Digit back. Good luck and many well wishes for his full recovery.

Oh. My. God. and Hallelujah! Crossing all MY digits for a smooth recovery for one hella cat. XXO

Yay for the return of your beloved Digit!!! Muffin, Pocky and I send many good vibes for a speedy and full recovery.

My Vashi was on "vacation" for a good month when we lived in Fremont. I thought she was doomed--we lived right up on a busy street, but I came home from work one day, and M said, "Guess who's here?"

xoxo to you & Digit, and all the other beasties, and Lala, who clearly knows when to wake someone up :)

WOW how many lives does he have?
Happy News always makes me cry! There's nothing like a special cat

Holy shit! That is SO awesome!!! I will keep my fingers crossed that he fights back.

Delurking *and* crying for happy. I just couldn't delurk when Digit disappeared. It was too much, even 33 years after my sweetheart Lu Ahng left. All I could do was cry for you. But for wonderfulness? Oh yes! And send fierce vibes for his recovery.

{{{{{Rachael&Digit&Lala}}}}}

WOW! What an amazing story, I am so happy for you!!

this post made me cry. i'm so happy he is home with you. even though he's in so so shape..he'll be back to normal in no time. *hugs*

I KNEW it!!! Those polydactyl cats are FIGHTERS! I just knew he'd come back.

Ohmygod, Rachael, I don't even know what to say. So.Amazing. Sending Digit all the healing vibes in the world. What a gutsy little schmoo. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

oh ... my ... word
I am breathless... I will send good vibes so that he will be well... he must have something inside of him... i feel for you and him and will think good thoughts for your family that all will be well...

i cried for you when you thought he was gone and now i have tears for his return...

amazing

That is fantastic.

We lost our kitty the middle of May. We came home from being on the mainland (we're stationed in Hawaii) and some housing people had let themselves in to work on the HVAC and the cat must have gotten out then.

We looked for days. This is such a small area we just couldn't find her.

I gave up.

We came back from the Ironman in Kona and she was sitting at the back door when I walked into the house.

She was a mess, too.

But she's home, and safe.

So believe me, I know how you feel.

It's fantastic, isn't it ?!?!

Oh Digit, that was a hell of a way to go on a diet... Rach, you have the most amazing animal stories, and I think they're about the best religion I have nowadays. Your sister and her dog... Digit and his 9 lives... You guys were clearly meant to have a home & hearts full of critters. (So this makes 3 dogs and 4 cats now?!?)

It's a good week for kitties.

I'm so happy he made it home to you. I hope he can come home from the vet soon, and I'm sure he's back to stay. Sniffle.

De-Lurking also.
Hooray!!!
*Doing the Happy Dance for both of you!!*
I usually save reading your blog until it is one of the last ones in my Reader because reading it (almost always) gives me a lift. This was the best news I could have gotten after a stressful day.
Best wishes to you both,
Tina

How wonderful for you both!
To have your heart return - what an amazing feeling that must be.
I sobbed when he disappeared and the same is true for his return - of course these are happy tears this time.
Sending as many positive vibes as I can muster.

OH MY GAWD! That's incredible, It's like a Disney movie! I'm so happy for you all.

No f@#king way!! That is truly amazing and miraculous. Cats are fantastic creatures, able to find their way home like that. My heart is full for you. Scout says, "Stay gold, Digit-man."

Wow. Pets are worth it all. All the money, all the worry, all the buying fancy food (mine is allergic to everything in commercial food), everything. I'm so glad he's back. :) Elvis and Molly (my cats) are happy he's back too.

Oh, yay! That's a great ending to the story of Digit's disappearance and a beginning to the story of his recovery. Wishing all of you the very best.

I am so unbelievably happy that your Digit has come home!
I cried at your story.

It's so amazing! I'm going to send all my get well cat wishes to your Digit. I really hope he pulls through.

Woohoo! Now that is something worth getting out of bed for...

Just de-lurking to let you know that your story warmed my heart. I was so sad for you when he disappeared, and his reappearance just seems like a miracle. I hope your miracle kitty recovers-- he's definitely in my thoughts!

That is just the best news EVAH!

Wow Wow and WOW! Hold him as tight as he will let you. He will pull through this beautifully- he did just survive 4 months on his own. Enjoy each other. WOW!

OMG I am crying for you! When I first read your post about him being gone I cried becasue I thought what would I do if Brody was gone. He is my heart and I his. I am so freakin happy for you. Lala is amazing ~ you both know love and it shows. I suggest though that you change your last names to Doolittle or possibly McGoo as in Mr. McGoo's farm
best wishes to Digit and you all

Omigoodness! Wow!! A second chance at life together; what a wonderful story. Best wishes to Mr. Digit for a full recovery; he is one determined cat. Love!

That is so, so amazing. I'm tearing up!

This past winter, my sister-in-law lost a dog for months, and it turned out he had wandered far enough from home that he exhausted himself. Some kind-hearted woman found the poor dog by the side of the road, thought he was a stray, and took him home, nearly an hour's drive from here. Months later, she took him to the vet and found his microchip, then reunited him with his family.

Here's hoping that Digit's rough trip home was short, and that someone kind was looking after him until he managed to sneak away and come back to you.

Holy smokes - that's amazing! Welcome home, Digit!

Digit is a Miracle Pet! So, so Happy for you!!

I am soooo happy for you. Hope all goes well with Digit's surgery and recovery.

Wonderfully amazing news. Keep us updated...hourly! We had to take our scruffy, annoying, semi-feral, 15-year-old Frank (the cat) in last January (he just stopped eating) and I still miss his aggravating little self. Hold Digit tight...

So, amazing. I'm so happy for you all. And don't feel bad about taking him to the vet. He's knows he made it back to you and that's the important thing.

that's the best ever. i'm so happy for you and digit!

I am sending every ounce of my hope to you for a swift recovery. I'm sure now that he's with you again, his spirits will rise.

I'm going to get busted for posting at work... but I don't care. Digit's back!!!!

Hugs to you & LaLa. (Teehee @ you thinking she was going to show you something online. And also? Teehee at the orange Caltrans vest.)

Great heaving sobs of joy here at our house for you and Digit and Lala!
I had a "cat of my heart" who was with me for 20 years, he was a tough old bugger, too. Reading your Digit stories has always reminded me of him, and never more so than this story!

Much love to all of you! xoxox

And just a p.s. I'm SOOO sorry I missed your bday party, We were on the East Coast for a bit!

I'm so incredibly happy for you, lady! Digit is in my thoughts for a safe and speedy recovery.

Oh my GOD. I'm tingling with relief and happiness at Digit's return, and with sympathy for what's going to be a tough recovery for him. What an amazing cat! Maybe you can buy some orange acrylic and knit him a safety vest (with his address in intarsia) while he is convalescing.

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you and Digit! (As soon as I'd read down to where Lala tells you to get up, I knew it was Digit, and I was so happy.) I will be sending many warm fuzzy and healing thoughts your way, and I'm sure he'll make an excellent recovery. Yay for Digit!

I'm crying for you and I'm not even a "cat person!" But I am a "critter" person, and I loves my babies (2 dogs) too, so I get it. Sending love for Digit's recovery!

Amazing news, just amazing!!!

I'm so happy for you, and praying that he comes through his treatments and surgery well.

Love to all your family of pets and people.

That is so amazing and a tribute to pets and the love we share with them. What a relief to know he's home and safe. We'll be sending reiki healing and love so that he can recover quickly. BIG HUGS!

Oh Rachael! That is the best of news. Always a happy day when soulmates are reunited. Will keep your family (including cats) in my prayers.

Blessings! ( I alwasy sign off that way, but this is one time when it seems to have worked. You are truly blessed.)

I am so happy for you AND Digit.

And now I'm sending hearty get-well and keep fighting vibes Digit's way.

xo,
Elisa

So. Sweet. I teared up reading this. I'm so happy for you! I hope Digit makes a full recovery and puts those kittens in their place. :P

(Another lurker popping up to say hi)...

That is the best news I have heard in a very long time. I am so incredibly happy for you! Animals never cease to amaze me. If he has a strong enough will to make it back to you after four months, he will pull through this little blip at the vet. Congratulations!

I'm crossing my fingers and toes and thinking good thoughts for Digit - he'll make it! I'm so glad for you!

The cat came back! I am sending may healing vibes and love in your direction, because it sounds like you and your man are going to need them.

Rachel, delurking from Atlanta to tell you how touched I am by your post. Here's hoping that Digit gets his health back quickly. I know you want him home again, but he is in the best place, getting the best treatment, for the time being. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Donna

I am so happy for you! It's an amazing feeling to have a cat come back home after so long. I know from experience. I am really pulling for him to get better. Sending good healing vibes!

I am so happy for you!! I hope Digit gets better. My cat, Chessie, disappeared for six weeks and just sauntered in the house one day like nothing had happen. Damn cats.

Ok, I'm totally weepy now at work. I'm amazed and so happy for you!

Hang in there Digit you toughie!

OMG, I'm nearly wetting myself with joy for you! My Clarke disappeared for a month many years ago. When I'd given up hope for her, and was driving home one night, who should mosey down the driveway to meet me? Yup - she was absolutely fine, but never said where she'd been. I hope one day she'll tell me.

I'm so happy for you.

omigod. omigod. Sweetie, I'm so happy for you, and for Digit. I'm crying my eyes out right now.

And folks say miracles don't happen any more. Rachel, my heart is bursting for you and Digit. I'm sure you already have, but give Lala a big huge smack on the lips for me. Thank all that is holy that she was up and heard him. Go Digit!!!!

Delurking to say how great that is! Very happy, goosebump-inducing story.

I am so so happy for you. I enjoy your blog so much and am glad always for the good things coming your way.
Brave of you to get on the motorcycle...and thoughtful of Lala to come with you. I love, love in all its many forms.
Good luck with the 2 collar on Digit. I had a Houdini of my own years ago. Life was interesting. Blessings to you all.
Katrina

w00t!!!!!

You made me cry.
I am very happy for you.
My prayer for Digit.

Love,

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lots and lots of love and get-well wishes winging your way, Digit baby!!!!

Rachael, I'm a blubbering fool right now... that is AWESOME that Digit is back!!! I'm so happy that you're all together again. I and my own two kitties (Dilly and Meg) are rooting for him and for his speedy recovery. :)

Rachael, Digit will be fine. He sounds like a fighter. Lots and lots of love from me to all of you. Lots and lots of love from you to Digit can work wonders.

I had a Digit too so I know what you mean about the connection. His name was Frank but that was a looooooong time ago. He was a beyootiful black cat. I named him after Frank Langella (when he was doing Dracula - am I dating myself?) and Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror 'cause my Frank was a creature of the night (hee). Frank had a stunning rhinestone collar that just set that black fur off to perfection. He would sleep curled up under my chin.

Fingers crossed.

I'm glad I'm the only one in my office right now because I'm a total teary-eyed messy wreck. Digit, dude...May your back end heal fast. Stay home this time, okay?

(Snarfle. God, cats are miraculous creatures.)

Big snuggle to you to get you through the next little bit with Adventure Kitty, sweetie.

That is fantastic news. I'm all a big mess of tears and snot. Poor poor kitty. I'm glad he's back and hope he gets better soon.

Wow - I am so happy for you!!! I hope he feels better soon!!

I could not be happier for you.

This is beyond-all-words wonderful!!! His determination to find you again brought him home.

I once had a cat who got trapped in the attic of a deaf/mute couple. She was there 6 weeks, until someone finally heard her crying through the attic vent. She'd somehow found something up there to eat occasionally. The old couple could NOT believe it when she came down their pull-down attic stairs after my frantic hand gestures.

Miracles happen! (and maybe he's had enough of roaming)

Wow! Wow! WOW!!!

That is one amazing cat. I'll be keeping all of my digits crossed and hoping for a speedy recovery.

Oh my gosh!! I had to de-lurk to say congratulations and WOO-HOO!! I was so sad for you when I'd read your lovely good-bye post, and I'm so happy for you now. Both times there are/were tears. Congratulations again, and Digit, way to go!

Oh Happy Day! Bawling for joy! Yeah Digit! :)K

Oh what happy, happy news! Digit is back!

I wonder if he went back or tried to go back to where you used to live and got lost getting back to you? That might explain why his pads are worn. A lot of walking. Cats have been known to go back to their old territories.

OK, you succeeded in literally making my sob all over my keyboard. I know what it is to have that kind of a conncetion with a cat. I met her when I was 4, and she lived to be 19. I still miss her. I've also had a cat get lost and then return (though in his case it was only 6 weeks, not 4 months), and it was amazing. I am so happy for you that Digit is back, and I am also praying that he will get better and stronger and fight and fight and make it through and never leave you again.

That's the best news EVER. I'm so glad he's home and hope he recovers quickly. Oh, the stories he can tell!

OMG!!! I am at work and bawling like a baby! I am so happy for you all. We will be praying for his royal highness to recover. Keep us posted.

You've made a grown man cry. Tears of joy to be sure, but still.

So much happiness is hard to contain. Here's to all the good times yet to come.

dude, total yay! i am so sending millions of get will kitty vibes your way. i hope hope hope for a speedy recovery and that he's back home with you all soon. what a great story.

I am crying tears of happyness and sadness at the same time for you. Happy ones because your Digit is home and sad ones because on 6/26 my beloved brown tabby of 13 years suddenly died at home. It was sudden and unexpected. Maybe (this may sound nutso but hear me out) there was a rebirth of sorts. Where one dies another is born and thats what happened? I cant explain the mysteries of life but its a neat scenario. I'll say a prayer for your kitty and if he made it this far he is going to make it all the way.

EEEE! Congratulations and welcome back Digit!

My fluffy-orange-not-so-bright kitty did that to me. He just disappeared, then shows up about a month later, mewing pathetically at the front window.

After I'd gone and gotten the replacement kitty.

Congratulations on your growing family ;)

So glad to hear your kitty came back. Sending my best thoughts for a full recovery. Keep on pluggin', Digit!

OMG! That is *so* wonderful!!! Go Digit! :D

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