Monday, September 7, 2009

I should have seen this coming...

...oh wait, I did.

We may end up with another cat.

Here's what happened. There was a teeny beeny kitten - like under a month old - in a bush by B.B. Av's parents' house. It was on a huge thoroughfare, so we moved it to a bush closer to the building and every single time we went out there this weekend, it was in almost the exact same spot. It was wobbly and skinny, pure bone. We fed it all weekend.

It was quite friendly to people once it had been fed, but no mom cat ever showed up. Kids in the neighborhood said it didn't have one. On top of that, from Av's bedroom window, we could hear it crying from below at night. The bedroom is on the sixth floor of a noisy street.

One other night, some woman was walking some HUGE dog, like a Saint Bernard or Akita mix or something (I don't know much about dogs; those are the big ones I know). The dog came up to this tiny tiny kitten and the kitten, despite being the size of basically a candy bar, arched its back and hissed and took a swat at the dog, which ran away. It was great.

We went back and forth: to intervene, or not. Finally, when we left, we grabbed it up and put it in a box and took it to the shelter Saturday night. We got there, and the vet on call tried really hard to convince us to keep it. They are overwhelmed, and he said it was totally healthy - none of the street viruses or mouth ulcers or anything, which it would surely contract in the shelter. He also told us it was - surprise - a girl. We had assumed it was a boy. At that point, it came and rubbed up against B.B. Av and there was a big, "Oh no" moment.

We talked and talked, I thought about fostering it until it was bigger, but my life's such a mess right now that I didn't want something that had to be watched all day. I told the vet that I was broke, and we were going abroad soon, etc etc. He responded, "I don't think it's really a financial issue...or about that week."

In the end, we paid the fee for the future spay and vaccines out of guilt and left her. (It's a no-kill.) They were nice enough to call the next day and tell me that she'd go to the shelter, be held for a month or so until old enough to spay and vaccinate, and then put up for adoption.

Well, last night B.B. Av and I went for a walk, and it started.

"I can't get Batty out of my mind."


"Yeah. Like Betty, but Batty." I forgot to mention, the cat was another plain tabby and white street cat, but it did have a cool bat-shaped mark on the back of its head instead of regular stripes. Even the vet had commented on that. "Ever since he said she was a girl, I fell in love with her. She was so brave...she could be my little princess, but brave, like when she attacked that dog. She was so sad alone there in that bush. But she still was brave. I would let her sleep on me. I need a girl cat."

I did sorta know what he meant - Namerovsky is very much my cat, runs away from Av because he doesn't like to be grabbed and Av isn't super gentle. He's not really a lap cat, friendly and cuddly but on his own terms. So we talked about getting a girl cat for Av that would be his little friend. But he was always talking about some pretty Birman cat or something.

I looked over at him. The tears were welling up. "I can't stop thinking about this stupid little cat. She's all alone. She's in a cage. I want to go back and get her. My head says we don't need another cat, or even want one...but I love her."

We did the pros and cons. I said I am broke enough as is with Namerovsky, and I want all the cat breaking-in and getting set up to not fall on my shoulders...for him to be doing the vet appointments and training and de-fleaing and all that. I told him also to remember that we were talking about going to Australia, and that that's hard enough and expensive enough with one (Australia is rabies-free so has one of the most complicated quarantine systems in the world).

"I know," he went on. "I don't want another cat either. But I want Batty."

I reminded him that we're going on vacation next week and that it was hard enough to find a place to board Nems. But I also added that if he really wants her, he should call them now before she starts getting all the chronic illnesses like Nems got in the shelter, and before she starts to be sort of feral. I also reminded him that they might not let him take her until she's big enough to spay. And that she's so tiny, she can't really stay alone in the house, or even really be flea-treated. And that kitten personality may not be what she's like as an adult.

I told him he was going to be like those guys on the Engineers' Guide To Cats..."The guy with all those cats..." I told him that in my own house, a real house someday, I'd do up to four...but now...? When my future is so unclear...?

Finally, I asked him if we really want another stupid little tabby cat that when it grows, no one will be able to distinguish from our current cat. Not a pretty black cat or calico, not a Birman...a silly little tabby.

But I felt bad. He does need a girl cat to sit on him. Nems could use the company when I go back to work. And I do see why he fell in love with her, though I didn't.

So we'll see. We may end up with another silly tabby and white cat, with a bat mark on the head to boot. B.B. Av is funny.

And this is how we become crazy cat people. At least I got him off the dog thing.


tracy said...

Awwwwww, go for much more trouble can it be? About four times the amount? Oh well...(must be 'cause one of my friends back west used to call me "Batty" for obvious reasons!). Go for it, B. B. Av! ;)

tracy said...

PS Besides, i think B.B. Av feels rejected by Namer....

Dragonfly said...

A cat called "Batty", you should totally get it. Provides balance for Namer :-)

Milk and Two Sugars said...

Okay, so it sounds like the contemplating about coming down here is getting serious. I love my country and I'll expound and praise the virtues of its health care system, though I'm not certain about the bit that sends international doctors to remote locations. I would love to know though, what is it about this place that makes you really consider coming? If you feel up to sharing that is.

Sara said...

Yeah, the health care system sounds like something between what we have here and the NHS in how it works. Also, general practice here is internal medicine lite, and I'd have a lot broader scope of practice and set of opportunities elsewhere.

The "surface" reason, basically, is that I owe $130,000 USD on my education, and my salary here for the forseeable future would be sub-minimum wage even before my 60% taxes. The deals they are offering me there are too good, and I actually may not be restricted by the rural area stuff.

It is also supposed to be an amazing country, laid back lifestyle, got lots of beach, friendly people. B.B. Av (and I also) are getting tired of people here getting overly religiously fanatic, and paying taxes to support that and people who choose to have 10 kids and "be religious" not working, especially when their "religion" often is highly tied to politics with which we do not agree at all. They can do that if they want, I guess, but I'm sick of paying for it.

The big suck: long quarantine for Namerovsky.

XE said...

Oooh, exciting news with the whole Australia thing. If my family weren't permanently tied to Canada, I'd definitely want to try living there. Let us know what happens with Aus, eh?

XE said...

Oooh, exciting news with the whole Australia thing. If my family weren't permanently tied to Canada, I'd definitely want to try living there. Let us know what happens with Aus, eh?

tracy said...

You're moving to Australia? Why didn't you tell me, so i didn't have to find out about it like, years later????

gabbiana said...

Is B.B. Av's job exportable? (He's Israeli, yes? I assume that, like all Israelis, his English is spectacular?)

Australia! That'd be a hella adventure. How seriously are you considering it? How does the residency system work there? Would you wind up board-certified (... or the equivalent) in... whatever?