Crazy cat lady

10 Dec

I have mentioned before that most of the pets I’ve owned (or rather, cared for) in the past twenty years, have landed at my house either on their own accord, or as rescues.¹

Earlier this year I was bemoaning the fact that my pets had either died of old age, or gone away,² and that I was feeling more than a bit bereft.

I don’t know how it is for everyone else who lives with depression, but I am one of those who benefit from having pets.

Living with other people…not so much, but caring for pets? Absolutely.

And so, after a few months of rattling about alone in my house, I was more than ready for Gaby to show up.

For just over two months, Gaby accompanied me to work every day. The commute, though short, was always just a bit involved: carrier, litterbox, food for both human and feline. But Gaby made it worth any inconvenience–she’s very much a people cat, who was happy to visit with anyone who needed a kitteh fix, be it for a minute or three hours.

She was also fairly unique, in my experience, in that she was content to remain in a limited space,³ with only a makeshift cardboard barrier in her way to exploring the rest of the office. Content, that is, as long as I was also there–any time I needed to go somewhere else, Gaby had to come with me, or she would climb (or topple) the ‘door,’ and cry pitifully for me.

Just before Halloween, I took her to the vet to be spayed, and for the next ten days I had a little conehead thumping up and down the stairs (and the beds, the tables, etc.)

Gaby Conehead

Being weak, and since the vet is part of a local rescue organization, I impulsively adopted a very large, very handsome, incredibly lovely (and loving) Labrador Retriever mix. Ninety seven pounds of muscle and energy.

After a couple of weeks, I had to give in to reality. Even walking him for an hour early in the morning, and walking him twice in the evenings (about twenty minutes upon getting home, and another hour right before bed), he was restless and lonely. Every minute we were in the house, he either chased Gaby (which she didn’t appreciate, in the least), going so far as to push the bed out of his way in his enthusiasm, or trying to get me to play with him some more.

Grumpy Gaby

Fortunately, there was someone who had considered adopting him, and who was happy to do so, and we arranged for me to surrender him, and her to adopt him, on the same day. I am very grateful that the volunteers at the rescue were so understanding and accommodating with us, and that this beautiful soul now has a home more suited to his needs.

However, they say that nature abhors a vacuum, and I’ll say that things have a way of falling in place.

On November 11, I had left Gaby home, thinking I had imposed on my boss’ understanding long enough.

Not an hour later, a co-worker called me to the parking lot: she had spotted a tiny kitten.

It took a few minutes, but we rescued the scrawniest, most pitiful kitten I’ve seen in many years. She was so weak, she stumbled when she tried to walk, and shivered constantly. I honestly didn’t think she would last the night.

found: Nightmare

She was also filthy beyond the telling–when I bathed her, that first night, I almost cried. She was literally skin and bones. Her ribs, shoulder plates–hell, each vertebrae!–protruded from her skin. She had no reserves left.

For the first few days, I fed her kitten milk with a syringe, every couple of hours. The vet checked her out, and said that I should try giving her kitten food, because she needed to put weight on fast. So I crushed some of Gaby’s dry food, and Nightmare ate and ate and ate–and slept, pooped, then ate some m0re–for the next two weeks.

Four weeks after finding me, she is literally twice as big as she was then, and has held her own (and more) with big sister Gaby pretty much from their first introduction.

Sisters - first play session

Nightmare is now the second official office therapy kitteh, and will come to work with me for at least a few more weeks. In her case, because I feel that socializing with more people will be good for her–and both her and Gaby need a rest from each other.

three weeks later...

Wish us all luck–and no more stray kittens!

Driving: a Nightmare

~ * ~

¹ Mostly, rescuing them from my ex :cough:

² Eldest offspring provided an excellent argument for taking Pounce with him: this way, neither Pounce nor Zeus would spend all day alone while their humans are at work.

³ My cubicle is about 10′ by 10′, no door.

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5 Responses to “Crazy cat lady”

  1. twooldfartstalkingromance 10/12/2015 at 11:00 AM #

    Congrats ma’am. Your smile says it all.

  2. SuperWendy 10/12/2015 at 1:55 PM #

    A new baby kitten! Huzzah!

    And yeah, Labs. Great dogs – but they tend to have an abundance of energy that needs to be directed and burned off. One of my college friends has a yellow Lab that he takes to Dock Dog competitions (those events where the dogs jump off a dock into the water to catch a thrown toy/rope/thingamabob). Lots of energy to burn…

    • azteclady 10/12/2015 at 2:01 PM #

      Yeah, too much energy for my blood, particularly these days.

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