Hard to believe that it has been 10 years since I showed up at Winterset Veterinary Center’s (WVC) doorstep with my siblings. We had been born under a porch and discovered as we started exploring our surroundings more. We were captured and placed into a tub and left on the doorstep on an August morning with a note. Obviously, we were making all sorts of noise being all cooped up in that tub. We heard voices and suddenly we had to blink and squint since it got very bright. We started being lifted from the tub by some amazing people. Come to find out those are the same people that work at WVC and care for all sorts of critters. It was decided that we should all get fixed which was not something I was even concerned about since I loved all the special attention and great meals we were receiving. At that time, it was discovered that I had a deformed sternum. This gave the staff a concern for adopting me out with my siblings since this could have other complications in the future. They then decided to keep me as a clinic cat and named me Hemmingway. I recently discovered I got my name because of my extra toes on all 4 feet. Ernest Hemingway was the first person to discover cats with extra toes and they call this congenital condition a polydactyl. If one parent has extra toes then 40-50% of the kittens will have extra toes if mated with a cat that has a normal number of toes. This condition is usually harmless. I do not believe that any of my siblings had extra toes. I was the special one and still am today.
In those 10 years I have gotten to meet lots of people. I have been in the Bridge Festival Parade wearing my “Come with me Kitty” harness and leash. I loved being out and exploring but the parade moved way too fast for me to keep up, so I was carried or rode the trailer a lot of the time. I did not enjoy the cannons or guns that were being shot off during the parade.
I also have visited the Winterset Middle School a few times as a way to promote Pet Health Week. Dr. Lonna would visit with the kids about the care of pets and importance of pet selection prior to bringing home just any pet that looks adorable. We all look adorable when we are little. The problem seems to come up when life events occur and people have not thought through the length of time that we will be needing a home. We seem to live longer these years because of the preventative care and improved nutrition available.
I spend most of my days wandering around the clinic greeting customers and their furry friends as I desire. I do ask to go outside if the weather is perfect and you may see me at the door or in the bushes as you approach the building. I have learned to be cautious before showing myself to some of the pets that visit WVC since some are not crazy about me. Cannot understand why since I love everyone.
I would say that the best part of my day comes when the sun shines through the window and I can lounge around letting it warm me on those cool winter days. As you can see from the photos that I do get a heavy mane and coat in the winter months. Of course as summer rolls in all that hair has to be brushed and combed out which seems to be another reason that people decide they can no longer keep a pet because of the hair and matts that develop. It is so important that pet owners really research the daily care required for their furry friends so that they are prepared for all the grooming needs and/or shedding issues that may present themselves over the 15-20 years of our lives.
I have been extremely lucky to live here at WVC. My life started under a porch with little shelter from the storms and scarce food sources. I now have my own food bowl and litter box. Constant protection from the elements and my only job is to allow the staff to demonstrate how to care for my coat and/or how to administer a pill. I hate that last demonstration the most. I usually get a treat after so I have learned to be tolerant.
They point me out when discussing weight concerns of our feline friends since they are always let people know they should not let their cat get to be as “FLUFFY” as me. Obviously that is a nice way of saying, “ I am fat.” I like to always have food in my bowl and even if they offer the lower calorie stuff, I stay fluffy. They have tried to restrict my food but my response to having an empty bowl is to turn my attention to the smorgasbord of bags that are always available on the shelves within the clinic. Never a shortage of food in this building. I am a lucky boy to have all of these servants watching over me daily and making certain that I get all the TLC that I need to be an exceptional clinic cat. Make sure you become my Facebook Friend at Hemmingway Winterset. I love making friends.