A week before the operation and the wait is interminable. I went to sleep early last night as I do most nights. Janet is calling the cats in for the night. We have three cats, Marble (the alpha cat), Busbie, and BooBoo LongPaws. All the cats have multiple names.

Marble is known also as Monkey. He sleeps in our bed every night, at our head right between Janet and I. He is Janet’s cat. Loves her to bits.

Busbie is also known as, well OK, she has only one name. She is overweight and has become very loving. She loves to be patted. She is pretty much anyone’s cat. Will go to anyone for a stroke and a pat.

BooBoo LongPaws, officially named Rumpus, is the newest addition to the house. He is barely 1 year old and has to be the softest most lovable cat we have ever had.

The cats are trained to come when we whistle for them. We do not like to leave them out overnight. The nightly ritual is for one of us (ususally me) to stand on the front porch and whistle for them. But Janet does the honours since I am in bed early most nights.

I hear a faint cat cry, but do not pay attention to it. Janet comes upstairs to say that BooBoo is nowhere to be seen, but that she is hearing this cat cry every time she whistles. I get dressed, grab our 20 year old flash light and go out to help look for him. There will be no peace in the house until we find him.

We whistle, the cat cries. We start walking in the direction of the cry. It is farther from the house than we expected. There is a school yard across the street from our house. They have a section cordoned off for composting. There is a beautiful very leafy tree in this section, and we swear the cris are coming from the tree. I shine the flash light up in the tree and cannot see a thing. I need a new flash light, one of thse new fangled LED jobs.

The cries are silent, but return when we move away from the tree. I finally spot him, way up, and I mean way up. I go hoome and bring the ladder back with me. It is a 6 foot job that lets me reach teh lower branches. Last time I climbed a tree was in 1966 in England. I start the climb up. The ladder is 6 feet hign, I am 5ft 10in, which puts the cat at about 12 to 14ft. As soon as I get near him, he digs his claws into my head.

Need a new tactic. I get behind him. He is wedged in between two branches and appears to be twisted. Does not look good. I lift him with one hand and grab him with the other. One or both of us might go for a spill if I am not careful. I place him on branches as I ake my way down. He is not making any moves to go anywhere, which is a good thing.

I finally make my way back to the ladder and hand him to Janet. Our neighbour John Brown has joined us to see what the commotion is all about. He takes the ladder back while Janet handles BooBoo.

The bad news: he is not moving his rear paws. We rush to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic. That is what I will be when I get re-incarnated. You pay them $500 just to walk in through the door. They take us in right away. He does not look good, his back paws are not reacting to anything, he appears to be in shock. They suggest we drive to Guelph where they have the expertise to look after him.

The doctor goes off to make a couple of phone calls. She comes back to tell us that somehow, BooBoo appears to be showing some movement in his back paws. Small movements, but movements nevertheless. We do not drive to Guelph, but take him home to see what happens.

Long story short, he is fine. Had to spend a couple of weeks in a cage so as to not damage himmself any further. Then had to stay indoors for another couple of weeks. He is out and about now. Caught a bird this past week. And ATE the damn thing.

Oh BooBoo.

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