Author’s Note: This interview was done before Tonks’ sudden passing and with the permission of Miss Patricia, I am posting this. Please send love & purrs to her on the Facebook Page – Tonks Nine Lives: Deaf & Neglected: My Story and if you can stop by her Etsy shop – Bracelets for Tonks, she is making bracelets in memory of Tonks and all proceeds will go to a no-kill shelter of her choice in memory of Tonks.
May I ask how old you are?
The vet thinks I’m 12 years old. He came to that conclusion due the little specks in my eyes.
Where did your name come from?
The name given to me by my first owners was Sandy, when my new mom adopted me, her mom was named Sandy, so it was a little awkward, since I’m deaf and can’t hear my name, she changed it to Tonks for two reasons, one I’m a pure bred Tonkinese, and two, after a character from Harry Potter (Nymphadora Tonks).
How did you find your forever home?
After something happened to my first fur-ever home/humans who were elderly, I was given to someone who didn’t want me and threatened to euthanize me, someone rescued me from them and they had a good heart, but never noticed I was sick and kept me in a dark, dirty, damp basement for 6 months. My human told she saw my picture on PetFinder, under a foster agency she got 4 of my siblings from and she couldn’t stop going back to my page. Finally, she felt the need to meet me, she couldn’t push away an incredible urge that she had to meet me. She met me and realized upon fist glance, I was ill. She took me home that same day, which was a Sunday, and on Monday got me into see her vet. He was very concerned and ordered a lot of tests. I had an upper respiratory infection, and my thyroid levels were too high. I was immediately put on an antibiotic and thyroid medication and had to have my levels checked weekly. That’s when they noticed my kidney levels were borderline high. Four months after I was rescued I went into renal failure. Now I get 200ml of sub-q fluids every two days, plus my thyroid medications. The vet says if I stay stabilized I could live several more years, but we have to take it day by day.
Did your mom know you were deaf when she adopted you?
Yes, she was aware I was deaf when she adopted me, but she talks to me anyway.
How did your new fur family treat you?
If you mean my 8 siblings, they growled and hissed a bit, but I hissed louder and whacked them! They left me alone after that. We tolerate each other.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Go outside and enjoy the fresh air!
Do you still like your new food?
I love my Fromm’s Family Food! It’s holistic, so it’s good for me, and I don’t get sick on it or anything. Mom stopped giving me the “special food” when I started eating the regular food again. Instead of having a beef flavor, this takes like birds! Yummy!
You look so beautiful with the flowers around your harness, did you arrange them yourself?
No… mom was being silly and did that. I just stood still. I lack opposable thumbs to do those things. She basically threw them on top of me and that’s how they fell! If you look closely at my face, I was a tad perturbed.
How often do you get to go outside?
When mom decides she wants to sit on the porch, usually during moms breakfast, which she always has on the porch with her mom (grandmom to me) – but only if I ask to out, she doesn’t force me to out. Later in the day or evening if she decides to go out and I want out. It varies. If I want out, but she’s not going outside, she won’t allow me outside alone, even on the harness, because she’s afraid I might slip or fall or get all tangled up – I get tangled up a lot!
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
Hmmm… I’m really happy in my new fur-ever home. My human put up pet steps to her really tall bed so I could sleep with her! Sometimes I lay on her chest. II t took me awhile to accept my new human, but once I did I realized even with all the pills and now the needles (fluids), that it’s for my own good and this is my fur-ever home. Since I can’t go into the basement anymore to potty (that’s where the litter boxes are), she put litter boxes upstairs, even though she doesn’t like the smell, just for me! She doesn’t even get mad when I drool all over her desk (too much). She gives me lots of kisses and no matter how much I complain, she still loves me. ♥
Question for your mom: Is this your first deaf cat?
Yes, it’s also my first special needs cat, aside from Mr. Darcy who has chronic cystitis, which happened after I got Tonks. It cost a lot of money to take care of a special needs cat, but rescuing her was worth it. It really warms my heart to see her be able to have some happy moments in her life, when she’s clearly had so many unhappy ones since she lost her original owners. I still talk to her and call her name, even though she is deaf. Sometimes she’ll actually comes or react to sounds. Her other senses, of course, are extremely heightened, especially her nose! She can smell food a mile away!
What are some tips/tricks you have learned since having Tonks around?
She can’t hear you, so if she’s hiding, look everywhere! She sneaks up on you and doesn’t meow a lot, so look behind you or may here a loud yelp because you stepped on her tail! Most important lesson learned, is that it’s very rewarding to rescue a senior cat vs. a kitten and as my cat numbers dwindle (which I hope is a long time coming) I can see my self rescuing senior cats in the future over kittens. And… I have learned how to give sub-q fluids like a pro!
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Tonk who left too soon. Fly free beautiful girl, know you will forever be loved.
Author’s Note: Thanks a million times over to Miss Patricia, I can only hope this article does justice to Tonks’ life. *hugs* I am so very sorry for your loss. Pictures were used with permission. lease send love & purrs to her mom and the rest of the fur family on the Facebook Page – Tonks Nine Lives: Deaf & Neglected: My Story .