Monday, November 15, 2010

The Pets

Yes I have a story for them too...

I don't have an amazing story for the dog. The cat's story on the other hand is a good one... I had two dogs. Lindy and Zulu.
Lindy was my childhood pet
Zulu was a birthday gift given to me as Lindy started aging.
That spring Lindy passed away, and Zulu and I packed up and moved back up north. As soon as we moved in to our new place she was lonely. My hours at the top-secret retailer can be a little crazy. Potty training Zu was a big enough mess:
I was not up for puppyhood again so soon. But I knew she needed a friend. I went against everything that I had been raised to believe in. I bought a cat.
Linus entered the "family." I was not raised around cats. My dad hates cats. One of the boys that I dated convinced me that cat's weren't evil, and I decided it was an option worth exploring. During a phone call with my mother I was telling her about cats I'd found on petfinder. I was telling her I had no idea that a plain old cat was hundreds of dollars! My mother is famously a deal-finder. Her response to the price was to say "there are plenty of free cats in alleys all over the city, there is no reason you should have to pay for one!" So I made it my mission to find a cheap/free cat. 

And so began my craigslist search. I stumbled upon Stew's ad. "5 Kittens. Small rehoming fee. Call or email Stew." So email Stew I did. I asked if he had any boy cats (the boyfriend assured me a boy cat was the only way to go), what the small rehoming fee consisted of, and if he had any pictures. I figured I could judge from a picture how clean the cat-retailer's home was, and if it was worth subjecting myself to a possible craigslist-kidnapping for. I got a picture of a pile of kittens sleeping, a quote of $5, and was told I could come over tomorrow. Just to make sure I was safe I googled Stew's first and last name and found out Stew was on some weather watch committee... A public figure! There's no way their house would be dangerous for me to drive alone to! Feeling safe, and proud of myself for getting a good deal, I trekked to petsmart. I bought all kinds of cat equipment. While doing this my worst nightmare approached me and asked "How many cat children do you have?" Um no thanks. 

The next day arrived. I called Stew and was told to come over around 2:00. I went to an ATM, figuring Stew doesn't take Visa, programmed the address into my GPS, and was off! He even lived in a safe area... "Pretty nice houses." "Oh look a graveyard!" "Oh you want me to turn right into the graveyard?" "Okkkkk. Proceed straight? There's just a forest with a shack if I go straight." "I have arrived. Oh Lord." So I pull up to the shack. There's abandoned cars in the yard, screens punched out of the windows (one of which was punched out when I pulled up and a giant hound jumped up against it while trying to get to me!), and the strong smell of cat pee greeted me. But come on... $5! I will carry on! So I did! I marched right up to one of the two front doors and knocked. About thirty seconds later a toothless, and braless, woman opens the door. "Whatcha want?" "I um am um here um about the cat. The boy cat? I'm here to see Stew." "Oh, I forgot aboutcha. I'm Stew. Come on in." So I entered the dining room. The cat dining room. There had been green carpet at one point. Now it was the height of felt and covered in urine spots. And cats. Lots of cats! There was also a dining room table. Covered in cat food. And cats. Lots and lots of cats! And in the corner the litter box. The never-been-cleaned litter box. You get the picture. From living in a zero cat household, this was a shock to all senses! 

I decided to stop being such a snob and be nice. I also decided that I was buying a great story, and a cat, for $5! I looked down on the floor at a pile of kittens. Trying to be optimistic I said "So! Which one is the boy!?" To which Stew replied "Honey, I'm legally blind, you're gonna have to figure that one out!" Wonderful. So I start picking up cats left and right and looking underneath them. Apparently it's pretty much impossible to tell the gender of a kitten if you're used to looking at puppies. So again I had to go to Stew. "I don't think you have any boys. I've only picked up girls!" Stew hobbled over to me and swiped up a grey cat. "They tell me the grey one's a boy. I call him Smokey. You can too." I pretended this was a very original idea, swiped the cat up convinced that he was a she and Stew had no idea what was going on, and pulled out my $20 bill. "I just stopped at the ATM. You don't have change do you?" Silly me. Stew didn't have change. I was eying the place looking for jumping flea's and trying to back out the door, and Stew began regaling me with tales of her arthritis. She told me the rehoming fee was going toward a self cleaning litter box since her useless son was too lazy to help her clean the box. "Speaking of my son, you two should meet. You might really like him!" Wonderful. Back away. Back away. Just get toward the door with this girl cat and run! Out from the other room emerges the knight in shining armor, right as I'm poised to make my escape- A 40s something bald man wearing boxers, chest hair, and that's it. Ugh. I gave a quick wave, and was out of there with my genderless cat. He cried the entire ride home, my dog was afraid of him, and he cost me hundreds of dollars to de-worm and de-flea. In the end he's been a great story, the dog ended up loving him, and he's a great cat. 


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