Well hello there! I figured that I am not the only person out there who is a cat lover! About three years ago, I became the least likely individual to become a huge furry feline fan. Now, with a husband and two cats later, our lives are much more interesting. You thought your cats had personality, well wait until you check out "The Daily Cat Diaries".

Feline thought of the day. . . .

June 29th

If only I could climb just a little higher. . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Okay, I'm giving this cat back!

Well, if you remember from the post "First there was Charmed", you remember Patty's little clause in her email which read:

...Let me know if you would like this kitty and I will see about getting it to you. If it doesn't work out, I'll take her back.

Let's just say, that the moment I let Charmed out of her box, she bolted away from me. I made the mistake of chasing after her. After all, I adopted her for company, and well a hiding cat wasn't what I had in mind. She ran to the extra bedroom, I followed. She ran into the hallway. Again, I followed. Finally, Charmed outsmarted me and hid under the refrigerator.

The first thought that ran through my head was that my poor kitten was going to be electrocuted. Yes, the kitten, in the apartment that didn't allow pets, was going to perish under a 400 lb icebox had me needless to say a little freaked out. I called my cousin, a proud cat owner of 10 years and proceeded to tell her my dilemma.

Sharon! I can't get this cat out!!!!!!

Call the fire department then.

What? The fire department? She's not in a tree, she's in my apartment.

Well, do you want her to get electrocuted? NO!

Of course not, but seriously, I'm not calling the fire department.

Well she's obviously afraid of you. Just leave her be.

With that bit of advice, I decided to leave Charmed milk, water, and catfood as I made my way to the bedroom hoping that I wouldn't hear the scream of a furr ball trapped in an electrical storm.

When I woke up the next morning, Charmed was no where to be found. I noticed that her food was gone from the previous night and that her litter box contained fresh cat droppings, so I assumed she was alive. I cleaned the litter box, left fresh food, water, and milk and then proceeded to make my way to the hospital. Again, when I returned home, there was no cat in sight, missing food, fresh droppings. This routine continued on for ten days until I finally cracked.

Keisha, I'm giving this cat back.

Why? (Keisha laughs)

Because, all this cat does is hide from me. I haven't seen her in two weeks. I wanted a companion. Not someone I just feed and clean up after. . . that's what men are for :)

She's a kitten!!! It takes time for them to adapt to people, be patient.

Seriously, this cat has one more week and then that's it. No more Charmed.

As I hung up the phone and fell asleep, I started to wonder, was feline ownership really for me? I mean seriously, an animal that hides and performs the disappearing act as its only trick wasn't what I had in mind. . .

Well another week had passed. The routine of leaving food and cleaning up after "Casper" the ghost of all felines, was becoming a little old. Today, I was especially tired. I plopped down on the couch and tried to make the hospital a distance memory as I attempted to find some trashy TV show to remove my mind from medicine. Usually Maury is good choice. . . as often you'll find that you are NOT the father, but today the usual paternity drama was not holding my attention. Before I knew it, I drifted asleep on the couch. . . . when I woke up, I was shocked to see this tiny figure with yellow/green eyes and a glistening black coat nestled on top of me sleeping peacefully. I could not believe it! Not only was Charmed NOT hiding, she was actually cuddling with ME!

Every since then, I have been the proud owner of a very loyal and loving cat :) First time cat owners. . . don't worry, they will warm up to you and become a treasure more precious than the US Dollar! (But I guess that's not saying much given the current economy. . . but you get my point, our felines are the best!)

First there was Charmed. . . .

Growing up, my only pet experience comprised of my beloved dove, Whistles. Whistles was the only animal my father agreed upon my brother and I having. He did not want the responsibility of cleaning up after an animal that would have more or less free reign of the household. I initially hated cats as a child. My logic was simple and concrete. Cats eat birds. I have a bird as a pet. I love Whistles, therefore I hated anything that would threaten her existence. My brother and I enjoyed 18 years of companionship with Whistles "The Bird" Clark until her passing in 2006. At that time I was in my second year of medical school, I could not imagine ever having another pet until. . . .

August 2006, Flint, Michigan. Eagerly, I entered my first rotation at McLaren Regional Medical Center. Internal Medicine. While I spent most of my time trying to avoid performing prostate exams on 60 year old men, I was enjoying my new found status as psuedo-doctor. Living in Flint, away from my then boyfriend (now husband) and family, I often found my nights of solitary study to be a bit depressing. Spending hours on teaching rounds only to come home to an empty apartment and read about tuberculosis or some random disease left me bored and a little paranoid. Luckily, one of the McLaren administrators stumbled across a mother cat, which unbeknowest to her, had three beautiful kittens. She fell inlove with the mother cat, however, her home simply could not accomodate an additional 4 bundles of furr. It was there, in that moment that the quest began to find America's Next Top Feline Owner x 3.

I still have the email (isn't gmail awesome):

"I have been graced with a mother cat and four kittens. I have one black
kitty left that I am trying to find a home. The vet thinks that the
kitten is about 8 weeks old.

I will also part with the mother cat. I just had her spayed and all her
shots. She's a wonderful cat. She's more like a dog because she wants
to sit on your lap and nuzzle.

If you could pass this information to your students, I would really
appreciate it.

I am beginning to think that my vet is dropping them off at my house!"

I remember reading an email sent on our medical student listserve. I remember reading the headline "Kitten Needs Loving Home" caught my intention. By this time, I was knee deep in reading EKGs which all looked like massive myocardial infarctions to me. . . I was in need of a serious break. My first thought when reading the email was "Cats kill birds." But, Whistles (may she rest in peace) was no longer at my parents' house, so I could finally put that thought to rest.

My reply to the email was simple, short, and sweet:

I was just emailing you to find out more information about your kitten. I am interested, but I have to admit that I have never had a cat before. Is the kitten already "potty-trained?" How often do they need to be taken to a vet for a check up? Is there anything else I should know about the kitten (or cats in general) before making a final decision?
Thank you!

I was highly intrigued, yet still a little apprehensive. First, my apartment didn't allow pets. . . but honestly, living in Flint, MI, I considered my rental property to be lucky they had a tennant like me that paid rent on time each month and didn't attract law enforcement to the building. . . so really, the thought of the no pet clause fleeted quickly from my forebrain.

Patty's email response convinced me to give it a whirl. For members of the novice feline klan, pay attention to the reply email, it will make you feel ten times more comfortable with adopting a kitten:

I was a novice at cats also; however, I had to learn quickly. First, cats are much easier to take care of then dogs. They pretty much take care of themselves as long as they have water, food and the litter box. Cats innately know to use the litter box. This kitty is already litter trained.

This kitty is black and is about 8 weeks old now. I took her to the vet and had her wormed and her ears cleaned out. She had ear mites. Ear mites are not dangerous or hazardous. This is common for outdoor cats that are not cared for. (This is the 8th cat that I have rescued.) Saying this, I have another cat that I rescued and she lives inside/outside.. Since having her to the vet and making sure that she is cared for, we haven't had any problems with mites.

If you are not going to let this kitty outside, you don't really have to worry about a lot of the shots that outside cats have to have.

Getting back to this kitty, she is really shy. It might take a little while for her to warm up to you; however, she is a real loving kitty. Her mom is more like a dog and I expect this kitty to be like her. The mom would love to sit on my lap all day and just be petted.

Lastly, I have two dogs and I have to tell you, they are much more trouble than a cat. Cats can manage by themselves over a period of 3-4 days where dogs can't.

Let me know if you would like this kitty and I will see about getting it to you. If it doesn't work out, I'll take her back.

I am off on vacation starting tomorrow; however, I can give you my home number and make arrangements to get her to you.

I just pray I don't have any more dropped off at my house. I am beginning to think the vet is doing this just to drum up business.

I finally decided on excepted my first kitten. A drop point, date, and time were confirmed. I met Patty and picked up my new little kitten and decided to name "her" Charmed (after my favorite TV show at the time, not that there was a black cat on the show, but witches often have black cats right? Not that I'm a witch either, but. . .)

Charmed meowed the whole way home in the back seat. When I finally arrived at my apartment complex, I carried Charmed, box and all up the stairs to my door, opened up, and there began the journey. . . . The Welcoming