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I'm either the luckiest person ever or the unluckiest, depending upon whether you're a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type. (Personally, I'm seeing the glass full to the brim because I look at it cross-eyed.) But whichever side of the lucky-stick I'm hit with, I'm dealing with this hilarious, crazy personal apocalypse cycle that has given me cause to review the list of the Ten Plagues of Egypt. I went through the plague of locusts (i.e., ground-nesting hornets) and blood (spontaneously bleeding "stigmata" on my hand, a condition known as pyogenic granuloma), and I skipped the plague of boils in favor of a MUCH more dramatic skull-base tumor. Then there was the Attacked by Dogs Plague, which resulted in the whole kit-and-kaboodle of rabies shots (that might be two plagues put together -- is that cheating?).

It's embarrassing for me to write this plea, but the Plague of Pestilence has hit my 9-year-old cat Words. And I'm not able to get him the care he needs.

Do you think you might be able to help by chipping in a couple bucks?

Words developed a muscular disease that has recently degenerated to the point where he's lost the vitreous humor of his eye and needs to have his eye amputated. I skimped on some of my medications the past few weeks to get him in to see a feline opthalmologist (who graciously gave me a huge break in fees), but the actual removal of the eye and getting Words fitted with his new pirate patch is beyond anything I can skimp on. And the recession has hit the N.C. State Veterinary Clinic to the point that they no longer have funds for pro bono work, even for someone like Words.

Words came to me in March 2003. My US Navy daughter had a baby that February, and five weeks later she was deployed overseas when the US started bombing Iraq. She got sea adventures in the War President's wars of whimsy and wolfish greed, and I got the baby and this lovably talkative cat named Words.

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He's a big orange tabby and just as sweet as pecan pie. My other daughter and I weren't crazy about calling him Words, so over the years we've tried a few other names for him, and he goes right along with it, good soul that he is. For a while, he was Buster, named after the clingy youngest brother on "Arrested Development," because Words was really attached to me and followed me everywhere. You can probably still call out "Buster! C'mere!" and he'll trot right into the room. But he won't jump into your lap, because you're not me. And he sits only with me.

He also answers to "Tickle tummy, tickle tummy, tickle tummy!" as he loves getting his curly cream tummy fur tickled and scritched. On occasion, you can try "Bonk, bonk, bonk," because if he hasn't seen me for a few hours or I've been away for a few days, he likes to catch up via the Kitty Mind-Meld Technique wherein human and feline heads are bonked together until love-you-and-missed-you catch-up has been achieved. You can also try the playfully scary "I'm-a gonna gitchoo, gitchoo, gitchoo!" because he loves to be gitchooed and then scritched and tickled.

Recently I've been calling him Papi, because he's like a dad to the 18-year-old Himalayan/Persian cat I took in when my ex-husband couldn't care for Pasha anymore. (The ex travels a lot, which is not an optimal situation for an elderly cat.)  Pasha's getting frail and just kind of needs a non-human companion to make his elderly faux paws (get it? I said "faux paws." Geez, I crack myself up.) less noticeable to the human eye, thus sparing him embarrassment.

Words watches out for Pasha and makes sure Pasha gets a separate dish of food that none of the other cats get into. This means he has to run interference with Cecile, a fierce but tiny tiger tabby who belonged to my dad and came home with me after my dad died in 2002. He also gently fends off Wolfie (aka Wolfgang Amadeus Meowzart, aka Prince Puffypants), the Maine coon cat who was part of a litter my friend Kathy rescued from a dumpster outside a factory in Fayetteville. Lastly, there's Isadora (aka Isadorable), who was a castaway that someone dumped into the wild and who lost part of her ear in the transition from someone's pet to a street cat, and then this whole magic thing happened that I don't quite recall the details of, which resulted in her waltzing right into my house one bitterly cold night last February and just never leaving.

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Anyway, now I'm this middle-aged unemployed grandmother with a bunch of amazing cats, and they all get great standard care from friends who work in pet rescue and adoption organizations -- but I can't cough up the contacts or the money to have Words' eye taken care of by a specialist.

But maybe if a few of my friends can chip in a buck or two, we can get his eye taken care of at the N.C. State Veterinary Complex's Terry Center on July 11.

If you can spare a little something for Words' pirate patch surgery, let me know. I can accept PayPal through the email addy on my profile (kim[dot]yaman[at]gmail[dot]com).

I'm sorry to ask, but I've exhausted all other options and don't want to put Words to sleep if there's any way we can fix his eye.

Thank you from Words, Pasha, Cecile, Isadora, and Wolfie. And from me, their well-trained human.

Originally posted to MsSpentyouth on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 10:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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