Grateful Cats

Its November now; Thanksgiving time. The time of year we are reminded to be thankful for what we have…and something about some Pilgrims and eating turkey. Anyway, I was pondering over the things in my life that I am so very thankful for. Mostly, that meant my family…the humans and the four legged kids as well. I love my husband, I love my kids, and I love my dogs and cats. Most of them love me too, except maybe the cats. You see, cats are not like dogs…not like dogs at all. They do not worship the ground you walk on, nor do they seem to appreciate how much you do for them.

I own a lot of rescue animals. Discards…the unwanted…the abandoned…those are the majority of my furkids. Mostly, I live with dogs but I also live with a few cats. I have three housecats and another abandoned cat that now lives in my salon. Because I am known throughout the   community as having worked with animals my entire life, some people view me as a rescue…a place to toss out their unwanted pets. These kind of people tend to have the ‘out of sight; out of mind’ mentality and will readily dump their problem on someone else’s doorstep. C’mon people…spay and neuter!

Our most recent occurrence was just a few weeks ago. Two very young kittens were tossed out onto our property. We could hear the screaming and found them underneath the porch terrified. They were starving and obviously dehydrated. We took them into the salon and fed them while we sat up a temporary crate for them. The male seemed okay, but the little girl was weak and would fall when she attempted to walk…something was definitely wrong. I feared the worse; that she had a fatal and communicable disease.             

They were carted off to the vet to be evaluated and vaccinated. Their blood tests for feline leukemia and feline a.i.d.s were negative. It turned out the little girl had head trauma…imagine that. Within the next several days, they began to gain a little weight and fill out a bit. Turns out the little girl would suffer from permanent brain damage that causes slight tremors and a loss of balance at times.

Our local shelter is inundated with homeless pets. We also know it will be difficult to place a little kitty with brain damage and she is very bonded to her brother, so we don’t want to separate them. Fine…if they are going to stay here, they need names. We can’t just call them ‘little boy’ and ‘little girl’ all the time. We decided to honor them by endowing them with the names of the one, the only ‘Dynamic Duo’. That’s right, Batman and Robin.

Now, winter is coming on, it’s getting cold at night. We’re a bit rural here…it’s not uncommon for hawks and owls to pick up small mammals like kittens. There are also the usual fox and coyote attacks that happen. So the way I see it, I am doing these kitties a huge favor. They will now live in my salon. They will be indoors where it is warm and cozy. They are fed regularly and have constant access to fresh water. They have toys and two litter boxes. Wouldn’t you think they would be grateful?

I am a dog person by nature. I don’t hate or even dislike cats; I am just a dog person. So these kitties have no idea how lucky they really are. So how do they express their gratitude? In the typical ‘cat’ way of showing appreciation….by destroying everything they encounter such as my longtime friend…the peace lily. Now, peace lily has lived in my salon for years quite happy and content at just being beautiful. It only requested the occasional drink of water and never made a peep. Batman and Robin decided to play with peace lily…and poor peace lily paid the ultimate price. I am convinced that cats…particularly kittens…hallucinate. They see things that just aren’t there. I don’t know if Batman decided that peace lily was a monster, an alien, or just posed a general threat, but he decided to attack peace lily. Leaves were strewn everywhere; they were mangled, chewed, and tossed about as if Batman had destroyed a green octopus by pulling each of its tentacles off. Once he successfully destroyed his imaginary enemy, he and Robin both decided that sleeping on top of your spoils is a good way to show other enemies who the real boss is….just in case any other plant had the crazy notion of rising up against the Dynamic Duo.

Within only a few days of the battle with peace lily, they find a new enemy. It seems the phone charger posed quite a threat too. So of course…phone charger had to be decapitated.

Then there are the slip leads we keep neatly hanging near the door for those clients who don’t have a leash. Well, according to Robin, those are simply a nest of green snakes that need to be whipped into submission.

I can no longer work on my laptop between clients, as Robin thinks my keyboard is a great dance floor for practicing the polka.

Heavens forbid you open a box around here…it immediately turns into a playground. No sooner had I unpacked my gallons of shampoo, than Batman had decided that he and his sidekick would need a Bat Cave.

My patience has worn thin more than once with these kitties, but they save their ultimate powers for use on me. Yes, the power of kitty cuteness. As frustrated as I have been with the death of peace lily, the decapitation of phone charger, the inability to keep slip leads in their proper location, and the fact that Robin dances across my keyboard to ‘help’ me type, I cannot for the life of me resist the power of kitty cuteness. What goes through their little kitty brains? I’m not sure anymore. Maybe it’s hallucinations…maybe just an excellent imagination. But I can certainly tell you this…it’s definitely not gratitude.

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