25 February 2008

Adventures in Cat/Vet interactions

This post over at Atomic Nerds reminded me of one of the cats that have had me over the years.

I was working for dad, and we one day saw this TINY ball of grey fur come wandering down the sidewalk. That particular day, dad had tossed some chicken bones outside (for whatever feral cat might chance by), and one of the shop cats (Spike: 25 lbs of phenomenal feline power with a itty-bitty-kitty voice) was sunning himself. Anyway, this lil' ball of fluff wanders along, smells the bones, and beelines: she didn't notice Spike until she was already gnawing, at which point she did the "puff up an' look mean" trick.

Spike's response, as near as we could tell, was to think "Junior, I could eat you"

Well, dad hears this growling, and investigates. Being the cold-hearted animal hater he is, he immediately decides we have to try and catch the lil' bugger, so it has a chance of survival.

Que blown workday as we lower the overhead door to JUST enough for a kitten, set out something that smells good, and lay in wait. For three hours. Before calling it a day, and heading home.

Itty-Bitty Kitty: 1
Adult Male Humans: 0

Next day, I arrive, and dad bellows "Get through the door quick! Don't want him getting away!". Like I said: animal hater.

Not good with sexual differentiation, either.

We got HER tamed down a bit (amazing what you can do with things like chicken, roast beef, and turkey). At first, we christened her "Snowball" ("She looks like a Chicago snowball"). There was the memorable day that we lost another hour of productivity, because she didn't head for the back room when we started the machines after lunch (Itty-Bitty Kitty: 2, Adult Male Humans: 0). But we noticed that she, well... had an oil leak.

Not sure how else to describe it: she marked her territory the same way an old Harley does: she'd stop for a bit, sit down, and leave a small black puddle. This requires immediate professional attention (especially since I'm not sure a: where the dipstick is on a cat, b: what the capacity is, nor c: how to locate the drain plug). So... off to the vet!

Let's not discuss trying to catch her to TAKE her to the vet (Itty-Bitty Kitty: 3, Adult Male Humans: 0).

We get her to the vet, and everything goes fine: somehow, the vet fixed the leak, and got her cleaned up. We found out she was white.

Couldn't spend all that time and money, then stick her back in that dingy shop, so Spoon and I took her in. After the first night, we renamed her. Went something like this:

Itty-Bitty Kitty: "Love me!"
Me: "OK" *picks up cat, begins rubbing*
IBK: "Ok, that's enough now" *proceeds to remove arm at the shoulder*

I looked at Spoon and, between the screams, casually mention "she's a succubus! She lures you in with her feminine charms, then tries to eat you!". And the name stuck: Succubus, or Suki for short.

Fast forward several weeks.

We had a heat wave hit, and a house with ZERO AC. The rest of the menagerie had the sense to head for the basement (I think the python was overheard muttering about "damned humidity"). But not Suki.

Que frantic run for the vet, with a listless and slack kitty. I thought for sure I was going to be digging a grave.

We get to the vet, and the techs all smile "Oh... it's Snowball!". I suddenly realize that things are going to go rodeo.

"No, her name's Suki. Short for Succubus". I even explain the story, and show them the stitches from re-attaching the arm.

They scoff. Silly humans.

I'd like to take a minute, and explain something about this vet: she's GOOD. Deals with all KINDS of "problem animals". I'm pretty sure that, if I had a rabid wolverine that I wanted treated, she'd deal with it and never bat an eye.

The only phrase I hear from the exam room is "We'll just draw some blood real quick". This was followed by the sound of Hell's Gates being thrown open...

They had scoffed. Silly humans.

When it was all said and done, it took three techs to draw blood on a cat that would JUST overflow my cupped hands. I mean, I have pistols that weigh more than this cat did. Three techs.

When they came out, the one girl just looked at me mournfully, muttering something about rabid wolverines. The vet herself apologized for doubting my rename.

She died a few years later. Near as we can tell, she had been weaned (or rather, abandoned) WAY too early, causing problems in her digestive tract. When she got sick that last time, we took her to a different vet. Mom-in-law visited her the next day (Suki let her KNOW what she thought of being abandoned there), and she seemed to be improving. That night, she died.

Still miss her. DO appreciate getting to keep all my limbs though.

Here's Suki (we also dubbed her the Sock Monster: with her coloring, she could completely disappear into a dryer full of socks).



LabRat said...

The secret a few cats have figured out is that when you only weigh ten pounds or so and your opponent is a fully grown human or several, the secret is to make them play defense the entire time.

Zydeco's entire thing is that he doesn't seem to experience fear. Whether it was humans, dogs, or other cats, he'd just attack until the other fled in abject terror.

Cave Troll said...

Heh ours just manipulate us beyond redemption with cuteness ....(putty in paws)
By the by have linked to your blog over at mine, honestly wish there were more people like yourself over my end of this benighted planet

Hammer said...

Sorry to hear about suki. Sounds like she had a lot of character.