Monday, June 17, 2013
I adopted my teeny kitten in Trinidad in 1999 when she was four weeks old and named her Sloopy. Since she was feral, I spent extra time with her so that she would bond with me and be a good pet. It worked, and she's a very affectionate cat, on her terms.
Earlier this year, I noticed a lump near her shoulder and took her to the vet. This is where she shows her true feral colors. She crouched in her cage in the back seat and yelled all the way to the vet's office. In the waiting room, she was quiet. She was fine in the exam room. Until they opened the door and tried to get her to come out. Not a chance. They had to raise the back of the cage and basically pour her out. She came out hissing.
I always bring a heavy beach towel to the vet's office because I know that there's no way a stranger is going to touch her, even in her own home. In a strange place, she doesn't want to be touched by anyone, including me. She's just in survival mode. By the time the vet tech put on long, thick gloves and tried to hold her still so the vet could check out the lump, she was growling and hissing at me. Kitty swearing. After all, I was the one who brought her to this torture chamber and allowed these people to manhandle her.
After the vet checked the lump, they let her walk around the room and crouch in a corner, glaring at everyone. As we talked, the vet looked at me and said, "But, is she a good pet?" It was humorous, in a way, because no one would believe that she was an affectionate pet if they had seen that display of wildness. I explained that she's was always fine at home and even though she's stubborn and wants everything her way.
She and I have been together for over 13 years. Recently, I've been noticing that she sleeps more than usual. She's still climbing all over the place, but I've noticed that she sometimes has trouble jumping on the bed or sofa to be with me. On some occasions, she misses the first time and then sits down with a confused look on her face to contemplate why she didn't quite make it up on the sofa. Then she tries again and makes it the second time. She's also more vocal if there's not enough food in her dish. In her mind, the last half dozen little pieces of food are not worth eating - she wants a big pile!
I know she's getting old and I'm going to lose her one day. It will be a very upsetting time and I'll swear, yet again, that I'm not having any more pets. Then, one day, I'll see a tiny little kitten that desperately needs a home - and so the cycle will begin again.