Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Joys of Pet Ownership

I have three cats.

If I was smart, I wouldn't have any cats, but since I'm a sucker for punishment, three cats I have.

They're all getting older. The youngest, LouC, is a big dumb Eddie Haskell type of a cat. He'll be sweet and cute with us, but as soon as he thinks we're not looking, he'll start some grief with the other two cats. He eats rubberbands and loves frolicking on the bed when we're putting clean sheets on it. He acts like a kitten even though he'll be 13 years old this summer.

When we got him as a young kitten, we were told he was a girl cat. Hence the name. About two weeks after we got the cat, it grew so fast, so quickly, I took another look at it and found out it had stealth balls. It already was answering to "Lucy", so we changed its name to "Lou C Fur". He's what I call a cat's cat...he likes stereotypical kitty toys and kitty food and kitty activities.

The other two are around the same age...we think. Lardo is gauged at around 15 years old. He adopted us one fine day back in 1999 when my sister was taking care of our other cats while we were on a motorcycle trip to Laughlin. See? We adopt critters by proxy, that's how stupid we are.

He's not a big cat, but he's a round cat. He looks like a small orange basketball with a cat head attached. He's mellow and keeps to himself most of the time. However, he's diabetic. Dealing with the joys of a diabetic animal is varied. He doesn't flinch when given his insulin. Giving him other types of medicine is usually painless. He has some baaaaad episodes when he's given too much insulin. Twice he's gone into shock and convulsions where he almost died were it not for my crazy driving to the local animal emergency hospital. LouC used to try to prove to Lardo that since he's bigger than Lardo, he's better. Lardo looks mild-mannered, but he can kick some kitty butt. LouC now leaves him alone most of the time.

Both Lardo and LouC purr very loudly. Sometimes they're in competition, which is strangely lulling when they're both on the bed at night while I'm trying to go to sleep.

Then there's Max.

Max is my first cat. We got her from the Santa Monica animal shelter when she was 4 weeks old...too young to be taken away from her mom, btw. She was fed babyfood and was small enough to be put into the pockets of various clothing. She's small, fuzzy, and has big buggy eyes. She's high-strung and grouchy. I call her the Angriest Cat in the World, because it's true. She's going to be 17 years old at the beginning of April.

She has lymphoma. It settled in her intestines, and it makes her hungry all the time. Whenever I go into the kitchen she'll wake up, jump down from whatever sleeping station she was curled up in to trot after me and meow incessantly. The moment I come close to consciousness in the morning, she meows at me. In the late afternoon/early evening, she meows at me. Whenever I open the door to the den, she follows me in and meows at me. All types of meows. Happy meows. Purr-meows. Yeowly-meows. Growl-meows. Feed-me-now-before-I-pee-on-your-clothes meows. She truly drives me nutso sometimes. It was cathartic to do the above doodle.

I may not have Max and Lardo too much longer...Max is on medication right now, but I refuse to do chemotherapy on her and so the medication she's on might help her out for six months to a year. Lardo just switched insulin today...we'll see how that goes. LouC's doing fine...he has prescription food that he eats, but he's low-maintenance compared to the other two.

Low-maintenance is what I crave right now. I don't think I want more pets when the ones I have leave. But I know that as soon as I see a kitten up for adoption, I'd be tempted. I lasted 4 months without a cat when I first moved out of my parents' house. I made the husband get used to cats even though he's allergic to other people's cats.

At least we won't get a dog. That's too much responsibility, even for us.

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