Monday, May 6, 2013

An Anniversary Repost: Little Green Apples

I'm having trouble using my hands today... and then there's this pesky newly broken ankle.  O, Woe and Alas, and Poobah!  So I wondered what I was writing about on May 6, 2009.  Yes, that's right, an anniversary repost.  It's bittersweet, as it turns out, being a memory of one our now lost pets, the one, the only Uncle Kitty Big Balls, shortened to an affectionate "Little Boy." Fred loved him so... he was totally Fred's best buddy.  Me, I was good for putting out the kibble and for a good scratch and grooming session -- but for pure love, Fred and Little Boy, all the way.  There are other things to commemorate on May 6th, so happy birthday to those things, too.  Really. I mean it.  Sorry.  Did you ever notice that bitterness leaks?


 The one day we had open for this week -- Thursday -- has now been filled with yet another visit to the Infectious Disease office, as they want a higher vancomycin trough level. We went by yesterday to pick up the antibiotics-in-a-ball to learn that we are going to dosing every 12 hours.

Today I see Bob for my first post-op visit; The Fredster has dinner with the Existentialists; and we proceed with... The Taming of Uncle Kitty Big Nuts, our newly rescued cat!

Yes... last Wednesday, as I lay dying in ICU, Fred delivered quite the performance.

The male cat, formerly known as Little Boy, is brother to the last cat we rescued, Little Girl, now officially known as Marmy. We took her in off the mean streets of Tête de Hergé so pregnant that she was sway-backed; Her humongous belly almost touched the floor; She waddled around, miserable, swishing her swishy tail. Of her five kitten litter, we kept the runt, known to us as Dobby. Dobby is our little idiot.

Sam-I-Am, the elder spokesman for the group, was born in a Walmart -- hence we named him for what's-his-face... Sam Walton, with a deeper, more appreciative nod to Dr. Seuss. Known to his friends as Stinky Boy, Sammy's life is filled with neuroses. I love him bunches. What can I say? He likes to kiss me.

When I was little, I wanted to be a vet and had a fairly active veterinary hospital that specialized, it seemed, in rehabilitating birds. My grandfather and a neighbor of his down the curvaceous country lane kept me supplied with injured blue jays and carrier pigeons. I raised a blue jay that had been tossed from the nest by one of *those* types of mothers -- he was a small ball of wrinkled skin with a huge gaping mouth and wirey neck -- eyes closed. I fed him purée of bugs with vitamins. I taught him to fly. Neither of us thought much about the details of first flight -- he fluttered, dipping and rising, his path almost plotted out by slow, huge dashes in the air -- "landing" with a complaining screech amid the branches of the crabapple tree next to Granddaddy's back porch. We had no exit strategy, and he almost spent the night in that crab apple tree. Usually, Squawky flew about the neighborhood during the day, coming into the house just a few times, and usually to hide his catches of bugs under the cushions of my grandmother's old-timey loveseat. She hated that bird. At night, Squawky came inside. He was killed by a hawk the next summer -- having lived only a little over a year.

Fred had me in tears as he pitched the notion of adopting Marmy's brother, "the sweetest cat in the world." I felt like the big bad meanie -- not wanting him near the others if he had anything infectious, not wanting to have to clean up after another long-hair.

Still, I made it out of ICU and meant to keep my promise. Little Boy, or Uncle Kitty Big Nuts, was delivered to our vet for a complete overhaul on Monday -- he had a large leg wound that they cleaned and packed with a drain, large nuts that they snipped, ear mites that they smote, plus worming, flea treatment, and a very punk whole body shave, as his long white and grey fur was matted beyond hope of repair by brush or comb. All his shots, too.

Amazingly, Uncle Kitty of the Former Big Nuts is disease-free. I just knew that The Fredster would come home Monday night sobbing, because the little guy just looked so very rough and haggard, limping and way skinny.

Yesterday, we set out to see The Boutiqueur, so punchy already that we sat giggling in the waiting room, sipping gourmet coffee. I had a fever and couldn't breathe. Saw Boutiqueur and got my first and best piece of practical advice. Should my lungs shut down again, and if I am alone, COUGH. Cough as hard as I can. The thing is, my brain seemed to be the first thing to stop working!

Anyway, we got lost in the parking deck, and by the time we found Ruby and loaded me -- they wanted $5 for the privilege of spending an hour and two minutes in the doctor's building.

Then we got lost on the highway, then we were found, and proceeded to the damned Infectious Disease group o'peeps. After that? Speed-demon Fred floored it across town to the vet's office, where we picked up a cross-eyed and bewildered Little Boy.

He is ravenous and has gulped down three cans of food. His sister and the rest of the feline crowd huddle outside the bedroom door -- Sammy is growling, Marmy is "ack-ack-acking" away and seems very happy, and Our Little Idiot, Dobby, is the most affected, surprisingly.

We are planning a family reunion and low key meet-and-greet for this afternoon, before we haul ass to see even more white coats.

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