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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Peanut--a Remarkable Cat!

Peanut The Cat-Love in Action This is a true story)
Love in action..
By SARAH BAKER

Peanut, a resident cat at Heartland Veterinary Hospital, doesn't see that other animals are sick. Somehow, she feels it. Despite her blindness, Peanut has taken on the role of nurse at the hospital. When other animals come out of surgery, she slides into their cages to watch over them. She snuggles up to or lies across the patients. Sometimes she grooms them, too. Just before or right after the patient wakes, Peanut leaves.

Michelle Stephenson, a veterinarian at the hospital, has seen some interesting animal behavior. She's seen mama cats take in puppies and mama dogs look after kittens. But she's never seen anything quite like Peanut. "She wants to get right in there with them," Stephenson said. "Sometimes I wonder if she knows we saved her life or something." Perhaps Peanut feels she must return the kindness she received about a year ago.

The hospital staff took in Peanut Dec. 19, 2003. She had somehow found her way to the front porch of a former hospital employee. She was a scrawny mess. "Her eyes were completely
scabbed shut with infection," Stephenson said. The starved cat, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old at the time, weighed 3 pounds. The hospital staff treated the cat's eyes, but it was too late. The infections left blinding scars. Still, they did fatten her up. She now weighs 6 pounds - a healthy weight for her height. Stephenson figures Peanut had been on her own for some
time and didn't get the nutrition she needed when she should have been growing the most, leaving the cat with a petite frame.

Janet Morris, for one, is glad Peanut made a comeback. Last month, Morris' 10-year-old golden retriever, Rajah, underwent surgery at Heartland Veterinary Hospital. Doctors removed a large tumor from the 100-pound dog's side. Shortly after the operation, Rajah started hemorrhaging and doctors performed a second surgery. Afterward, Morris went into the kennel area to visit Rajah. Peanut was lying beside the dog. The tiny cat's arms were stretched out as if she were trying to hug Rajah's neck.

"It was just so incredible," Morris said. "It made all of us cry." Despite a heavy dose of painkillers, Rajah was awake enough to wag her tail at the sound of her owner's voice. Rajah seemed to appreciate the sound of Peanut purring, too. Morris said the purring seemed to soothe the dog. Peanut stayed in the cage for about three hours, licking Rajah's ears
and head and playing with her fur. Normally, Rajah wouldn't let a cat near her. Anytime she sees a cat, the hair on her neck spikes, she growls and does all she can to chase it, Morris said. But she didn't mind Peanut. Even when the painkillers wore off, Rajah just sniffed and rubbed noses with Peanut. "It was as if she knew that was the cat that helped nurse her back to health," Morris said.

Rajah's 15-inch incision is still healing, but she's otherwise back to her old self. The first time Peanut curled up beside a surgery patient, Stephenson thought it was a fluke. Maybe the cat
just liked the patient's heating blanket, she thought. The cage door was left open to save time because sedated animals have to be examined so often. "It just started happening over and over again," Stephenson said. If the cage door is shut, Peanut will pace back and forth until someone lets her in.

The little blind cat has had as much impact on the humans at the hospital. She loves to play and oozes with personality. "We started treating her and just absolutely fell in love with her," said
technician Robin King. The staff adopted her and she lives at the hospital. They named her Peanut and gave her the nickname Peanutter because of her size. Even if she put on some extra weight, the name will still fit thanks to one of her favorite playtime activities. She has an obsession with packing peanuts. When shipping boxes come into the office, Peanut will climb onto the boxes, waiting for someone to open them. If the contents are wrapped in bubble wrap, she'll sulk, Stephenson said. The staff loves her so much, they've made her a mascot of sorts, Stephenson said. In each employee's car, a picture of Peanut hangs from the rearview mirror. The ornaments include the words, "It's all about her," reminding the employees that they do their jobs to help all animals just like they helped Peanut.




Jeanie

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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Wow.
That's a really beautiful amazing story.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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Great story, gave me shivers!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 12:26 AM
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Thats an incredible story of Peanut.
Puts a lump in your throat.
Cats are the best!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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What a beautiful story!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 09:35 PM
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Thanks for sharing that beautiful story. Peanut sounds like one in a million. What a wonderul cat!

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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What a heart-warming story. Thanks for the good read, the pick-me-up, and sharing it with us.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 12:55 PM
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Peanut

What a beautiful story. It made me all misty-eyed.
Thanks for sharing.

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