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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Absolutely NO More Pets!

That's what I said. After 20 years together, raising the Boy and his step-sisters along with one dog and over the course of time, seven (7!!) cats, I laid down the law--absolutely NO more pets. They shed. Even when trimmed down to a summertime coat, the dog sheds. The cats shed. The Husband vacuums daily in a vain effort to keep furballs from multiplying in the corners. Friends and family have allergies and some can't eat at our house.

It's difficult to travel. Travel means finding a reliable person to pet-sit, and the only time we did that, having cats who were fairly self-suffucient (i.e. they wouldn't miss us one bit as long as Someone filled up the food and water bowls), supplies were delivered a bit irregularly by the pet-sitter.

The Dog we could always deliver to the Oldest Daughter for short-term care--it's really her dog, anyway. But now she's moving to Tel Aviv, and not in town and readily available. There are boarding facilities, but the idea breaks my heart--cats are better off at home, and I'm afraid The Dog would think we've abandoned her.

So, this is it! We're down to two aging cats and one aging dog. No more!

Famous last words.

I was tripped coming out of Meuhedet last Friday by a small, fluffy, wide-eyed and imploring kitten. Of course, he was tripping everyone because he was hungry and thirsty. He purred and went out of his way to be affectionate and endearing. It probably worked with momma-cat but he's just at the age where momma-cat has put him up a tree and told him to go catch his own lizards.

The two men exiting with me and The Boy both walked on, oblivious to the pitiful meows. I couldn't help myself.....I picked him up and carried him to the car.

Ever have one of those internal dialogues with yourself where, while you're doing one thing, your brain is saying, "WHAT are you doing? Are you nuts?"

It was one of those moments. The heart won out over the brain, unfortunately or fortunately -- we have a new cat.

When I brought him home, I fed him. He gobbled almost a whole bowl of catfood by himself. Since cats normally nibble, this was significant hunger. Then I gave him a bowl of water, which he lapped down. Then another bowl of water. Then another bowl of water. Methinks he was a tad thirsty. The I dosed him with kitten-anti-flea stuff, since I was sure he was infested.

Then he curled up next to me on the couch and purred, and fell asleep. He proceeded to sleep for the next 48 hours, arising only to eat, drink and use the litter box. At first, we thought it was simply exhaustion. Now, we think he may have an underactive thyroid because he's hardly moved since he arrived. He's also figured out very quickly that the Dog won't bother him and responds well to our telling her to leave the kitten alone; he's also figured out quickly that the aging female cat hates his guts but will go sulk in the back room, and that the aging male cat doesn't much care. In short, there are no threats to really be concerned about, so why not sleep?

He had his claws clipped and a trip to the vet, where he got his first shot and some serious washing of the flea-mite-infested ears. He hated that, so he's stopped purring to me. I'm not worried--the way to get his medicine down him is to pour the powdered stuff all over some tuna, so I'm working my way back into his good graces.

The only thing he doesn't have right now is a name. We've been considering "Frisky" because he's definitely NOT or maybe "Rocky" because he moves about as much as a rock does......


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