My name is Tracie, and as the moderator/creator of weloveourcats I thought I'd share some info about myself to new members.
I'm 20 years old, and currently a senior in a pre-veterinary program in Ohio. My little princess is Phoenix, a spayed mixed breed female around 2 years old. Phoenix is a former stray that I found in an abandoned crackhouse (yes, really) downtown about a year and a half ago. As a veterinary student I see animal neglect cases every day, but she really took the cake. At about 6 months (which we gauged later from her teeth), she was 5 pounds. She was so filthy it wasn't until we got her in a bath that we realized she was grey and white rather than grey and black. Her nose and eyes were riddled with infection, her mouth and tongue were abcessed and her bowel control was nonexistent. I honestly didn't think she'd live the night. She proved me wrong, though; after several weeks and hundreds of dollars in treatment, she's a happy and healthy kitty...even has a little bit of tummy chub!
Phoenix came to me at a pretty hard period in my life. I had just broken off a wedding engagement with someone I had seen for several years, and was in the midst of filing a restraining order. Phoenix was my sanity during those weeks, knocking the phone off the hook when the ex called, refusing to let me out of her sight whenever I was home. She became the center of my world, and she's never left that place of honor.
Because of her illness as a kitten, including viral infections and severe malnutrition, Phoenix is a special needs cat. Various illnesses left her slightly mentally retarded, and although she has grown up relatively normal she still has a few quirks left. Her voicebox was damaged as a kitten, so she cannot meow: only squeak like a toy. She gets confused easily, walking into cupboards and not knowing how to get back out. (She often gets frustrated and simply falls asleep in them.) She consistently falls into toilets and bathtubs....the list goes on. She will never be a smart girl, but she will always be very dear to me.
Phoenix has bling.
Why make this community? Because working in the animal care profession, I recognize how incredibly valuable the experience of living with a companion animal can be. The pet-owner bond can be an amazingly supportive, loving and healing one. By sharing our experiences with companion cats, hopefully we can further appreciate their impact on our lives.