I just watched the movie Marley and Me with my fat cat, Jack. Yes, Jack watches TV. He’s a very observant guy. But if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m about to ruin it for you so you should probably skip the next paragraph.
Marley and Me is a comedy about a dog but also a tear-jerker because Marley dies, as dogs will do. I’d already seen the movie but I still cried like a baby. I’m talking crocodile tears that spilled from my eyes, missed my cheeks entirely, then landed on Jack, who lounged on my lap. Pathetic? Yeah, I’d say so.
So Wednesday morning I’m on the freeway bringing kittens to get spayed and neutered at a local veterinary clinic. Naturally, I’m late because the freeway is a parking lot. In the back of my SUV, 7 of the 11 kittens we rescued from Kern County are serenading me with a chorus of meows.
What lucky kitties. Our feral cat rescue rarely deals with domestics but when we learned these were scheduled to be euthanized for lack of adopters, we decided to help. And that’s how I found myself on the freeway Wednesday morning. Continue reading →
My cat Tippi is in love with me. And I’m not talking puppy love either. This is full-fledged kitty passion. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like she’s always been enamored with me. Quite the contrary. No, this love affair has taken years to blossom, which makes her recent adoration all the more perplexing.
If you know torties (tortoiseshell cats), you know they have what’s referred to as tortitude. And trust me here, that’s not an exaggeration. They’re often temperamental and unpredictable, facts I never knew back when I was mostly a dog person. Didn’t know much about felines at all, only that my cats were all different. Surprise, surprise; cats have personalities. Go figure.
I found my first feline, a calico kitten, on a ranch I jogged by one morning. She was barely alive so I scooped her up, took her to a vet, and was told she had pneumonia and probably wouldn’t make it. But Rudie was a survivor.
I have rats. As in the kind that are disgusting, not the cute domestic rats my associate Donna has as pets. Her rats actually have personalities, like you and me. They don’t talk and they can’t shop or go to a movie with you but overall they’re pretty entertaining.
Izzy and Simon
I don’t know why we find domestic rats cuter than sewer rats, which are considered vermin, but there you go. My guess is the moniker, sewer, doesn’t enhance their image. But the thought of vermin taking up residence in my walls gives me the Creeps with a capital C. Unfortunately, I’ve had the Creeps a lot lately.
So as if having 7 animals isn’t enough, I’m one of only a few people at the humane society willing to foster ringworm cats and kittens. Consequently, I often have a room or two filled with the little buggars. By buggars I mean the kittens, not ringworm. Personally I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not an actual worm. That would be disgusting. No, it’s just a fungus, like athlete’s foot.
Not this kind of worm
Since ringworm is contagious to people and other animals, I have to keep these cats isolated. Luckily I have 4 bedrooms so I’m an instant ringworm B&B of sorts. Come little kitties, stay a while. Relax. Chill out while receiving weekly sulfur dippings and daily oral meds.
This is the life
At first I wore a smock and gloves when handling my 5 ringworm domestic kitten fosters but quickly tired of that. So now I hold them with abandon. To hell with ringworm! So far so good. I’m rash free as of this writing. Just in case, I have a tube of Lotrimin waiting in the wings. I’m nothing if not prepared…
Smartly, I let humane society staff perform the particularly stinky sulfer dips. I have my limits you know. But I do give the kittens oral meds each morning along with meds for my aging Greyhound. And then there’s the feedings. With 12 stomachs to fill, I don’t get to eat and run anymore. I feed them, scoop cat and dog poop, give meds, grab a bite, then run. I’ve become good at organizing my mornings.
Stinky sulfur dips
Ringworm cats are unadoptable until they’re symptom free and getting them to that point takes weeks. But I don’t mind. Actually, ringworm is the easy part. That’s because I’m used to fostering feral kittens, not domestics. And believe me, there’s a world of difference. Continue reading →