mokie: A vintage image of a girl and kitten smiling (pets)
Back near the end of July, during that fun 3-month heat wave/drought combo platter, I got a call from Zaphod, my nephew, asking if I would take in a stray kitten he found. It had been hiding under some bushes near his house, panicking at the passing cars and panting in the heat, and it had been out there for a while.

But you know young animal lovers. A baby bird on the ground must be in dire danger, a bunny out of its burrow must need rescuing from any potential threats, and a kitten under a bush must be lost and in need of saving. I gave reluctant and conditional permission: I'd bring the kitten in, check it out, and let it get some water and cool off, but in all likelihood it was simply an outdoor cat trying to dodge him.

A few minutes later, my sister came up the street with the boy and a couple of neighborhood kids, and I realized it wasn't just Zaphod being oversensitive. The kitten wasn't starved, but it did seem a little bony and dehydrated, and it was petrified by every sound, from random dog barks a block away to squealing tires a few streets over.

That's how Maynard came to us.

The fact that he was so affectionate, and so willing to be lugged around and snuggled by Zaphod, told us that Maynard was most definitely not a feral cat, but he did like to dodge out the door--and then freeze on the porch, as if asking himself what he'd just done. We were banking on Maynard being a local kitten who'd darted out one day and not been able to get back in, so we checked grocery store bulletin boards, looked for Lost Cat posters, posted notices online, and the nephew said he even put up a Found Cat notice near his apartment building.

Nothing. Poor thing. I'd only saddled him with the name 'Maynard' because I thought he'd just be here a day or two.

As the month creeped by, the other possibility started to look more like a probability. Maynard was (I would guess) eight or nine months old, at that gangly stage where cats stop being cute and start knocking things over in earnest, and we live in a neighborhood dominated by apartment buildings, with a lot of turnover in the summer months. It was all too possible that someone simply decided they didn't want a kitten anymore, or was moving and didn't want to lug him along.

Due to a human medical emergency earlier this year, Ming and Murphy's visit to the vet to be fixed ended up being pushed back, but with a second intact male in the house, procrastination was no longer an option. Last week I called the vet to ask if they check for microchips as a last ditch effort to find Maynard's previous owners, and made an appointment for all three cats to be vaccinated. (It's required at least two weeks before spaying/neutering, even for indoor cats.)

I didn't even need to fully explain to the vet. I started with, "There are a lot of apartments..." and she knew where it was going. How's that for depressing?

Ming's check-up included an ultrasound to be sure there were no surprises. While the vet saw some fluid in her uterus, there were no signs of kittendom, so she was vaccinated and yowled all the way home about it. Kitty PMS!

Maynard's check-up revealed no chip and no health problems. He's now vaccinated and officially a member of the family. He took it so well, the vet's assistant dubbed him 'loverboy'.

Murphy's check-up took place in the office sink, since he felt a little less exposed there. He's about as social as I am--we both hide when new people come into the apartment--so I was surprised he was willing to come out of the carrier at all. The exam revealed a blocked eye duct and problematic tooth, possibly allergy/sinus related since the weepy eye seemed to act up most often when the people-allergies flared up. The vet warned that vaccinations and antibiotics together could make him feel sick, but I figured a little sick was better than stressing him out with a string of vet visits. Two minutes after we got home, he felt so sick that he bounded up the cat tower, flung himself at Maynard, dodged a swipe from Ming and rolled across the rug chasing absolutely nothing.

And everyone was happy to be home.
mokie: Text, "Only the good die young. Most of us are morally ambiguous, which explains our random dying pattern." (indescribable)
Dear Cat:

It's rabbit poop, not a toy. Leave it in the litter box.

Yours Truly,
Tired of Sweeping.

Dear Cat:

I saw you knock over the dustpan and wallow--yes, wallow--in the rabbit poop. You want to act like a dog, you're going to be bathed like a dog.

Sincerely,
Grossed Out

Dear Cat:

Know that thing where you fill three litterboxes in two days, including the Jumbo? What the hell are you eating when I'm not watching you? You're not even a year old! Are you half bear or something?

Seriously,
Researching Toilet Training for Cats

Ming may be walking proof that the Devil invented cats, but Murphy is a dog in a cat's body.
mokie: Earthrise seen from the moon (Default)
The rabbit and both kittens are lying on the bathroom floor around the toilet--the only cool spot left in the house.

Rabbit threw me a look when I walked in, as if to say he had made as much room as he intended, dammit, and I would just have to keep looking.
mokie: The Dark Knight's Joker inserted into a scene from Beetlejuice (confused)
This afternoon, the mokiemama was in the basement talking to the neighbor. He has a bunch of hand-me-down furniture down there, which makes me nervous as we've already had one nasty bedbug infestation thanks to a former tenant's found mattress. This stuff can't be too old, though, since he's thinking of selling it to make rent. He and Mom talked loveseats and kittens and random bullshit, and the neighbor asked if we wanted that one over there, since he knew we were looking for one. Mom thanked him and said she'd need to run the idea past me.

Upstairs, I scoffed for I am done with inherited furniture. And shuddered, because you have no idea how hard it is to get rid of bedbugs in an apartment building unless you've had to do it. Besides, we're saving up for a nice double-seater papasan and maybe a hanging pod chair, because we like them and we don't have to pretend to be sofa-loveseat-recliner people anymore. Suck my milkcrate shelves, world!

A few minutes later there was a knock at the door.

Mom back holding two kittens...

All in all, much better than a loveseat.

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