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Friday, November 06, 2009

I'm Sorry I Can't Be Puuurrrfect

If previous lives are real, there is no doubt that I once was a crazy cat lady. My house probably stunk to the high heavens of ammonia, and I likely lived on canned cat food. Why would I think such a thing? Because sometimes I feel so connected to those fuzzy little bastards it isn’t even funny. (Remember the story of Chip? If not, email me and I’ll send it to you. It depicts an odd connection between human and beast.)

As much as I love animals in general, I would prefer none live in my house. But when you have kids you can be coerced into the damnedest things.

Patches is my daughter Lane 2’s cat. She was an abandoned dying ball of cuteness that stole my kid’s heart. Being the sucker kindhearted person I am, I agreed she could stay. She fit in the palm of my hand back then but had an evil streak as long as my legs.

With her eyes barely open (maybe 3 weeks old) I was hand picking fleas off of her because she was too young and frail to use chemicals on. She purred as she stretched her tiny neck forward. I thought it was really cute how she seemed to be trying to help. That is until the little bitch stretched a smidge further and bit my chin. She didn’t just bite it, she clamped on to it like something out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. With a kitten dangling from my bloody chin, I reflected on my life as a crazy cat lady.

Who would keep such an evil beast? I’ve wanted to send her to “live on a farm” PLENTY of times in her nine lives, but knowing how my kid loves her, how could I? And what kind of example would I be setting as a mother if I were to imply pets are disposable?

As she ages, her crankiness grows. She growls like a bear, rarely purrs and LOVES, for no apparent reason, to bite any Achilles heel that is within her reach. Seriously, you can’t walk by her without being attacked, unless you are Lane 2.

She is an indoor outdoor cat that only leaves our property to chase bunnies and birds. She refuses to use a litter box and stands at the door meowing until I let her out so she can shit in my garden. Fun! When she is done, she paws at the door to come back in. One day, she didn’t return.

Lane 2 was a mess, much like I was when Chip vanished. She’d rush home from school, walk around the neighborhood, shaking a bag of cat food. It was heart-wrenching seeing my kid so sad. I didn’t actually worry about the cat until she was gone for several days.

I got a bug up my butt to make some calls on the 5th morning. I was going to wait until 9 am since that’s the normal time places open for business. But something inside of me felt almost panicked to get the calls made. (this is where the crazy cat lady intuition comes in handy)

I pulled up an online search of all the shelters in my county, picked up the phone at 8:50, called animal control. They said they only deal with dogs. I called the nearest shelters, she wasn’t at either. The Google page had the local vet’s number listed too so I thought, maybe they would know where found pets are sent. I called to find out they had a couple of cats there. One of which was a calico.

It was with the vet’s assistant… getting put to sleep.

I asked her to please wait so I could come and see if it was my daughter’s calico. She put me on hold to make sure the deed hadn’t already been done. She came back to the line and said, “If this is your cat, you called just in-the-nick-of-time.” (It was still a couple minutes before 9 am.)

She went on to explain how when she had me on hold, she walked into the room to see the cat on the table, and the lethal injection already in the vet tech’s hand. The police had her for four days and when she went unclaimed, they brought her in to be euthanized.

Are you wondering what the fuck, yet? I was!

Our tax dollars are being spent for cops to chase cats around? And they just put them to sleep even though there are no ordinances on the books about roaming cats here? Maybe an asshole neighbor trapped her and brought her to the death chamber. Who knows?

How can they take an animal, that is clean, flea-free, healthy and spayed and put it down? Isn’t it obvious she is someone’s pet? Setting aside my pissed off thoughts, I went to the clinic to see if it was actually her.

Inside my crazy cat lady radar was screaming, “Even if it isn’t her, we must save it from being put down.” I need a third cat as badly as I need an extra asshole. A mental battle ensued until I arrived at the clinic.

It was her. Pathetic as all hell behind bars in kitty jail, she meowed her cutest meow. Looking at me with big ol’ eyes like she’s been taking lessons from a puppy while in lockdown. The bitch doesn’t even like me, yet there she was putting on the performance of a lifetime.

They insisted on microchipping since she is a fucking Houdini at breaking out of collars. Some 90 bucks later (so glad my old man doesn’t read this blog) I was able to take her home.

When the tech handed her to me, she lunged herself onto my shoulder as if she were hugging me. She purred her loudest purr and nuzzled at my neck. My internal crazy cat lady knows she knows I saved her ass.

I brought her in the house as she continued purring, which she never ever did before. I set her down on the floor by the food and litter box, she looked up at me, still purring and then bit the shit out of my ankle.

I was certain I heard her singing, "Nothing lasts forever. I'm sorry. I can't be puuurrrfect."

Welcome home, bitch!