Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bonnie and Clyde, part 2

When I ended part 1, Bonnie and Clyde, the two neglected kittens I raised on a bottle were still very small. Bonnie was the healthy one, full of the dickens while Clyde was frail and struggling with a broken leg in a splint. At one vet appointment, we discovered both kittens had lice, Steve gave me a bottle of shampoo and said to give them a bath according to directions once a week for three weeks. I asked if it was safe and he said it was the safest thing they had.

The first week went well for both kittens, I had to lather them up and wait 10 minutes before rinsing. Bonnie let me know in no uncertain terms that she was NOT HAPPY with it but I was bigger than her. Clyde accepted the bath stoically, after all he had been through in his young life, a bath was no big deal.

The next week was totally different, Bonnie again protested but was bathed and dried. About an hour after Clyde was back in his tub, I noticed he was very quiet and got worse as night descended. Finally I called and talked to another vet. I explained what was happening and he said to bathe Clyde very well and keep him warm.

By morning Clyde had palsy so bad, he couldn't eat on his own and I had to go back to the bottle. When I looked at the warning label on the shampoo, I saw it was not meant for such small kittens, you would think the vet would check that, huh? Clyde pulled out of this last set back but he was never completely cured, he ended up with a bad case of the shakes and poor coordination, making it difficult to eat and drink.

But don't feel sorry for Clyde, I always said he's like a little handicapped child, he doesn't know he's handicapped and is a happy boy.

Bonnie stole the heart of our friend, Sam, and when she was litter trained, she went to Whiting to live at their house. I have to admit I did have reservations because the older Bonnie got, the more rambunctious she grew. I know Sam wanted a cat to sit on her lap and wasn't sure Bonnie would be a good fit. I also knew I couldn't find a better home for Bonnie so brushed my doubts aside.

This is the last picture of Bonnie before she left.


Since Clyde was our special needs cat, he went with us to the cabin that summer and to Carol and Tom's for the annual Viking weekend. He traveled well in the backseat of the pickup, lounging in his carrier until he was hot, then he'd start chirping.
"Bruce, turn up the air conditioning, Clyde's hot."
Once he was comfortable again, all was well.
 Clyde made himself right at home at Carol and Tom's and loved the accommodations in the guest room.
Buster wasn't quite sure he liked a cat invading his house and hung tight in his chair.
"I'm not leaving this chair till that little creep goes home!"
Having a cat with special needs is a learning experience, with his neurological problems, everything is exaggerated. When Clyde jumps on the couch or chair, he just lets loose and flies, not knowing where or how he will land. If Bruce or I happen to be sitting on that couch or chair, it can be dangerous. I walked around with a slash on my chin for a few weeks from an errant claw scrabbling for a landing spot.
Clyde really hates loud noises, when I'm baking and pulling pans out of cupboards, he makes a wide berth around me and leaves the kitchen, I usually find him upstairs in the tower.

And forget about the vacuum cleaner, that is an instrument of the devil according to Clyde!
He will go outside - IF - it's not too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, well, not at all rainy. One morning I made him go out with me before it got hot, I felt he needed to get out of the house. I was working away when I felt Clyde bumping my leg with his head. I looked down, he looked up, "NYETT, NYETT!" his mouth open panting, I understood perfectly! We went to the house.
 When he runs, he's all over the place, his backend nearly over taking his front end!
Clyde loves a soft bed on which to lounge and Bruce often finds him stretched out in the daybed where he takes a nap after dinner everyday.
Clyde doesn't like his routine changed and when Zoe came into the household, he packed his bags and moved upstairs, refusing to come down. I had to borrow the neighbor's baby gate, Clyde couldn't get over it, to keep him in the kitchen. Zoe finally won him over, well, who wouldn't love this sweet face, and they are best friends.
So imagine Clyde's shock and horror when his evil sister, Bonnie, came back to the farm to live. Yes, she wore out her welcome at Whiting, terrorizing their gentle dog, Katie and bullying the other cat. Not to mention what happened when daughter Brittany came home with her two Siamese, Aermenta and Genobia. (But with names like that, they should have been tougher!)
I had been telling Sam for 2 years that Bonnie could come back and finally things came to a head. Bonnie was pretty ticked off by the time they got here, I put the carrier in the laundry room with her in it. Clyde, sensing danger - and he laughs at danger - gingerly got out of his chair, yes, he has his own chair, and shaking all over, his palsy magnified when he's nervous, approached the door of the cat carrier. All of a sudden, a black, furry demon hit the door and we didn't see Clyde the rest of the day.
I knew I couldn't let Bonnie loose in the state she was in so left her in the carrier overnight in the garage and turned her loose outside the next day.
Didn't see her for a week!
Bonnie eventually showed up, but to this day she doesn't have a cat or dog friend, she is just very anti-social. Most of the time she tolerates me but once in awhile she has a weak moment where she will grab me around the neck and love me to death. But when the vet came to vaccinate everyone for rabies, we had to wrap her in a towel to subdue her, I can hardly wait till next year.
She looks innocent enough - but she is evil.
The other cats all curl up together in the winter.
Bonnie would rather die.
Bonnie does remember her days as a house cat with some fondness and got in the habit of trying to sneak in the back door when I was going in or out. One day she slipped in and ran to the basement, Clyde saw it happen and stationed himself at the top of the stairs, hurling insults and threats of bodily harm if she dared come back. I went down after Bonnie and was carrying her back up, just as the cats were about nose to nose, Bonnie let loose a very loud, "YEOWWWW!!!" Clyde threw himself backwards, lost his balance and was thrashing around on the ground trying to get traction. I opened the back door and tossed Bonnie out, Zoe came tearing in and ran right over Clyde just as he was getting to his feet. It is a wonder I didn't have to do CPR on him, he must have a strong heart to withstand all that drama and live to tell about it.
 Everyone needs a goal in life, Clyde's is to be a seeing eye cat. He practices on us nearly every day, if we head for the back room to go do chores, he right in front of us.
"Just follow me and I'll get you there safely."
"No, you have to follow me!"
"Don't go AHEAD of me, it defeats the purpose!!"
"OWWW, don't step on me, I'm just trying to help!!!"
If I'm bringing groceries in from the car to the kitchen, there's Clyde, showing me the way.
If I'm bringing clothes in off the line to fold on the couch, you guessed it, Clyde is there, IN THE WAY!!
This morning Bruce was hauling chemicals out of the garage into the basement for the winter, big, heavy boxes, and Clyde was doing his best seeing eye cat demonstration. He has no idea he is lucky to be alive with those big feet striding inches from his body.
So that is the story to this day of Bonnie and Clyde, I'm sure we will have more adventures along the way and I will be here to chronicle them.


  1. This story made me laugh....cats do have specific personalities don't they. And you have such a great way to describe each one.

  2. this is a great 'and that's the rest of the story............', Julie! I too chuckled several times, poor Clyde. you're right, he is the way he is and he thinks it's alright! and look at the joy he's been in both of your lives! I look forward to more of his antics as you never know with Clyde. thanks for the novella.........CG

  3. One of your finest blogs, dearest Julie. I laughed and laughed, you can tell just by looking at that "innocent" face of hers.... she is a she-devil, albeit a beautiful one. Very well written, what an enjoyable few minutes I had with many chuckles ! Can't wait to see Bonnie again, and dear sweet Zoe. As you know, Rich and I came home from vacation last night, and we had a couple of sweet girls checking in on Dotty often while we were gone. The first night they came, she allowed them to pet her and she even played with the laser light with them. But she must have felt used, the rest of the times they came they could not find her, or would only catch of glimpse of white as she streaked through the house. When we came home, she never showed herself after running down the stairs when we first opened the door. However, this AM it was like all was forgiven, she was all over us like glue, head butting us "pet me pet me!" AND very vocal scolding us for leaving her. Oh, the lives of these kitties! Dotty just turned 14 so doesn't feel she should have to put up with any of this stuff!!!!