Jumper ‘Jaws’ Thomas is my name and recovery has been my recent game. Thanks for the emails and texts you sent Elaine wishing me well after my surgery. I have to admit that it has been a rocky time, no pun intended.

Skip this paragraph if you don’t fancy learning the details about my feline operation. If the topic doesn’t put you off, let me begin with a bit of background. (Google ‘blocked tomcat’ and you’ll learn more than you’ll ever want to know.) Let’s just say it’s not uncommon for neutered tomcats that are a bit overweight to require surgery for the removal of crystals in their urinary tracts. Not me, though. I developed crystals, plus stones. Thus an even larger incision was required.

This Tomcat‘s Story

After spending the night in the animal hospital post-surgery, I came home late Saturday morning. While lying around the house at what I was certain was death’s door, I endured terrible pain, but not well. I didn’t want to eat or drink and my litterbox was as dry as a dust storm in the Dirty 30s. Following a miserable night, I made my way to the back door where I indicated that, despite my discomfort, I wished to take my regular morning constitutional walk around the yard.

However, that Sunday morning was anything but usual. What I really wanted to do was hide in the brush pile by the bull mesquite and die. I didn’t think it would take long as badly as I felt. Either that or maybe I’d get lucky and the coyote that sometimes loiters in the long grass on the west side of the farmstead would finish me off even quicker.

Wouldn’t you know it? Before I could push back through the branches in the brush pile to my final resting place, I heard the crunch of purposeful footsteps. Elaine was on my trail and before I could make myself scarce, she pulled me out by the hindquarters and swept me into her arms amid my anguished protests.

Within minutes, I was in the cat carrier and we were headed back to the animal hospital. I was admitted as a Sunday emergency. I won’t bore you with the details of the following week, but let me ask if you are familiar with a catheter. While insertion of that medical device may have been a necessity for my wellness journey, it certainly was uncomfortable living with it for six days.

Abandonment Fear

Although they might have phoned, Emil and Elaine never came by. At first, I was hurt by their callous lack of attention and then thoughts of my various misdeeds surfaced in my memory. Nevertheless, I held my orange tabby chin high, telling myself over and over that I didn’t need them. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. I recognized that I needed them long enough to pay my substantial hospital bill.

Finally, on Friday afternoon, I was stuffed back in my carrier again and hauled to the front desk where Emil and Elaine waited all smiles. Elaine spoke to me through the bars, telling me how good it was to see me. She noticed right away how much weight I’d lost.

I refused to make eye contact. “Get me out of here” was the message oozing from every hair on my orange head.

Wielding her credit card, Elaine asked the vet’s assistant if I’d bitten anyone while I’d been an inmate. (You see, in my pre-surgery days, I was prone to doing that.)

“Oh, no,” the young lady said. “He was so loving. What an adorable cat!”

Elaine looked alarmed, shocked actually. She turned to Emil wide-eyed and said, “I told you Jumper was really, really sick.”

However, Elaine need not have worried. In fact, I feel fine: hale and healthy. The hair on my belly has grown back and bad memories of the animal hospital no longer disrupt my sweet dreams, plus the prospect of visiting the litterbox no longer fills me with anxiety.

Of course, it’s all in good fun, but I admit I’m back to my bad boy ways of biting Emil and Elaine every chance I get. This scalawag of a tomcat has made a complete recovery!

And now it’s time for another nap.

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Read more of Elaine’s tomcat stories:

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