Ozzy’s BFF

Posted: September 29, 2007 in Home, Journal, pets

We have a new cat. Her name is Zoe. She’s kind of a bitch.

Last Sunday Calvin and I took a motorcycle ride to the local animal shelter. We’d been talking off and on for several weeks about getting a companion for Oz. I wanted a kitten, figuring Oz would acclimate more easily with one. Calvin wanted an adult so we wouldn’t have to go through the hated “kitten stage”. Let me clarify, he hates the kitten stage, specifically the “clawing of the furniture” stage.

So. Shelter. I’m going to tell you right off the bat, I HATE THAT PLACE. The feeling of utter despair completely permeates the place. It is the most depressing, most evil, most awful place on the face of this planet. Sam could totally return his recaptured souls there instead of the MVD.

We walked up and down all the lanes of cats and kittens, dogs and puppies. They all stared STRAIGHT INTO MY SOUL. Every one of them. And I positively knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that each and every one of those animals would make a fabulous family addition, and just about each and every one of those animals would never get adopted.

By the second lane of animals I was womanfully choking back tears. But the third lane of animals I gave it up as hopeless and just BAWLED. Dear fucking lord (sorry, that’s way taking His name in vain), I HATE THAT PLACE. All those beautiful, sad, tragically hopeful animals.

Calvin discovered a kitten, a little orange guy, that had a super personality. So I coo’ed and snuggled him, fully expecting to take him home. Calvin said he’d just check beyond the door marked “more cats through here”, then he’d come back and we’d make arrangements to take the little guy home. A few minutes later he poked his head back into the room I was in, and asked me to come check out a cat he found. So I handed the kitten back to the volunteer and followed Calvin.

He lead me to a cage that had a lone occupant. At first glance she looked startlingly like Ozzy. The information sheet posted outside of her cage said that she was approximately two years old, and upon handling her we discovered that she was declawed in both front and back feet. Which meant that she was also probably spayed, but the information sheet didn’t say. They had no history on this animal – not even a name – just the fact that the owner “didn’t want her on the property anymore” and turned her in on the 9th of September. That day was the 23rd.

We went to the administrative desk (I was still crying like a stupid stupidhead – this time feeling guilty about the orange kitten we’d changed our minds about. I know, though, that kittens have a MUCH better chance at adoption than adult cats), filled out forms and paid our fees, and requested that when she was checked for spaying that they also test her for feline leukemia. We were instructed to come pick her up on Wednesday.

We went to Chili’s. I had a beer and a shot. I felt better.

On Monday I posted that whole long list of crap I had to get done. Immediately after that I checked the voicemail messages (someone beeped in while I was talking to Calvin) and found a message from the shelter – the cat turned out to be already spayed and she was ready to be picked up. SO! After several failed attempts to call them back (disconnections, no answers, GUH-ROWL) and find out if the leuk test came back negative, I decided to just drive up there. If she was tested and all was fine, I’d take her home. If she wasn’t, I’d re-instruct them to test her and come back again to pick her up.

I stopped at PetSmart on the way to get a litter box and dishes and whatnot, then went to the shelter’s clinic. I also HATE THAT PLACE. I was buzzed in and handed the carrier over to the technician on duty, and then sat there listening to the WAILING cats and dogs inside the clinic. I almost started crying again. I double checked with the technician when she returned with the cat, who confirmed that they had tested her for feline leukemia and the tests came back negative. I peeped into the carrier and said hi to the little girl, who gave me a very plaintive mew in return.

The technician told me that if she hadn’t been adopted, she had been on the list to be euthanized on Friday. Which is today. I might start crying again.

Now, usually when I put Ozzy in the carrier to go to the vets or some such thing, he MROWLS at the top of his lungs like he’s being killed. This little girl just kind of squeaked and pdddrrrt at me as I talked to her on the drive home. I got her home, put her in the workout room, arranged her food and water and litter box, then sat on the floor to get acquainted.

What a SWEET little cat she is. She climbed up into my lap, purred and purred and PURRED, “talked” up a storm, and kept butting at my hands if I paused in my petting. She looks VERY like Ozzy, especially around the head. She’s a little darker, her hair is a little whispy-er, and she’s SO SOFT.

I kept her shut in the room to let her get settled. When Calvin got home he, of course, wanted to see how she and Oz would interact with one another. So he opened the door between them.

Oz was all, “Hi! Who are you? Are you a person too? You look like me! Will you be my friend?”

The new cat (now named Zoe) was all, “GET YE GONE, YOU MINION OF SATAN.”

Aaaaand that’s how it’s pretty much gone all week long. Zoe is wonderful and sweet and loving and craves attention from people, tolerates the dogs, and goes into a spastic fit every time she sees Oz. Oz alternates between hurt confusion, indifference, and “Fuck you bitch, you want to spat? I’ll show you a spat!” There is much yowling and growling.

So after we introduced the cats and they’d been spitting at one another for a while, we got another message from the animal shelter. They were SO SORRY, but the cat had in fact NOT been tested for feline leukemia, and we could bring her back, and blah blah blah, and DAMMIT.

I made an appointment with our vet for the next day. Oz and Zoe had already been introduced. If she was sick there was little we could do about it now. Fortunately, the result of the trip to the vets was a clean bill of health and a negative result on the leuk test. Still. The shelter can suck a bag of dicks. They could have gotten my Ozzy sick. The bastids.

I find the dispute between Oz and Zoe somewhat amusing – they can’t hurt one another, and they’re really just talking. They haven’t gotten physical with one another. Calvin finds it very frustrating. He wants them to be BFF RIGHT NOW. I know the cats will find their own peace and their own positions in the household. Calvin wants to force them to be friends. Yeah, right. Forcing a cat to do anything is like pushing a rope. Currently, I am keeping the cats separated unless we are home to monitor them. Oz is enjoying taunting Zoe under the door, from his position out in the hallway. Zoe doesn’t really care unless she physically sees him. The one who is most upset in the household is Calvin.

I don’t think kitty treats work on him.

(Pictures forthcoming as soon as I get them off my camera.)

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