One Cat Too Many
The last few days around my house have been brutal for a number of reasons – there’s the “I wanna be a rock star, but I also have football camp starting soon and I am having trouble managing both dreams” first son, the “I smoked marijuana a few weeks ago and now my brain is melting – thank god I’m on medication for it because my mother was starting to lose her mind” second son, the “I am a seventeen-year-old girl, and that alone is sending my mother into the deep end” daughter, and finally, the “I work more than a hundred hours a week, and I just told wife that I have to go to Italy next month for work, which will mean leaving her home alone with the kids at a very key and stressful time in their lives” husband. OK, so it’s not like I’ve lost a close relative in a horrible, hot-air balloon accident, and it’s not like I just found out that I have to get the lower half of my body amputated, but things are still bad.
Add to that, the “cat is sick” complication, and you have utter chaos. Here is THAT story…
My daughter was up at a friend’s cottage a little more than a month ago, and I was sitting out on our the porch relaxing (something I do when my daughter is out of town), when the phone rang. “Can we get another cat?” Guess who?
Did I just hear what I thought I heard? “What? No.”
“We already have four.” I said. “If I bring another animal into this house, your father is going to kill me. You remember that stupid agreement I had to sign when we got Lionel.” My husband actually made me SIGN a piece of paper saying that the sweet little kitten we got at Christmas would be our last. If it takes signing a piece of paper to shut him up, then so be it. Even though I don’t want any more pets, I still don’t like being told what to do though. “You don’t want to have an estranged father now do you?”
“But the neighbor’s cat had kittens and they are just giving them away. There is only one left, and he is SO cute.”
“All kittens are cute. Don’t bring it home.” I was being totally serious, as much as it was breaking my heart to turn down a lonely kitten.
Three days later, my daughter arrived back from the cottage with something very small and furry in her bag. “I couldn’t help it. They were just going to put him out on the street.”
“Sure they were. What did I tell you? Your father is going to flip his lid when he sees this. You are going to have to find someone to take it. Do you hear me? YOU are going to have to find someone to take this kitten.” I gave the cute little thing a pat.
“Come on. I thought you loved cats?” She held the black and white fur ball up for me to get a closer look. “His name is Wolff.”
“Well, Wolff isn’t staying. Now, do something about it.” I walked away before I could get too sucked in.
“You are horrible.” She took him and stormed up to her room.
Over the next few days – the time it took for her/us/me to find this little cutie pie a new home – he fought with all of my other cats. He was small but he was a bit of a terror. Our newest addition – and MY baby, Lionel – was particularly put off by the interloper’s arrival. They scrapped and scrapped.
Finally, someone took him.
Fast forward to last week, to when Lionel started acting funny, to when he started sitting around listless and quiet, to when his little paws felt abnormally warm. “I think Lionel is sick,” I said to my husband. “He’s not acting like himself at all. I’m calling the vet.” For him to just be sitting around – and NOT climbing all over everything – it was a sure sign that something was wrong. So, amidst a flurry of freakouts and other uprisings around the house, I took him to the doctor.
“He has a fever. No other real signs.” This vet is a cute, Irish guy. Just listening to his sexy voice is almost worth the seventy-five bucks all by itself.
“But he’s been vaccinated,” I said.
“Yes, but that doesn’t protect him from everything,” said the vet. “Given what you’ve told me about bringing that new kitten into your home, I think he may have contracted a virus. And I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but there is the very real potential for it to be bad – life threatening even.” Why do vets (and doctors in general) always assume the worst?
“What about Archie?” He is our oldest cat. “He has Herpes. Could Lionel have caught that from him?”
“Perhaps. But I think you should be prepared in case things go downhill from here.”
What? Did he just tell me that the cat I got to quell my forty-something year old itch to have another baby before its really too late, the furry baby who cuddles with me while I work at my computer and who snuggles with me every night in my bed, the cat my husband is more than just a little jealous of, the sweet fellow who has such spunk and life and who has fit in so well with our family, the little angel who is the cutest thing you’d ever want to see with his golden eyes and his beautiful golden fur,
the baby who took me about a week to name because I just couldn’t find the right word to describe such a handsome creature, the cat who is my self-proclaimed “best boyfriend of all time” could quite possibly die from some ridiculous virus that an unwanted kitten brought into my house?
That was it. That was fucking it! I was going to kill my daughter – with a very sharp knife (to cut and scar her pretty face), or with a large “cellulite adding, thigh-wrecking, seventeen-year-old ab destroying” machine, whichever I could find first, or both.
I was so mad and upset, you have no idea. And I’m usually a pretty calm, “non-plate smashing”, “non-chip bag stomping” person.
OK, pause…breathe deeply…and yes, I’m talking to myself here.
Thank the tree in my back yard, as of a few days ago, my little darling is back. He is no longer sick. Yes, he is back to climbing the screens on all the windows in the house again. He is back to jumping on top of the microwave and the stove. He is back to scratching the shit out of the silk dress at the back of my closet. He is back to carrying pairs of socks around the house like they are his prey. He is back to trying to escape anytime anyone opens the door. He is back. He is back. He is back!
Did you really think I would be able to write this post if he wasn’t? I only deal in happiness.