The Villages - July 2021 - 18

{ FOR THE
OF PETS }
Papi
A CAT WITH A DOG PERSONALITY
STORY BY RICA KEENUM | PHOTO BY ROB WILKERSON
He has a low, raspy voice but he makes himself heard, hopping up and
pawing at his owner Kathy Martucci. A New York native, Kathy moved to The
Villages full time about three years ago, and she recently found her best pal. In
her Village of Chatham home, she pulls the 10-year-old cat close for a hug. The
two have established a special rhythm.
" I talk to him throughout the day, " she said. " I'm used to his
companionship. "
Papi, meaning " Daddy " in Spanish, is a cat with a dog personality.
" He loves food and lots of attention, " Kathy said.
Papi was a shelter resident whose chances for adoption were slim, due to
his age and special needs. Knowing what challenges lay ahead, even Kathy
had reservations.
" I thought, 'Did I really want to adopt a sick cat?' "
Papi has stomatitis, an inflammatory condition of the mouth that can be
painful and potentially fatal.
" It's a lifelong condition; it requires steroids and antibiotics. " Kathy said.
She's hoping his latest surgery will help ease his symptoms. " I took him to the
vet and he had 15 teeth extracted 6 weeks ago. "
Papi seems unbothered by this.
" He's a wild man, " Kathy said, nuzzling his face. " You'd never know he was
sick. He has so much energy and he runs the house. "
When she's not hanging out with Papi, Kathy serves
as a co-volunteer coordinator at the Leesburg Humane
Society. A blue splat on her arm gives her latest project away
- painting. She explains she does lots of things around the
6,000 square-foot facility. Like other volunteers, she is passionate
about improving the shelter and the lives of its furry residents.
" We have a group of about 25 or 30 volunteers and about
half of those people are Villagers, " she said.
When she started six months ago, she didn't intend to
bring home Papi, but she notes he was very persuasive.
" Whenever I came in, he would jump right up on me and
put his paws here, " she said, gesturing toward her shoulder
where Papi stretches his long feline arm. " Then in January,
I went to visit my family in Puerto Rico and when I came
back, he jumped right up again. I'd wanted a cat who
would acknowledge me, who'd sit in my lap and let me
pet him. He does that. "
Having a special needs pet is not so bad. You might
say it has it's purr-ks.
" He changed my life completely. "
I talk to him
throughout the
day. I'm used to his
companionship.
He loves food and
lots of attention.
- Kathy Martucci
18
JULY 2021
Love

The Villages - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - July 2021

Contents
The Villages - July 2021 - Cover1
The Villages - July 2021 - Contents
The Villages - July 2021 - 1
The Villages - July 2021 - 2
The Villages - July 2021 - 3
The Villages - July 2021 - 4
The Villages - July 2021 - 5
The Villages - July 2021 - 6
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The Villages - July 2021 - Cover3
The Villages - July 2021 - Cover4
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