September 20, 2009
Shandell and I don’t have kids. We’ve always had cats. There have been 13 cats in our lives together, and I suppose if you believe a black one crossing your path portends doom then you might attach some significance to that inconsequential factoid.
Our newest members are Sproggles and Flower. One of our favorite cats (and don’t give me the “don’t you love them all?” rap… of course we do, but you know damn well you have favorites), Bug, recently passed away from cancer. Bug was a certain type of glue: he held things together. He was the gentleman of our commune. We sometimes referred to him as “The Continental.” If you like Christopher Walken and SNL, then you know what I’m talking about.
So the kids needed some glue, and Monkey needed someone to keep up with him. So we found ourselves at the Humane Society in Sebastopol with a Flower on Shandell’s head and a Sproggles on my lap. I always wanted a Sproggles and Flower insisted we take her home.
It never ceases to amaze me how each cat’s personality is unique and special. Anyone who boils down groups of people into personality categories is a complete and utter moron (wow, I think I just said something ironic). Every person is a character, and so is every cat. It just sucks that every cat’s lifetime is so God damn short.
The Humane Society gets so many cats in that the spay and neuter operations are like an assembly line. Imagine getting your junk removed at six weeks old. When we took them home, Flower ended up getting an infection in her spay wound. She had to go back for a second round of surgery. Then we had to isolate her in a room with a cone on her head so she wouldn’t worry her stitches.
Man, she was pissed.
Hell hath no fury like a baby girl kitten scorned. Many a night I slept on the floor with her. When you are a six week old baby kitty, all you want to do is play. I constantly worried how this trauma would play out later in her life.
Sproggles didn’t have it easy either. Flower got better, but Sproggles picked up a respiratory infection. Great green gobs of greasy grimy Sproggles snot. Poor little guy got rope-a-doped from sneezing so much. He went through two rounds of 10-day treatments just to knock it back.
Like I said, baby kitties just want to play. When they have issues so early on… I get scared. We don’t pick our cats like we would a piece of fruit. Our pets have always picked us. And like any soul born into this world, they just want to be safe and loved.
All of this feeling, fear, and love tears at a person in a way that can be hard to bear at times. But nothing worth anything in this life comes easy. Watching these little goons romp around and rip up the house is worth every gut wrenching moment of worry.
I suppose it is the same for people with real kids. But not having any, I guess I wouldn’t know.