I’m sorry this is so long, and while it could do with a good edit, it’s just not happening. I’m one tired fat old lady.

I am a creature of habit.  (Not a nun’s habit, despite my tenure with the Hot Cross Nuns – those days are behind me.)  Habit as in routines.

I do best when I have and stick to a routine.  It somehow helps with my depression and anxiety.  Don’t know why.  It just does.

Well, last week, my routine went to hell when on Sunday I went and saw a play (The Book of Will, as discussed in last Tuesday’s blog), when my routine said I should be at home doing the laundry, like I’m supposed to only I didn’t.  That meant Monday, I was doing laundry instead of getting groceries, and Tuesday, I was getting groceries; etc. 

So when it was this Sunday and I was doing laundry, all seemed right with the world (or at least, my little corner of it). 

Then I got a wild hair (or hare?  Pretty sure, I would prefer a wild hair up my ass than a wild hare … pretty sure the hare would prefer it that way too). 

I decided it was time for us to get another kitty.  (Cue dramatic music.)

I had put an application in to adopt a cat at Town Cats (where we got Leo, Mochi (my fluffy little ball of fuck you) and Murphy); but this time the cat had too many issues even for me.  Biggest general problem was IBD – which meant she had issues with controlling her bowel movements.  It is also what killed our little gray fluffer Oliver.  With IBD, the cat is hungry all the time, and eats and eats, but is still starving to death because their body isn’t absorbing the nutrients.  I went through it once, and I just can’t go through it again. 

So I looked at the cats at the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter and I found an 8 year old female tabby who was diabetic and had been at the shelter for over six months.  Poor baby.  The notes even said she was very sweet and loved to snuggle.  Sounded like a winner to me.

So after the laundry was done, I took my fat old lady ass down to the Animal Shelter.  Google Maps sent me to the wrong address, but Siri (mostly) corrected that – except Siri sent me to the huge (Human) Health Clinic which turned out to be next door to the Animal Shelter.

I went in and asked to see Bertha.  They took me to a mostly empty room that had two chairs, a pile of towels, and a very not happy cat, walking along the walls, hollering to be let out.  So.  This was Bertha.  But she wasn’t darting around or panicky.  She was methodically checking the walls and the one door to find a way out.  I sat down and started talking to her (because that’s what cat people do).  She eventually came over and let me pet her; then she went back to her circling and hollering.  But she came back to me for more pets and this time I picked her up and she snuggled in and started purring.  Truthfully, that’s all it took.  She was mine. (Or more accurately, I was hers.)

Eventually, she wanted down and I let her go, but she came around again and I picked her up again.  Unfortunately, this time, I didn’t get as good of a grip and her little arms were flailing and she caught the side of my face with a claw.  Total accident.  It could happen to anyone.  She snuggled in and started purring and I commenced to bleed.  Quite a bit, because that’s how face wounds are. 

The assistant came in and I told her that Bertha was mine.  I wanted to adopt her and could I please have a tissue to sop up the blood?  The assistant was appalled that I had been wounded and was amazed that I still wanted to adopt Bertha.

I look at it like an interview or audition that’s going really well and then a fart slips out.  Are you going to dismiss a totally qualified candidate because of a little oopsie?  Please.  What’s a little blood between soon-to-be friends?

So Bertha 1 / Hooman 0 (as it should be in all things.)

I was directed to a bathroom, where I went to clean up my Kill-Bill face, much to the fascination of the four children (with their mom) already in the bathroom.  Questions, questions.  I explained that a cat had done this by accident.  Why?  Because she got nervous when I picked her up.  Why?  Wouldn’t you get nervous if a stranger picked you up?  Oh.  Okay.  Do you hate her?  No.  Why? Because it was an accident.  I’m going to adopt her.  Really?  Yes, because she is really a very nice kitty who got a little nervous.  (I didn’t think it was appropriate to bring up my fart analogy – plus I didn’t think of it until today.)

So, staunching my bleeding face with a paper towel, I completed the paperwork for Bertha’s adoption and paid her fees.

But I couldn’t take Bertha home.  I needed to meet with the Shelter’s vet, who as not available until Monday afternoon.  And I work in the afternoon.  But the Shelter doesn’t even open until noon.  After some discussion, it was decided it would be best if I return on Monday (today) at 1 p.m. 

And now I get to my busy day. 

I had to get up early, because I had to start work at 9 a.m. – which isn’t that big of a deal, but I didn’t go to bed until 2 a.m. and I couldn’t fall asleep for a while.  So – ugh.  I worked from 9 a.m. to noon.  I headed to the Animal Shelter at 12:30.  About halfway there all the traffic lights stopped working on the major thoroughfare I was traveling.  Apparently, the power was out for the whole thing – and was out at the Animal Shelter as well, so they weren’t sure if I would be able to meet with the vet – and I said, do not tell me that Bertha can’t come home with me today.  I scared them sufficiently to go talk to the vet and apparently I was scary enough to cause the power to come back on.  Met with the vet; got everything situated about Bertha’s diabetes, insulin injections and dietary needs.  They take my cat carrier to the back and eventually bring out Bertha (who is not happy and letting the world know it).  They act like she weighs a ton.  They have put her into the cat carrier and then put the cat carrier into a big rubber tub with wheels and are rolling her out.  (Oh, the indignity of it all.)  Then they discover that somehow Bertha has avoided getting her rabies shot.  I assure them, I’ll have my vet do it, but they insist so Bertha and her tub get rolled to the back.  I am told I can go wait by my car and they’ll bring (roll) her out to me.  So I use the time to call my vet and make an appointment for Bertha.  Out comes (rolls) Bertha and she is enthroned in the front seat of my car in the carrier.  Me, Bertha, and the bag of supplies I have been gifted with, head home.  It’s a bit tense, since my gas light comes on about halfway there.  Mercy.  We get home.  Bertha goes and hides in Bill’s closet (well, not exactly hide – just keeping back in the corner where she can keep an eye on everything).  I have to go back to work because I still have an hour to put in.  Finish work. Check on the cat.  Not only does she come out when I call her (she is now Berta, which she seems to like just fine), but when I put my hands out to pick her up, she stands on her hind legs and reaches her little arms out to be picked up. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.  I pet Bertha for a while, but then I have to go to the grocery store.  I go to the grocery store which is way too busy – why aren’t you people at home, cooking dinner?  I finally get out of there, get home, put the groceries away, and nuke a couple of Blake’s Chicken Pot Pies for our dinner.  Oh – but before that, I give Berta her insulin injection (easy-peasy) and her special food. 

Now, I was told that Berta is obsessed with food.  That she will eat anything she can get her little paws on.  That when she gets her wet food, she’ll gobble it right up. 

Lies.  All lies.

She isn’t obsessed with food because she’s fat (and she is a fat kitty); she’s obsessed with food because you keep taking it away from her and not giving her something to nosh on (the vet doesn’t “believe” in dry food for diabetic cats – even though there is dry cat food specifically for diabetic cats).  We were supposed to pick up all of Murphy’s food before we brought her home, and I just didn’t  I wanted to see how she’d react.  She sniffed Murphy’s food, ate some of his Temptation snacks he didn’t want and took some nibbles of Murphy’s dry food.  When I gave her the can of wet food – again, some nibbles and that was it. 

Who knew fat bias in healthcare exists for cats too.

So we’ll keep an eye on her and when I take her to the vets I will get prescription wet and dry food for her (plus a prescription for her insulin); but I’m not seeing a cat that is out of control when it comes to food.  I’m seeing a cat that, when allowed to free feed, eats like a cat.  She’s a fat cat – not a dog. 

So after dinner, and washing the dishes (and somewhere in there doing my DuoLingo Spanish lessons),  we all settled down to see what happens next.  Bertha climbed on the sofa and onto Bill for some snuggles.  Then got next to him on the sofa for more attention.  She claimed one of the cat beds (happily, not the one Murphy has latched onto) and relaxed there for a bit.  She came over to me (at the computer) and let me pick her up and snuggle her.  Eventually, Berta and Murphy ended up both in the bedroom – Berta on the bed and Murphy on the top of the headboard.  Both are still growly and hissy, but nobody has fluffed up, nobody has taken a swing at the other, there is no blood splatter on our walls – yet. 

And I have to get up early tomorrow (God (TIDBI) save me); and then go do the Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping.  (And I haven’t forgotten I need to call you JM – the day just got away from me and then it was too late in the evening. Tomorrow – I promise.)

And now when I write about the antics of Berta, you’ll know just who I’m talking about; and when you see the next photo of me with a big ass scar running down the side of my face, you’ll know what that’s all about too!

Berta 1 / Mommy 0

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