This is the story of my two cats  - Chuckie and Tripod.  

Chuckie is a grey longhaired Tabby who will be 12 in October of this year, and Tripod just celebrated his 3rd birthday in June. 

Chuckie is my baby girl; her mom lived with us when Chuckie was born. Chuckie was the only grey longhaired kitten her mom ever gave birth to. We named her after a friend who had long hair and was gentle and nice, like the kitten and that’s how she became Chuckie. 

Chuckie's mother was a calico (multi-coloured) with 6 toes on each front paw. Chuckie has 6 toes on her right paw and 7 on her left paw. She is very adept at opening doors that she can wrap her paws around and turn. She is spoiled rotten and thinks she is queen of this house.  Before Tripod came into our lives she had lived alone in the house with my husband and I for about 6 months. She has grown up here never going outside unless my husband or I carried her out to let her roam for just a few minutes and brought her back inside. There is a danger of her running off, or getting into a fight with one of the wild cats in the neighbourhood, so she is strictly an indoor cat.

She has had quite a few litters of kittens and seen many a cat come and go here. But she is very set in her ways now, and the arms of my chair are for her to lie on when I am in my recliner or on my lap.

Tripod is called Tripod because he only has 3 legs. My husband had some lumber stacked in our carport 3 summers ago and we noticed this skinny little kitten with big eyes lying on the lumber. We realized the kitten was by itself and seemed to be starving, so when we went to feed another of our cats that is outdoors, we would put some food up on the lumber for Big Eyes as we called him.

He would let us pet him sometimes but not all the time, and was beginning to look for us to give him food and say something nice like how handsome he was.

Well one Saturday morning I had taken time off work to go to the last day of Vacation Bible School at my church; we had been having it at night and I was one of the teachers. We were giving out awards, etc that day. When I got to the Church I was told that my husband Ken had called and was very upset about something.

When I called him back he said that I had run over Big Eyes and his front paw was really torn up and he didn't know how badly he was hurt otherwise. I told him to start calling vets and see if he could get him in somewhere. We didn't have any money and all the vets he called wanted him to wait till the following Monday or until we could get some money to bring the kitten in. My husband finally called a man he worked with whose brother-in-law is a vet in a different town from where we live.

The vet agreed to see Ken and the kitten and told him not to worry about the money, that we would work something out. Ken brought the kitten by the church so I could see him, and I just wanted to pick him up and hold him and cry about what had happened. But I couldn't because he had to get him to the vet.

The vet had to take the kitten’s front left leg off and that’s how he became Tripod when he came home. He is now an indoor cat, which was very new to him and Chuckie didn't know what to think about this outsider who hopped around on 3 legs.

Tripod is a very big cat, and he loves to antagonize Chuckie. Even after all this time Chuckie doesn't like him, every time he gets close to her she hisses at him. He loves to run up and nip her on the back or wherever he can and she hisses at him and turns and runs and he chases her. They are quite a pair but they are our babies.

* Since this article was published some months ago, Chuckie had to be put to sleep on 11 October 2005




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  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
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  • Much less likely to wander and get lost
  • Safer from diseases like feline AIDS, mammary tumours and feline leukaemia
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens

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