Black Cat

Going not gentle into that middle age.

Two Lists

Filed under: Pets — 5 May 2007 @ 4:48 pm

New Cat Hummel:


Hummel’s list of the things I can do for her:

1) Pay attention to her either at 4:00 in the morning while I’m trying to sleep or at 1:00 in the afternoon while I am in the middle of trying to do some work on the computer so that I am so beguiled by her purring that I will:

2) Get up from bed or computer chair and drag an old shoelace through the house so that she can pretend to stalk a mouse until she gets tired of that and then I can:

3) Put cat food into her bowl and admire her hearty appetite.

My list of the things I can do for her:

4) Adopt a 6-year-old cat from the Tierheim (animal shelter) where they say that she has “a few health issues” that need attending to. Hear that she was rescued from a private animal rescue farm. Learn that the neighbors noticed that the owners of this animal rescue farm had disappeared a few days earlier, and the animals had to be rescued from the rescuers and given food and health care before they improved enough to be adoptable. Hummel was singled out because she wasn’t doing well among all the other cats and dogs and horses who were rescued from the animal rescue center, so she was sent to the animal shelter near us. They kept her for two weeks tending to her health and emotional issues before they even put an ad in the local paper announcing that she was available for adoption. They name her Hummel (Bumblebee). We return home with cat, where we:

5) Watch her freak out looking for all the hiding places in our house just big enough for a cat because she thinks she’s going to be hurt again. Try to speak softly to her and gain her trust and encourage her to come out and be petted. Feel our hearts break because she’s so frightened. After two weeks, just when she’s beginning to think that we might be people she can trust, we:

6) Grab her and stuff her into a pet carrier and take her on another taxi ride to the Tierärzten (veterinarian) for the follow-up health checkup to the one she received while she was in the care of the local animal shelter. Hang on to a terrified cat, who is doing everything in her power to escape from our clutches and damage as many pieces of skin that she finds on her way out. In spite of all this mayhem we are able to determine that she has a major gum infection that is causing her teeth to rot and her breath to smell like shit. She also has black ear mites and fungus covering the insides of her ears. Gather up cat and antibiotic pills in bloody arms, return cat to cat carrier and return in taxi to house, where:

7) Two experienced cat owners attempt to insert antibiotic pills in panicked cat. Ahahahaha! What fun! Watch the fur and blood fly! Ok. Let’s try I’ll hold the cat and you pop the pills into her mouth. Manage to get most of the pills into her over the next few days. Try to convince the cat that her lot in life really is improved by staying with us. She begins training us to observe items 1, 2 and 3 above. Just as she’s beginning to think that we really might be nice people and not ogres, it’s time to:

8) Grab cat and stuff her into pet carrier and return to the vet. This time no human blood is shed while the vet determines that the ears need stronger medicine and she still needs antibiotics. Right. Gather up cat, ear mite medicine and more antibiotic pills, return cat to cat carrier and return in taxi to house, where:

9) Two experienced cat owners use the skills they recently learned to hold cat down while antibiotic pills are inserted in her mouth and antifungal fluid is squirted in her ears. Two experienced cat owners give up after 6 days because cat is terrified and is having difficulty trusting the good intentions of cat owners. Two experienced cat owners are torn between logical knowledge that antibiotics are improving her physical health and emotional knowledge that administering the antibiotics are damaging her mental health. Slowly cat begins again to trust cat owners and remind them of items 1, 2 and 3 above until it’s time to:

10) Grab cat and stuff her into pet carrier and return to the vet, where cat is put to sleep while vet pulls two rotten teeth. Cat is now renamed Snaggletooth. Return sleepy cat to cat carrier and return in taxi to house, where:

11) Two experienced cat owners use their expert skills to insert more antibiotic pills into cat, giving up after day 6 because one of the experienced cat owners leaves for a bicycle tour of the Gorges du Verdon, and the remaining experienced cat owner is not about to administer pills to cat without an accomplice. Before the bicyclist returns from France, it’s time to:

12) Grab cat and stuff her into pet carrier and return to the vet to see how the gums are healing. By this time, the cat is resigned to her fate and realizes that this is just a piss-poor way to spend a morning, and not a threat to her very existence. No medicines are prescribed. Experienced cat owners breath a sigh of relief.

Experienced cat owners are willing to invest the time and energy and blood and money to bring cat back to the pink of health. Because little Hummel is a furry sweety who brings joy to her new owners by practicing items 1, 2 and 3 above.

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  1. Petra:

    Poor Hummel,
    what a fate. How are the teeth and ears now? Is she getting better?
    Good that you have cat experiece – I would have been more frightend than the cat while trying to insert a pill.
    Good luck!!

  2. blackcat:

    Her teeth and ears are much better, thank you. Yes, experience helps. But it was still very traumatic for us, because we thought that we were inflicting Tierquälerei (animal abuse) on her!

    But she’s much happier (and healthier) now.

  3. PJ Wyatt:

    I, too adopted a child… I mean cat… who had led a rather traumatic early life. It’s gratifying to watch them learn to trust. And yes, it’s heartbreaking when you’re doing your best and they’re just not getting it! Hummel landed a cushy deal with you. If I were a cat I’d want to live at your house. Tell Hummel that auntie PJ and cousin Jaimie send their love.


  4. Dean Moyer:

    My cat is not as ambitious as yours. With her it’s, “I’m awake, it must be time to eat.” :)

    I just discovered your blog today and I’ve been reading your posts. I will be back.

    I know it can sometimes be a pain to keep up with, but you should post more often. You’re good. :)

    – Dean

  5. blackcat:

    Thank you for the kind words. I hope to have some new posts soon.

    We used to have a cat whose primary talent was processing food. He could be sound asleep, hear the sound of the can opener in the kitchen, and be half-way across the floor before his eyes were open. He was impressive to watch.

    — blackcat

  6. Dean Moyer:

    Hi Blackcat,

    Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I’m looking forward to your new posts when you get the time.

    What is it about cats and can openers? She can be asleep in another room on the other side of the house and if I open a can of anything… no matter how quiet I try to be… there she is at my feet.

    I have to let her sniff the empty can to show her it’s not cat food. :-)


  7. Crabby Mcslacker:

    Okay, I’ll buck the trend and say–don’t worry about more posts, just come hang out at my blog all day and leave amusing comments!

    (You really do write well.)

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