that darn cat

we thought The Cat had escaped.  like, completely.  we thought it got out of the Office and left through Zero’s pet door back out into the wild.  this has been a concern since Thu afternoon.

we moved this week’s Date Nite to Monday, and we almost just didn’t have it because I was having a breakdown about this stupid cat.

then this morning, Brian swears he heard a noise in front of him, while Zero was behind him.  also, dry food that we had forgotten about (outside the live traps) was all gone, and it was on top of the giant tower — where Zero is very unlikely to go.  there was also something knocked off the tip top of the highest bookcase — also a non-Zero location.

so there’s a possibility…

I just wish we knew for sure.  and I really hope we catch her before my parents come up in five days…

an update on The Cat

it’s over a week later, and I still can’t drive my stick-shift car or do my kickboxing because of Motherfucking Bastard.

Brian and I are aiming to return to Urgent Care tomorrow evening for a follow-up.  my thumb is still generally useless.

Contact emailed me yesterday to inquire as to how The Cat was doing, to let me know we may have an adopter, and to inform me the upcoming meeting has been rescheduled.  in my response, I was honest [names changes, of course]:

The Cat is still really skittish and hiding.  I’m concerned that our fostering her didn’t help much, as we are so rarely home.  Also, as we discussed on the phone that one night, she went from letting me pet her the first few days to hissing even when I would put food in the cage.  😦  We’re still trying to socialize her and the like, but again we are not home as often as she apparently now needs.
My parents and brother are coming into town from Louisiana sometime on Monday, June 12 (exact time currently unknown).  I can’t promise I can make the meeting, but I will try my best to.  Would we be able to return The Cat before then?  In further thought, I’m concerned the loudness of my family may frighten her.  (My dad and brother are very loud people, lol — even their “indoor voices”.)
Let me know what works for you and what you think would be best for The Cat.  I’m fairly flexible.
I never mentioned my hand.  I don’t think I will.  I don’t want her making a big deal out of it.  I just want this over and done with.
we still haven’t really seen The Cat.  Brian spotted her once before she slinked away into hiding again.  but that’s it.  to catch her, I’m afraid we’ll need a live trap.  that’s not a sign of a cat having been socialized.
I’m concerned this will affect my involvement with and acceptance in the organization that runs the adopt fairs and earns money for clinics (henceforth “The Org”).  I enjoyed volunteering for The Org, and I really support and appreciate what they do.  but Contact may use this experience as negative weight against my involvement with The Org.  and that would make me legit sad and disappointed.
granted, I have five million other organizations with which I volunteer, plus random things here and there (like a 5k event this weekend that I’m working instead of participating in).  but that’s not the point.  I don’t get turned down; I don’t denied: people don’t tell me “no”.
…but I guess that’s a topic for another, more psychological post.
for now, we’ll continue to hold on to The Cat.  I’ll let y’all know how this all unfolds.

three days serviced by Urgent Care

I was in Urgent Care on each Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of this week, with threats that I might have to go to the hospital to have surgery on my hand.

I volunteer with numerous different organizations here in the Twin Cities, many of them relating to animals.  one such organization, that I shan’t name in this context, needed some help fostering two feral kittens a while back.  with Brian’s approval, I volunteered.  shortly after, my contact (henceforth “Contact”) for the fostering said it wouldn’t be necessary, as she found someone else.

a few weeks pass, and Contact requested again that I foster the kittens.  I agree.  when next she contacts me, she informs me she needs me to foster an adult feral from Mexico (henceforth “The Cat” or “Motherfucking Bastard”).  I hesitate.  I’ve assisted in and/or have fostered all ages of cats before.  but my guy was telling me this was a bad idea for both The Cat and me.  however, I didn’t want to back out of a volunteering offer I made, so I reluctantly agreed.

I’m back at work, but I’ve a brace on my right hand.  the pain is so great that I can’t even drive my stick-shift car or hold a glass of water.  I could not wear pants due to my inability to zip or button them.

Contact arrived with her “kitty condo” — something similar to this –, explaining that she was hoping we’d keep The Cat in it and inside the room in which we spent the most time.  that would be the Office.  again, I had reluctance.  my tactic was always keep the feline in the bathroom — she had space to hide, but would still be exposed to use frequently.  but it was her cat I was fostering, so I followed her rules.

at this point, The Cat was responding well enough to me.  she let me pet her and almost never hissed at me.  by the third day, however, she was hissing more than she let me pet her.  she also had begun yowling at night and pacing in her cage.  it was obvious she was growing miserable in that small, enclosed space wherein she had no control over her visibility.

the trick is to give them somewhere they can hide slightly if they like, and let them come out at their own time.  this tactic has never failed me.

by the end of the week, I would get near the cage and she would hiss.  her yowling was incessant.  and even Zero was getting upset with the situation.

I called Contact and explained that this wasn’t working.  after brief discussion, Contact and I decided I would still keep her in the office (per her request), but that she’d be out of the cage (my request).

and that’s when all hell broke loose.

the pain in my hand is so great I am occasionally taking Vicodin.  me, with my high-ass pain tolerance.

Brian and I walk the Office trying to remove as many too-small hidey holes as we could.  I thought we had done a sufficient job….

Saturday afternoon, while transitioning The Cat from the cage into the room, she spazzed and escaped into the living room.  it was my fault for not ensuring the Office door was closed; that fact, I will own.  in an attempt to collect and relocate her, she scratch Brian on the nose and bit deeply into my right hand.  nevertheless, I got her into the office with no actual physical pain on her part (as far as I could tell).

and then she was MIA for two whole days.  she did not come out to eat, drink, or use the litter.  I was terrified she got herself into a hidey hole we couldn’t find, and was going to starve herself to death.  I was terrified that I had now scarred her forever, and she’s in a worse sociable condition now than when we first got her.  I was terrified of so many things.

at one point, an IV drip of antibiotics was rushed into my body, as mere oral dosages were too inadequate for the severity of the infection.

meanwhile, my hand was swelling up and turning red.  Brian urged me to the doctor; I denied — both repeatedly.  then one of the bite marks started to puss, and I had lost most mobility in my thumb.  I reluctantly agreed to go Sunday evening.

the doctors expressed great concern that, even thought The Cat was fully vaccinated, I may have an infection that was starting to go after a tendon or the bone.  while I was sitting on an IV drip of antibiotics, I was also prescribed oral antibiotics and Vicodin for pain.  I mistakenly expressed no need for the pain medication; let’s just say I have since been very glad multiples times that we got it filled anyway.  I was instructed to come back ASAP the next day.

I messaged and emailed the attorneys at work a brief tale of my misadventure, requesting to remotely do payroll from home so that I can then promptly go back to Urgent Care to get my hand reviewed.  my supervisors are very wonderful, understanding persons.  they approved my request with no hesitation, informing me to let them know if they could help in any way.

back at Urgent Care Monday afternoon, my hand showed signs of neither worsening nor improving.  after some discussion and inspection, the doctor braces up my arm.  I’m instructed to once again return to Urgent Care the following day.  this time, if no improvement was evident, hospitalization would be required — surgery to either mend the wound or amputate part of the hand.

when got home that day, Monday night, we see evidence that Motherfucking Bastard emerged and ate her food.  we still have no idea where she is hiding.  but at the moment, it’s not our top concern.  the potential necessary removal of my right hand was.

I work a full day on Tuesday, very slowly and almost ineffectively.  after work, Brian takes me once again to Urgent Care.  three times in three days.  this time, however, there was evident visual improvement of both the infectious redness and of the swelling.  I was released on the condition of continuing taking my antibiotics (and probiotics) as instructed and that if it at any point gets worse, I was to just give up and go to ER.

once again, The Cat had emerged ate, and even new feces was in the litter box.

so where are we at now?  it’s Thursday morning.  how is The Cat doing?  how is James’s hand?  how is Brian’s face?  what all does Contact know of situation?  for how long are those fools going to keep The Cat?

Brian’s hand and face were fine.  he’s on the same antibiotic plan as me, minus the initial drip.  by day two, everything was cool for him.

my hand is healing, albeit slowly.  I still can’t really use it for anything.  I can type on a full-sized keyboard for the most part, though my usual usage of countless keyboard shortcuts are limited and typos are abound.  however, I cannot use my right hand, thumb, or index finger for: texting on my phone, anything that requires fine motor skills, anything that requires more than minor grip or holding, anything that requires muscle usage in the aforementioned areas.  as I’ve already stated, I couldn’t even wear pants to work for several days because I could not operate the zipper or buttons.  I’m wearing clip pants today, and I’m learning that was a bad idea.

Motherfucking Bastard is somewhere still in the room.  I don’t know where.  the current plan is keeping her for the next two weeks.  at that point, I will return her to Contact, explaining that Zero is not pleased and my family are coming with their dog the following week.  however, if she continues to not emerge at all while we are in the room, eating and shitting only while we are at work or asleep, I may send her back sooner.  it’s doing no one any good if she is that terrified.

and currently, Contact knows nothing after the phone call wherein we came to a compromise of letting The Cat loose in the Office.  I wanted to wait to see how things panned out first.

I tried to keep identity of the involved people, animals, and organizations.  but I may never foster via that group again; I will, however, still help and volunteer because of what their primary goals are.  there’s a difference between fostering feral cats, and housing a yowling monster.

that’s not to say Contact isn’t kind.  she purchased us a new super-large litter box with Zero, provided a ton of dry and food wet and of cat litter for The Cat, and even gave me a Starbucks giftcard as thanks.  but I think their system of fostering just doesn’t sync with me.

bad cat-mommy

I have nightmares.  as in I wake up crying or yelling, I spaz in my sleep, I’m terrified to go back to sleep, etc.  and this happens regularly.  I take Klonopin for it, but it only helps so much.

last night, however, wasn’t so much a nightmare as a mere bad dream.

IRL, Zero have been at his grandparents’ place since I got my DUI almost two weeks ago.  I miss him.

in my dream, I got him back.  but he wouldn’t talk to me (because in that dream, cats could speak English).  he wouldn’t let me hold or pet him; wouldn’t let me touch him at all.  he would only eat food that Brian put down, none that I did.  he was angry with me for both being a drunkard and bad cat-mommy, and for sending him off to the grandparents for so long.

I woke up nigh in tears.  I’m terrified this will become reality.

Zero Says Hi!

a few days over six years after his birthday, and Zero is still fluffy as ever.

 

ZERO’S SIXTH BIRTHDAY


November 2013

(approximately) six years ago today, a not-so-tiny ragdoll beneath the house of a friend living near me in Abbeville, Louisiana, USA. it was shortly after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. she knew I had been wanting a cat. and he appeared.

he was nervous, frightened, and defensive. but then I held him. and immediately, he calmed. he began purring. and I knew I had found my child.


May 2009

it’s been a long six years for me. numerous moves, two different boyfriends, jail time and a DUI, several hospital visits, many jobs, and an uncountable amount of medication and doctor bills. I’ve considered suicide a few times over the years. I’ve considered uprooting and just driving away to nowhere.


Janurary 2009

but he prevents that. I couldn’t leave him. and I have to support him. I have to provide for him. I can’t properly love him if I’m not alive.

he’s been through a lot with me. emotional and physical abuse, drunken nights of stupor, a really bad break up, despair, depression, manias, panic attacks, restless nights, sleepy days, anhedonia, addictions, self-injury, tears, starvation.


September 2009

but he’s also been there when I’m laughing, when I’m cuddling with him, throwing him in the air, giving him tuna, showing him off to friends, taking photos and videos of him, people asking about visiting him. his purrs, his shedding, even his hairballs — they all keep me going.

I know plenty of people who tell me having a cat is nothing like having a human child. I don’t really care. because Zero is sufficient. Zero is perfect. and Zero is my baby, my reason for waking up every morning.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZERO!!

“let their tiny feathers fill disappointment”

why don’t you ever want to play?
I’m tired of this piece of string.
you sleep as much as I do now,
and you don’t eat much of anything.
I don’t know who you’re talking to;
I made a search through every room,
but all I found was dust that moved
in shadows of the afternoon.

and listen,
about those bitter songs you sing —
they’re not helping anything;
they won’t make you strong.

so we should open up the house,
invite the tabby two doors down.
you could ask your sister, if
she doesn’t bring her basset hound.
ask the things you shouldn’t miss:
tape-hiss and the Modern Man,
the Cold War and card catalogues
to come and join us if they can
for girly drinks and parlor games.
we’ll pass around the easy lie
of absolutely no regrets.
and later maybe you could try
to let your losses dangle off
the sharp edge of a century,
and talk about the weather or
how the weather used to be.

and I’ll cater
with all the birds that I can kill,
let their tiny feathers fill
disappointment.
lie down
and lick the sorrow from your skin,
scratch the terror and begin
to believe you’re strong.

all you ever want to do is
drink and watch TV,
and frankly that thing doesn’t really interest me.
I swear I’m going to bite you hard
and taste your tinny blood
if you don’t stop the self-defeating lies you’ve been repeating since the day you brought me home.
I know you’re strong.