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
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?
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