Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040

(860)646-5170

manchestervetclinic.com

Jeepers

By Erika Norbut Collier, CVT

 

Jeepers in the early days - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

On August 31, 2002, we got a call from a client, saying she had found a cat digging for food in her garbage can and he was in need of medical attention. An appointment was scheduled right away. By the time she got to the hospital, the cat was named “Lucky” and she had already found him a home! Sounds great, right?

Our client was correct…the cat needed medical attention. Dr. Smedley saw him in the exam room and kept him to complete needed medical tests before sedating him to care for all his wounds.

This is where I come in; I walked into the kennel, where one of our nurses (Lindsey Mortlock – who is now a veterinarian) was staring into a cage. I looked in and I saw this cat…I then say, a now famous MVC phrase, “if I had a cat that ugly, I’d name him “Jeepers”! (A name I had been saving for the Border Collie I would someday have).

A little while later, Dr. Smedley and I started to get “Lucky” prepped for surgery.  As we were getting ready to inject him, he shook his head and one of his abscesses ruptured and got, we’ll say, “unpleasantness” all over my face! His procedure went well, other than needing to have most of the damaged cartilage removed from one ear.

Itchy boy Jeepy - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Loving laying in the shade - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

It was decided that he would spend the weekend with us for medical care and to give his new family a chance to get ready for his arrival. While caring for him, our nursing team noticed a problem. He was drinking and urinating A LOT. We decided to run a few more tests! It turned out that "Lucky" was a diabetic with the beginning of kidney issues. As a result, his new home fell through.

I had left for vacation and knew none of this. When I came back a week later, he was still in the hospital with a note on his cage saying that I wanted him!! WHAT!?! How did this happen? Apparently saying “if I had a cat that ugly, I’d name him Jeepers", meant that I wanted him. Well, he really was the ugliest cat I’d ever seen, and I have a bit of a soft spot for a pet no one else wants. Now for the hard part - calling home and convincing my husband to let me have him. I believe part of my appeal went something like, “I promise he won’t live that long!”

Jeeps checking out the grass - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

Let me back up for just a moment. Several months earlier I had gone to a local shelter with my mother, who had just lost her only pet. She got a cat, and I fell in love with one as well. I took my husband to see this cat, and he said to me, “could you have found an uglier cat?” Sadly I left the shelter without her.

Now, back to the story…I convinced my husband to let me bring this cat home. He takes one look at him and said, “OMG, you found an uglier cat.” His name was quickly changed to “Jeepers Creepers Where’d You Get Those Peepers?” with a call name of “Jeepy Creepy”.

As Jeepers gained weight and his fur grew back he really turned out to be a beautiful cat with enchanting eyes. Aside from cauliflower ears and a few hairless scars, who couldn’t love him? What he lacked in looks was made up tenfold by his engaging personality. I’ve always been a believer in keeping my cats indoors, but Jeeps followed me around like a dog, so he often ventured out as my gardening companion.

As for not living long, he lived for over 5 years! Even my “not so into cats” husband couldn’t disagree that “Jeepers” was our best cat ever. I can’t imagine another cat taking the place of this guy in my heart! He was an amazing cat, and I am so grateful to have had him in my life. I encourage anyone to consider adopting an older or less adoptable pet. You may benefit as much as they do.

Look at that Jeepy smile! - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

 

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