I adopted a cat today.
That is not to say that I decided to adopt a cat, did research, went to a shelter, and adopted a cat that suited my needs. Because, really, I’m leaving the country, and the only cat that would suit my needs is a plush one.
However, I am also a sucker and animals can smell a sucker.
I went out to my car this morning and there was a kitten cowering behind my wheel. It stared at me and the open door for a while, and then just as I was about to close the door and go back inside, darted in. I planned to feed it and set it out again; all of the strays around here do that. Eat and run.
I chopped up a chicken breast that we had in the fridge and some shrimp leftover from last night’s fajitas and offered it to the little thing. The chicken was a hit–the shrimp was tasted and rejected. My guess is that they used chili and lime as seasoning on the shrimp, and while that was not obvious to my taste buds, the cat found it offensive.
The cat went to the door, and I opened it to let it out. It looked around for a bit, walked almost far enough out for me to close the door, and just as I was closing the door, came back inside.
That happened about 4 times, and it became apparent that this was not an “Eat and Run” stray.
Zack came home at lunch and said it could stay in the house as long as it was clean and disease free, so I booked an appointment at University Animal Hospital. Getting the kitten there was something of a trial–I didn’t have a cat carrier, so Amy suggested a laundry basket with a blanket over the top. While that seemed like a good idea, it was an utter failure. Cat escaped in the car, where it sat on my lap and watched the other cars out the window. It’s a very curious little creature.
It escaped about 4 times walking the ten feet from the car to the vet’s office. They brought me a box to put it in, which was intensely helpful.
The cat (we called her Disdain) suffered her indignity calmly. She had things stuck in her ass, blood drawn, and was in general felt up by strangers. She complained the tiniest bit, but did not scratch, bite, or attempt to relieve us of the burden of having eyes.
The results came back good. No Feline immunodeficiency virus (cat aids), no intestinal parasites, not even any earmites (though the doctor is not sure he buys that.) She did, however, have a slight cold (not unusual for strays, he said), and an ear infection (probably accompanied with ear mites). The prescription? Ten days of ear drops, two drops in each ear two times a day. It should be quarantined from other cats until its cold and the infection cleared up. So much for my plan of delivering it to my mother at the first available opportunity.
The vet, Dr. Campbell, was excited that I was going to Scotland, as he has always wanted to go. I will send him pictures.
I was given a “Good Samaritan Discount”, but even then it cost me $141. So much for spending my graduation money on fun stuff.
After the vet, I talked to Zack and he said it could stay until it was healthy enough to be delivered it to my mom for safekeeping. He went to the store and bought a kitty litter pan and some litter while I stayed at home to make sure the cat didn’t do anything it wasn’t supposed to do. As soon as Zack walked in the door carrying the bag of kitty litter, the cat shot down the stairs towards him.
This cat is so litter trained it seemed to have been holding it until we bought litter. It tried to use the litter while we were still pouring litter into the tray.
Satisfied that this cat would never, ever use the bathroom anywhere but the litter box, it was allowed to roam free. I went shopping for cat stuff with Rachel, where I experienced significant difficulty in choosing food, cat shampoo, and toys.
Finally having made it home with our purchases, we bathed the cat. Rachel said that there are two kinds of cats: the kind that tolerate baths by looking wet and pitiful and miserable, but not struggling, and the kind that turns into spitting hellions. There is no way to know in advance what kind of cat it will be, she pointed out.
This cat fell into the spitting hellion category. But, we got her washed and she survived the indignity.
After some difficulty, we applied ear drops. This involves me firmly holding her head perfectly still while Zack applies ear drops. There were several false starts.
She’s not afraid of the roomba, but doesn’t like being separated from us while we sleep. She meowed a lot last night, sitting outside the bedroom door. This is why I don’t have pets.