WHY is it absolutely necessary, essential even, that I be supervised whilst scooping the kitty litter box?
WHY is it absolutely necessary, essential even, that I be supervised whilst scooping the kitty litter box?
stretching luxuriously, exulting in the feel of life as it
caresses my skin, sliding rapturously,
tantalizingly down the length of my body
all the way down to my tingling toes.
What I feel, in this moment,
is the frustration of rumpled, matted fur
as events and circumstances grate
across what sensitive nerves there are left
that are willing to feel any sensation at all.
Relaxed is what I want
and that is not what I am getting.
Mantras and deep breathing,
meditations, prayer, quiet and solitude
result in quivering tangles of anxiousness,
spinning feverishly into chaos.
sybaritic and sensual,
I choose calm.
I am a sucker for a mewling kitten. I know this from bitter experience. By the time I got a job in Panama, and we were packing up to move from Morocco, I needed to find homes for ELEVEN cats. I managed all but three by the time it was time to go, so at least I only had to book flights for three pets to Panama, and let’s not discuss how much that cost.
The trouble is, once I got to Panama, it took less than a year (only ONE kitten season), to acquire two more. The fact that two of my beloved fur children went to heaven during that time, so that the total number of fur babies remained constant at three, is neither here nor there. The question remains, should I adopt, knowing I will not be able to resist anyway, and also knowing that I will not be staying in this country for another 15 years or so, which is usually how long a cat lives, on average?
It is enough that they get several good years with me and then get another home, as good as I can provide for them? That is certainly better than life on the street would have treated them, because I take them to the vet, and neuter them, and care for them. Still, I know that changing families can be stressful for both people and pets, so am I being fair or unfair to them, loving them for a time, and sharing them with some other good family when I have to go?
I have shared my life with cats for as long as I can remember.
Except for the years I was married. I gave away my cats because he did not like them. I should have known from that alone. Worst trade of my life (and that is saying something).
The last few years we were married, before he died, I got a cat anyway, because by then I just did not care anymore what he thought. And I have had them ever since.
My children do not have the same memories of their dad that I have, because they were children and I was wife. They don’t remember being cat-less. By the time they were old enough to remember, I did not care anymore, so I was no longer cat-less.
But I remember.
NEVER AGAIN – for ANYbody.
Monday this week, I called the veterinarian’s office and discussed with them bringing in two cats for neutering – one male and one female. I told them Saturday morning, since I am off work for a week and can stay home to give them their meds and be sure they are healing properly. I called this office because the e-mail I sent to the other vet I sometimes use was never answered. They told me an appointment for Saturday morning was not necessary (just come in), and how much it would cost, and that the meds were included in the cost, about 200 dollars for both. OK.
At 6:30 on Saturday morning, I checked with my neighbor who was outside already about a ride to the city – she was taking her dog to her vet for boarding, and could drop me and three cats in crates, too. This was a HUGE favor for a car-less person. Many taxis here in Panama won’t pick you up if you have an animal carrier, and neither will the city bus. So, we arrive, unload the crates, and I discover once inside the store that the store’s veterinarian clinic is CLOSED FOR REMODELING. Not just that the vet is sick that day and can’t come in – oh, no. Closed for remodeling. And my ride is driving off…….SNIT.
So, I go to the street and start flagging taxis. These two cats have been without food since last night to prepare for their surgery this morning, and I only have this week to be home to care for them as they recover. This has to happen NOW. The first taxi says no when I confess ‘tres gatos in cajas’ (three cats in boxes). The second taxi is more ratty-looking, and he says yes. Since I don’t know where to go, I tell him veterinarian’s office – and off we go. He takes me to Spay Panama clinic, and they have a line of about 50 people already (before 8 am), but the lady there kindly tells my driver another vet office, and off we go…again. The third office has the lady at the front desk selling the Science Diet, but no doctor is in. She comes out and tells my driver another office nearby. I go in to vet number 4 and praise God, I get a yes. It is going to cost more than twice what my original vet was going to charge, but this one is open, and this has to happen TODAY.
I return to the taxi and pay the guy 30 bucks for being so super in my emergency, which delights him so much that he gives me his phone number and says for me to call when they are done and he will take me home. I fill out papers, and leave two cats for neutering surgery, and one for a visit about itchy skin rash (Caruso, above). Then I go next door to the grocery store, and carefully and thoroughly peruse every single shelf, shopping to kill time (a dangerous proposition for me, let me tell you). Plus, the store has a nice, little, inexpensive cafe, and I also dawdle over a leisurely lunch of $3.00 chicken, rice and lentils, plus a doughnut and a slice of cake, with two large cups of some interesting sweet/tart fruit juice.
Then, having nowhere else to go, I tote the loot back over to the vet’s office and settle down to wait in their air conditioning. This is Panama, and I am not a total fool. It is only 12:00. I doze fitfully in the chair until 4:00, when the vet comes out and tells me they are fine, gives me the ‘recipe,’ as she calls it, of medicine instructions for all three. The meds are another sixty bucks, on top of the 370 for the two surgeries and the consultation about the skin fungus (as it turns out).
I call Jorge, the taxi driver, and when he arrives 15 minutes later, we negotiate a fee to return home, we load up my groceries and the kitties, and off we go, accompanied by a chorus of stressed-out kitty meows. It’s been a long day, mom, and they discuss this with me (and Jorge) all the way home.
Part way there, I see a strange, moving lump on the side of the road, and realize it is a three-toed sloth crossing the road – when I exclaim “It’s a sloth!!” Jorge stops the taxi and backs up – I hop out and direct traffic around the sloth until another car stops, and a man with a cloth band hooks it around the sloth and hauls him/her to the other side of the road to safety, and we are all off again. Excitement over. It’s nice that everyone was protective of the sloth. I had never been that close to one before.
We get home, and I pay and tip Jorge and tote everybody and the groceries into the house. It is well after 5 pm, and everybody needs feeding, including me. Then, it is time to medicate everybody. As I do this, I notice that Cielo, the male cat that was neutered, has his tummy shaved as if he were getting the female spay incision – way up his belly and his sides – far more than necessary for the more simple, less invasive male procedure. I guess the vet got busy shaving before they read the directions on the bottom of Cielo and figured out this one was the BOY, and it was the other one that was the girl!
As I type this, Dulce, the girl, is snoozing at my feet, after antibiotics, vitamins and pain meds, and a nice comfort session in my lap, getting stroked and petted like she likes it. Cielo hates the lampshade collar that prevents him from licking his sore spots with his sandpaper tongue, and he keeps bumping into me and everything else. But everybody is cared for, and it is DONE!! Now, to get well!!
…and, like most assholes, they are usually full of shit. Yeah, I know the old joke – that really isn’t a joke. It does appear that most people today ardently believe that other people’s opinions (read: other people’s opposing opinions that don’t agree, lock-step, with mine) are full of shit. Scatology aside, it is fair to say that some people are pretty crappy, and you would expect that their opinions would naturally follow suit.
Still, just because someone does not agree with your view of the world and the rightness of things in general does not, ipso facto, make them shit-carriers. It is possible *gasp* that they could actually have the right of things and YOU are the stinky one.
I commented on Facebook lately to a former student, now grown into independent adulthood quite well, thank you, that he was flogging a dead horse by trying to convince a liberal DemocRAT to change their opinions by presenting them with facts and logic. Liberals recognize nothing that is not on their previously conceived and accepted agenda – all facts to the contrary. They call you ugly names for even trying. And the worst part of it is that they are very, very similar to radical Muslims.
Don’t throw rocks at me. I know Muslims who are decent, hardworking family-oriented people. In fact, praise God, I don’t actually know any Muslims who are not reasonable, rational people, but I read about them all the time in the news, unfortunately, so I do know that not all Muslims are the sort I know. And liberal DemocRATS are like the WORST sort of Muslims. They are rabid about their agenda like fanatical Muslims are about any imagined slur towards the Koran or the prophet Mohammed – and behead all unbelievers.
Notice how violently, aggressively and rabidly the liberals and their complicit cronies, the liberal-oriented press, attack and vilify anyone who has any criticism whatsoever of officially accepted liberal policies or leaders – or who has anything to say in support of what used to be thought of as traditional American values. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!! This is fanaticism of the worst sort – that refuses to believe that the opinions (morals, values, ethics whattheheckeveryacall it) of others have any validity at all…not even based on the right to be human and think for oneself. Heck no – behead the unbelievers!!
It is tough enough thinking for yourself without someone who supposedly believes in the sacredness of the individual berating you for doing it. Stand your ground, and persist. Be the boulder in a liberal’s path, and make them GO AROUND. You are important, and so are your opinions…articulated aloud or not.