My brother’s keeper, a cat story

Published 10:33 am Friday, February 17, 2012

Frazier and Niles

It was on the seventh of November last year when the brothers were turned in by their owner.  I’ve long given up seeking answers why such beautiful  animals land on our doorstep. The boys are approximately 9 years old and full of life and love. They are called Frazier and Niles.
Frazier is  grey and white and Niles is a dark tiger stripe and white. Shortly after being turned in,  we noticed that Frazier was pulling out clumps of hair on his sides above his abdomen.
Both brothers remained warm and attentive when any attention was given to them, as was exemplified by loud purring and head butting they put forth. When the hair pulling persisted I approved using Lennie’s fund to have Frazier x-rayed and evaluated.
A star-shaped bladder stone showed up on the x-ray about the size of a large pea.
“That thing must be hurting him,” Dr. Donna Raines explained to me. “He’s probably pulling out his hair to get to it.”
Special foods and medicines were given to Frazier to try and dissolve the stone – it had worked before so we gave it a try. Niles was okay but he seemed to thrive so much better when brother Frazier was around. Except for their age and other circumstances, these two reminded me much of  Donnie and Marie.
I decided to take them home and foster them so my wife and I could tend to them in a less stressful environment. We have a special bedroom set up for such occasions where we do kitten fostering when needed.
To be honest, with all the things on my plate and the traveling I do, most of the chore goes to Elaine. That being said, these two boys stole my heart and I spent time with them every chance I could.
Two weeks went by and little change was noticed with Frazier’s hair-pulling episodes and I was heartbroken knowing he was in pain. Dr. Raines offered to do a free x-ray to see if there was any improvement and I rushed him in.  I waited to see the results and when I was shown that there was little or no improvement, I turned to Dr. Raines, “Donna, it kills me to see this sweet boy in pain like this,” I said tearfully. “What would it take to remove that ugly thing?”
Donna just smiled – she has been down this path with me all too often.
“It’s a simple procedure, Lennie, just like spaying.”

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