This is Sebastian. I brought him home December 5th of last year.
Three days earlier, my little tabby cat Tony (short for Antonio Banderas) had run out the front door when my roommate Sarah came home. I didn’t like to let him out front because of all the cars, but sometimes he got out that way.
Two hours later, I heard little cat cries and found him sitting awkwardly in the flowerbed. He wouldn’t come in, so I picked him up, brought him inside, and quickly realized something was very wrong.
Tony couldn’t use his back legs. He was pulling himself around by his front paws and crying pitifully.
He must have been hit by a car.
Sarah apologized profusely, but I told her it wasn’t her fault. We grabbed the carrier and headed off to the emergency vet on Cary Street.
Once there, they whisked him back and I sat numb, Sarah at my side. When they called us back, I was shocked to learn that it hadn’t been a car.
Tony had a blood clot that had blocked the flow to his lower extremities. With treatment, he had only a fifty percent chance of regaining use of his back legs, and the vet said even then it would be a long, hard road ahead of him.
My little guy was only a year and a half old, and I didn’t have the heart to see him suffer the rest of his life, so I chose to put him to sleep.
It broke my heart. I got Tony as a five-month old kitten from the Richmond Animal League. He was a crazy little man, laying in a hammock, and he reached his paw through the cage and touched my cheek. I was sold.
He was a good little friend, and would always wait for a cuddle when he came in from his journeys before heading to his food bowl. He had an odd obsession with Q-Tips, and would play fetch tirelessly.
I decided to adopt another cat right away, because although I missed Tony terribly, I knew there were lots of animals who needed homes and I had already paid a pet deposit, so my mom came down that Friday and we went to the Richmond SPCA.
I originally wanted another tabby, but when I reached through the cage to stroke the face the sleeping little tuxedo cat, I saw right away how affectionate he was. He even stuck out his paw and touched my cheek. We took him into a little room to play with him, and I knew I couldn’t make him go back to his cage. He was mine.
The first night, Sebastian disappeared. I’d been so careful, but he must have gotten out somehow. I looked EVERYWHERE. No kitten. 18 hours later, we heard a little squeak. He’d hidden himself under a pile of clothes in Sarah’s armoire. His middle name was decided then and there: Sebastian Armoire.
Sebastian is a cuddler, and he makes a funny “hee-hoo” squeak-meow. He kicks his little back feet like a rabbit when you pet his belly, and he is very playful but never mean. Every water cup belongs to him and he reserves the right to tip them over and make a mess at any time.
Getting another kitten helped me tremendously with getting over the loss of Tony. I thought it might be too soon, but it was just what I needed.
The Richmond SPCA has free adoptions in December (a generous company sponsors the adoptions every year). They also have their own veterinary clinic for their adoptees which is far cheaper than most other vets. If you are thinking about adopting an animal, I highly recommend them.
Having a pet is a responsibility. It can be expensive and sometimes they get on your nerves, but the friendship and love you get in return is so worth it.
Who does that?
Antonio Banderas as Zorro
Tony leads prayer
Happy National Cat Day!