Way way back, in 2008, my local vet entrusted me with a litter of 4 kittens to raise. Their mother had had to have emergency surgery and could no longer feed them. The 4 kittens were 3 weeks old when they came into my care, born on 8th April 2008. It was a night & day job for the first couple of weeks. And try as I might not to get emotionally attached to the kittens, knowing the vet would be able to find new homes for all when they were weaned . . . I couldn’t stop myself having a favourite.
So as not to get attached to the kittens, we didn’t give them proper names. Just called them “la petite” (a female & runt of the litter), “le grand” (the largest male), “ruban” (= ribbon placed as a collar to differentiate him from his larger brother), and “le bleu” (= blue, because of his almost Russian Blue coluring). The weeks passed. The kittens were weaned and returned to the vet aged 8 weeks. Within a few days, 3 of the 4 had been adopted. But one remained. And yes, you know the rest of the story!
I dashed to the vets and officially adopted Le Bleu, who already felt like part of the family anyway.
So used to calling him “Le Bleu”, the name stuck (and is actually a reference to NCIS – one of our favourite TV series, a French translation meaning “probie”).
He almost didn’t make it to his second birthday though! In 2009 he was hit by a car and his left femoral bone was smashed to pieces. Surgeon managed to repair that with metal plate & screws, but only days after the operation, the knee joint became dislocated. This couldn’t be put back in place for several months, because of the repaired femoral bone that needed several months to consolidate. And even then, the vet said we only had a 50/50 chance of the knee not popping back out again, in which case the only solution would be amputation.
Here’s a photo to show the left leg sticking out at an improbable angle, before the knee was put back into place. And stayed in place. After approxmiately 6 months of convalesence and exercising, Le Bleu was back on all four feet, and (touch wood) hasn’t had any serious health issues since.
Anyway, Le Bleu was promoted to Special Agent years ago lol . . . he’s the oldest member of our 4-legged menagerie (consisting of Ducky, Abby, and Gibbs). And he celebrates his 14th birthday today!
He’s lost some weight this past year, and his “bionic leg” means his limp is more noticeable as time goes on, but doesn’t stop him living a normal active life.
He sleeps wrapped around my head every night. Takes over the husband’s computer chair whenever possible. And here, is enjoying the warmth of the sun in the veranda . . . and making sure he looks his best for the occasion.