Well, so much for her soccer career!

Saturday night I went to sleep to a cat that used all four paws. Sunday morning I woke up to a cat who was like “I ONLY NEED 3!”

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“Seriously, Mum, it’s all good.”

I spent my first hour awake watching The Bird sass everyone, chase Miles to bite his hind legs, and then roll around in front of me so I could admire her ability to do all of this while holding her hind leg off the ground. To Med Vet or not Med Vet? She seemed like her normal self and the internet articles were wavering about how dramatic a limping indoor cat’s problem could really be, most suggested waiting.

I opted to wait it out for our regular vet on Monday. Birdie and I have certainly spent our share of hours in waiting rooms outside of regular vet hours. Since adopting her, we’ve dealt with:

This furry girl is a mess sometimes.

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By late Sunday afternoon, the limp was still there and she was in the “I feel icky” spot as well as other out of the norm sleeping spots. She couldn’t jump up into the window nappers and squeaked with discomfort when I placed her there. She seemed to be able to get comfortable on firm surfaces like the floor.

Around midnight, I felt her come to bed via the cat ramp, but every spot she tried to settle in resulted in squeaks and growls. In retrospect, I should have read the signs: “hiding,” constant purr, hissing, and realized that she was in pain. At least Med Vet could have hooked us up with drugs.

Monday morning, the limp was prominent and the appetite was more or less gone. Thankfully we got  a vet appointment. (I promised her that nobody would stick anything up her butt.)

This is a montage of her reactions:

  • Cool. I’ve got this as long as I keep purring and headbutting. (The vet wasn’t in the room yet.)
  • Full on fear.
  • Resolved to suffer through this manhandling, but will cut a bitch if the opportunity arises.
  • Contemplation of the diagnosis: Will I ever play soccer again?

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Diagnosis: ruptured ACL       Cause: Running and jumping… being a cat.

Vet squeezing Birdie’s joints and leg: “Ahha, just what I suspected.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Vet: “Oh, just give me a minute. Is there stuff to jump off of at your house and does she run around like a maniac?”

Brain: “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING? HAVE YOU EVER MET  A CAT?” (This was not our normal doctor.)

Me:”Yes, there are four cats. The house is basically theirs.”

Vet: “Do you know what a ruptured ACL is?”

Me: “Yes, it’s what every fucking athlete in my classroom and large dogs get while playing!”

Since we had reached an understanding, he proceeded to tell me that Birdie could not “cat” for 6-8 weeks and that this won’t heal, it will just become tolerable and she’ll probably develop arthritis. I must have had a dissatisfied look on my face as he kept repeating himself, but I was thinking ahead, visualizing our house and all the items to jump from, and the fact that there isn’t really a room where I can isolate Birdie. Plus she would absolutely lose her mind if I locked her in a room by herself.

Yadda yadda yadda, this was not a typical cat injury (Your cat is a freak show) and while HE did knee surgery on dogs all of the time, he’d have to refer me to…wait for it… Med Vet if surgery became a need.

He was much kinder and understanding than I paint him, but I was/am frustrated for my girl who can’t seem to catch a break.

We dosed up on pain meds before leaving and are relying on the anti-inflammatory that Bird is already on for her itchy butt.

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How to eat when high.

She’s had a fairly tolerable evening and is asleep behind W. Charles. Usually when she’s high, she spends a lot of time pacing, but tonight there have been extended times of actual relaxing. The drugs do make her a little paranoid though. A stoned Bird will defend my folded laundry from all! Sookie sitting down across the room from her, warranted a hiss and fully arched back. Birdie then wen t behind the tv cabinet to growl at the wall every few minutes.

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This laundry is ready to put away! Paws off!

Meanwhile, I’m working on rearranging my house into that M.C. Escher painting where everything leads to stairs. If there are steps to all her favorite spots, she’ll certainly use those instead of jumping. Right??

 

Almost literally pouring cats and dogs at least in underground piping!

It’s been a busy week for one of my favorite shelters, Colony Cats and Dogs.

Monday, they helped to initiate the rescue of a dog trapped underground in a sewer pipe. They speculate that the dog was chasing critters into the pipe and got lost then trapped.

Tuesday led to more underground drama…with another happy ending which is a good thing or I think I would be a mess.

At about 11:30, I saw that the shelter had posted a video of their surveillance footage on their Facebook page. (Follow the link for videos) Around 4 am that morning, someone had left three very spry and curious kittens at the shelter’s door without containment. The kittens jump up to interact with the big cats behind the glass then, according to the volunteers, one stayed behind and the other two set off to the right of what is essentially a strip mall and giant parking lot full of businesses.

For once, for whatever reason, I decided to respond to the call for volunteers who could come search for the two wanderers who had  a 7 hour head start. I checked in with a volunteer who was cleaning the still closed shelter. She was a little hesitant as I’m not an official volunteer, but I’m familiar enough with the shelter and have adopted from there plus I was a warm body willing to aimlessly walk around in the rain looking for something the size of a softball.

She showed me the one kitten they had, a hissy little ball of fluff in the back of a giant carrier, and sent me on my way. I decided to walk around even though she suggested driving and said others had been driving around the area stopping at dumpsters, hoping food smells would attract the kittens.

I more or less decided to take a lap around the shopping center, checking out landscaping as I went. This plaza has an open courtyard midway with large hostas and dense shrubs which seemed like a good place to check out. I worked my way along the plant bed, and had  success when I bumped into some rain-soaked hostas. Two little bodies shot out from under the hostas, through a clear patch and under a shrub.

HOLY. SHIT.

Brain went into panic mode. What to do? I pulled up Facebook and called the shelter where, of course, no one answered the phone. I tried a mother cat calling kittens video, but I only got sad little squeaks in return. It was an awkward spot and I was afraid that my flailing attempts to grab them would send one or both of the kittens shooting out into a busy parking lot next to an even busier road.

So I ran. I don’t run. I joke that I only run if bears or killers with chainsaws or bears with chainsaws are chasing me, but that I would eventually give up. Fortunately, the volunteer I had talked to and another woman saw me coming and frantically waving. Yes, I had found the kittens!

I followed them through the back alleyways behind all the shops as a quicker way back to the courtyard where we formed a human perimeter around the shrubs. I could see the little gray and white kitten crouched at the base of a shrub across from me. The volunteer scrambled down, grabbed it, and handed the squalling, soaked kitten to me.  I, of course, was ready to go full Lenny, tuck that kitten into my bosom and love it, until they directed me to put it in the carrier. The carrier, that was probably the more responsible route.

Mysteriously the black kitten was no longer there. In a matter of minutes, it had pulled a vanishing act. I was even second guessing what I had seen as people started to question me about finding BOTH the kittens there. But I remembered noticing its mittens as it scurried behind its sibling, an intrepid tuxie. When you’re permanently dressed like James Bond, you tend to also act like him.

Of all the kittens, it had to be least noticeable black one. Of all the weather  conditions, it had to be raining wavering back and forth from mild to pouring. As more volunteers arrived, we spent the next two hours repeatedly combing through the same bushes, crawling through mulch and grass, sure that the kitten was hidden in plain sight. (The dead mummified duck in the second set of bushes surprised me every time.)Crawling under larger bushes, dumpsters, and a concrete thing that I don’t know what it was for but there was A LOT of shit, including a cat bed, down in it. A volunteer with a heat sensor showed up and ran it over the dense bushes. We did expanding laps around the shopping center, and reconvened to theorize on kitten logic. Plates of smelly food were put out, live traps were discussed, but no one was really sure how to proceed. The rain made all of the open downspouts in the area an obvious and  horrifying possibility as to where the kitten could have gone to in such a short time.

I trudged back around to the shelter with the group feeling like a quitter, but completely unsure of what to do next. I was soaked from shoes to underwear and on the verge of  publicly crying if I stood there talking to people much longer. No matter how miserable I felt, that lost, wet, hungry, scared little furball wherever it was hiding was worse.

Home again, I took an extremely hot shower, put on dry clothes and tried to occupy myself while checking the Facebook thread every few minutes. Should I go back? What could I do? I resolved to go back in an hour if nothing had changed. Basically, my mind would be able to only contain one kitten and nothing else for the rest of the day. Then one of the searchers I had talked to, posted that they had heard some meowing in the courtyard area. Yes, I would go back! Except that they were now sure it was coming from a drain pipe. I was among the frantic back seat drivers, commenting and questioning what could be done!

For the second time in two days, a local fire station stepped in with Colony Cats to save a furry life. I watched video from a conveniently dry and unheroic spot in my house as the rescue was made. I am certain I recognized the boots of one of the early searchers who crawled around on the ground with me, and who, I’m pretty sure, said she was supposed to go to work that day. I know she was as soaked as I was when I last saw her; I don’t think she made it in to work.

I’m so grateful to have been able to help a bit and incredibly grateful that this worked out and that Piper, Pearl and Puck who have their own Facebook page now are safe and already have people clamoring to adopt them. Could time and resources have been saved if I had made a grab for two kittens on my own? I can’t know. Could the person who dropped them off have done so more responsibly? Ab-so-frickin-lutely!

Cole and Marmalade posted a story about the kitten rescue and the dog rescue the day before! They’re kind of a big deal in dorky cat obsessing worlds 🙂 If you’ve made it all the way through my picture-less ramblings, reward yourself with their article which has all the adorable rescued kitten pictures and associated videos your heart can handle.

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Stuff like this makes me hug my warm, dry, VERY well-fed “kittens” extra hard.

Kitten Season

Tis the season for litters of kittens. (Which technically doesn’t end until early fall.)

April showers of kittens bring May clowders?

To help cope with the influx of tiny furballs, my local shelters hold open houses and kitten showers. Just like for human babies only better because…kittens!

I wasn’t able to stop by the shower scheduled for Saturday, so Bird and I spent Saturday evening cutting up fleece kitty blankets which was one of the shower wish list items. All that fabulous hat project fleece will now be snuggling kitty tooshies.IMG_E5697

Again like your basic human baby shower, the shelters put out wish lists and often create them on places like Amazon for easy donations. Common items might be things like:

  • KMR milk replacer formula
  • Unscented non-clumping clay litter
  • Kitten dry and wet food
  • Fleece blankets (Got it!)
  • Toys
  • And, of course, fur-ever homes

So if you haven’t caught my drift yet, I’m suggesting that YOUR local shelter might also have a wish list. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

Of course, putting together a donation is just an excuse for me to go pet strange heads. I topped off the blankies with some kitten food and headed over.

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For as well rounded as this beauty was, he or she had the shortest squat tail.

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So many flavors.

This was the tiniest kitty I could find. Either the kitten shower/adoption event was really successful or the clouds are getting ready to burst.

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