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RUSH: Folks, I got so scared yesterday. You know, my little cat, Punkin, is 16 years old. I got Punkin in 1997. She’s Abyssinian and, for most of Punkin’s life, I think the breeder that we got Punkin from bred the cats for potential show, and there might have been some inbreeding for purity’s sake. I’ve done a lot of reading about Abyssinians. Punkin’s always had urinary tract problems, kidney infections. Her kidneys produce — as it’s been explained to me — crystals that clog up her urinary tract and make her think she’s gotta go to the bathroom when she doesn’t, and you can see that when it happens. So she’s constantly getting medicine for it and frequent trips to the vet her whole life.

But we’d reached a point a month ago where every antibiotic that had been given to her in pill form, she had built up a resistance to and none of them worked. So we had to send her to the vet for a three-week stay in the cat hospital. And we took the hammock that she sleeps in and the food balls and took that stuff over there. She had to get a shot twice day, had to get an injection of antibiotic twice a day at the cat hospital. The vet wanted to monitor her every day, that’s why we couldn’t do it at home, and some other things, too. And, you know, she’s16 years old, two injections a day. So I’ve been sorta apprehensive about Punkin.

We picked Punkin up on Tuesday and brought her home, and she’s been fine, actually a little mad, as she always is, thinking that I abandoned her. I did. I went by to see her one time, and people said, “Why didn’t you go by and see her more?” I said, “Wouldn’t it be cruel, she’s an animal in a cat hospital, to show up and then leave? I mean, that would lead to abandonment issues with the cat.” We humans, we always transfer our own humanity to animals. So we think that they feel and react in ways like we do. People showed up to see me in the hospital and left, and I’d just assume they not show up.

So, anyway, yesterday I’m sitting on the couch, and Punkin’s right next to me, and I’d just gotten home and I’m just settling in to do some reading on the iPad. She’s sitting on her blanket right next to me on the sofa, and out of the corner of my eye, I think she’s gonna get up and jump off and go running around somewhere. And out of the corner of my eye, that’s what I thought happened. It turned out she fell off. She literally fell off, just rolled off. I see this out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t know until later she actually rolled off. I didn’t see her moving after that, I said, “Oh, my God!” I leaned forward and she splayed out on the floor in the weirdest position, and her head’s under the sofa, and then she started crying like crazy. I mean, I’d never heard this kind of meowing, crying.

So I bolted up out of there and I went over there, and I picked her up and I didn’t know what had happened ’cause we give her blood pressure medicine every day at three o’clock. So I said, “Aw, no,” 16 years old, you know the thoughts that go through your head. She was scared to death. Her eyes were dilated, and she’s continuing to cry, so I picked her up and I held her for a while. She stopped crying immediately. I didn’t know if she was paralyzed. I’ve never seen her fall off of anything. This has never happened. So I put her down on the floor and she wouldn’t move, but she could stand up. So I said, “Ah, jeez.” You know, you have all those sad thoughts that start going through your mind.

So I put her back down on the sofa, and I remembered that she gets her blood pressure medicine at three o’clock. She has high blood pressure. Sixteen-year-old cat. I mean, she’s two years beyond her life expectancy for this breed, the Abyssinians. They usually, at 14, that’s the upper edge. She’s on, well, what you’d say borrowed time. Anyway, after about a half hour, totally normalized, started getting same old Punkin, jumping off the couch, running around to get a drink of water and so forth. So I figure what happened, she either fell asleep — by the way, when she got back up on the couch herself, she sat as far away from the edge as she could. I figure she either fell asleep and just rolled off, or else the blood pressure medicine, she lost consciousness. I had no idea what it was. So we’re gonna monitor it today when she has to get the blood pressure medicine.

Boy, it was just scary. I just love this little cat, and this little cat, we’ve got these three giant sheepdogs, and they’re just intrigued as they can be with this little peanut animal. They don’t know what it is, but they know it’s some kind of an animal, and Punkin doesn’t care. She thinks they’re idiots. Brutish, dirty, filthy idiots. You can just see it in her face. But she was perfectly fine so I chalked it up, the blood pressure medicine just lowered her blood pressure too much. But, you know, at 16, you just… I don’t know. I had forgotten she was that old when we took her to the vet for this three-week stay. I said, “What is she now, 10, 12?”

“Oh, no, we’ve been treating her since 1997.”

“Oh, my gosh, 16 years old.”

And ever since then I’ve become hyper-attentive to everything she does. I don’t let her walk up stairs anymore. I carry her. When it’s time to go to bed I pick her up and carry her up the steps. I drop her right at her food bowl and her water bowl. She even licked me in the face after this whole thing yesterday. So that was cool.

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