The Great Realization

25 Aug

This past Friday night following a shift at work I arrived home to find blood on my desk. Obviously I freaked out because it was a clear indication that something was wrong with one of my cats. I immediately, and correctly as it turned out, figured it was Grete. She had been acting a little bit weird the past few weeks. She’s always been kind of a brat – waking me up in the morning by head butting me in a desperate attempt to get under the covers and knead me with her dagger-like claws and pissing on the floor right in front of the door to my bedroom if I didn’t feed her the second she started her dinnertime siren call – but she had never been overly vindictive. That is until a month or two ago when she decided to pee on my bed. That is the ultimate sign of feline displeasure. I will be the first to admit that there have been times when I have been remiss in my duties as a kitty mom. At that time, though, I’d been on top of it. So, what the fuck? I figured maybe something was wrong so I decided to take the two of them into the vet for their annual check-up (they get better health care than I do) and just see if maybe, just maybe, there was something beyond general cat-assiness that caused the problem. The vet seemed to think everything was okay. Great. I had an asshole on my hands.

Fast forward to the past week when I started noticing little dribbles of pee around the room. I started to feel like I was playing a game of whack-a-mole. You know, every time I would mop and then spot-clean the floor another dribble would appear. I started to get concerned. And then there was the blood. Clearly that was the last straw. Had to make an emergency appointment. So on Saturday morning at about 10, after sleeping barely at all following what amounted to a 16-hour bar shift between two places, I called the vet and made an appointment. And then I had to get Grete into her carrier. Have you ever tried putting a cat into a carrier? It is no easy task. It’s like they grow extra legs at every possible angle and use all those legs, and the claws that come with them, to forcibly keep themselves from being lowered into the chamber of doom. And then once you finally get them in there the yowling starts.

MEEEEOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!! RRRAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

It’s horrifying. It’s the sound that I imagine a whale would make if it was experiencing a slow and painful death. It would actually be funny if it didn’t make you ears bleed. (Okay, nevermind, it’s funny.) Anyway, I walked my screaming cat half a block down to the vet (bless you, convenience!) and checked her in at the desk. I then put her carrier down on one of the chairs in the waiting room and tried to distance myself. By this point she decided that yowling wasn’t working and thought that perhaps making sounds in a desperate attempt to evoke pity from me would be a more effective technique.

Roooooooooooooooo…… roooooooooooooooooo.

She has it down. At this point I noticed another lady in the room who was alternatively looking at me judgmentally (she had her carrier on her lap and was whispering through the grates to her noticeably silent cat) and then glancing at the carrier that housed Grete with a great deal of pity and concern. Obviously I must be a terrible cat mom since I was standing 5 feet away, giggling to myself. I looked at the lady and said

“She is very dramatic.”

At this point the lady realized I had a heart afterall and asked me what was wrong with my cat.

Lady: Just a check-up?
Me: No, an emergency appointment. (I realized right after I said it that this probably did not make her feel better about my relaxed stance.)
Lady: Oh! Bless her heart!
Me: I think she’s okay. I mean, she’s eating and drinking the normal amount. Has energy. There was just a little blood this morning so I think maybe she has a UTI or something like that.
Lady: Bless her.

At this point, two younger women came in with their cat which they set down on a chair in between where they both were sitting. They took turns clicking lovingly at her. Then one of them looked over at my carrier where Grete was now alternating noises.

MEEEEEEOOOOOWWWWW!!!! Roooooooo………..

I looked at them and I said

“She’s fine. I swear. Just dramatic. Tough to be a kitty, you know.”

Then, this.

Young Lady: Oh, she sounds just like Maddie! This is Maddie. (She gestured at the carrier.) Her name is Madison, actually, but we call her Maddie for short. Oh your cat is just beautiful. A tabby?
Me: Um…yea?
Young Lady: So cute. (Addressing who I assumed was her partner) Doesn’t she sound just like Maddie? I keep hearing her and thinking Maddie is throwing her meow! But she isn’t! It is a completely different cat!

At this point Grete and I got called into the office. I quickly smiled around the room, accepted the well wishes and the “bless hers,” walked into the exam room and explained to the vet tech what had been going on in my house the past few weeks. A few minutes later the vet came in, asked some more questions, did some feel tests and said it was likely a UTI, as I had suspected. We left the office $150 poorer and with a prescription for Clavamox. After dropping my still yowling and slightly traumatized kitty at home, I went to run some errands. During the errands I got to thinking about my experience in the vet office and I had a realization: I am not a cat lady.

Okay, so as a back story, when I adopted my cats over 4 years ago (I have two of them), my mother and I had a very serious (okay only sort of serious) conversation about what it takes to turn into a cat lady. At what number of cats is this an inevitability? We came to the conclusion that you could have up to three cats but once you found yourself at four and up you were basically screwed. I told my mom, at this point in all seriousness, to cut me off at three. We made it sort of a rule: over three, definite cat lady; under three, not so much. We did not, however, discuss the incidence of cat lady-ness at under three cats. It never really came up. I trusted in the fact that I was not a cat lady because I had under three cats, but perhaps there is more to it. Can one, without having an absurd number of felines, actually be a cat lady? I have a lot of thinking to do.

PS Grete is fine. Antibiotics are really something.

3 Responses to “The Great Realization”

  1. CJ René August 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    At what point does a cat mom turn into a cat lady?! Omg. I’m probably already there. Are there cat gentlemen out there?! I bet they just get called “animal lovers” or something.

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