I’ve already written in detail about my beautiful and vicious Ali.
A few mornings ago I was puttering around getting ready for work when I hear Ali’s loud cobra-like hissssssssss coupled with a pitiful wailing sound. I run to the bedroom expecting some kind of disaster and I find Ali sitting in the window fuming and on the other side is a little kitten obviously terrified and crying as if to say “please let me in!”. Did I mention my apartment is on the fifth floor and the outside window ledge is about 3-4 inches width? No idea how this little guy got there. My best guess is he crawled up or down the fire escape, which was outside the adjacent window, and then crossed over to the next window.
So I shoo Ali away and let the poor kitten in. No collar, although he appeared to be clean and well-fed. With no time to figure out where the hell he came from and after a quick check of his ears and for fleas, I set him up with some food and a cat litter pan and locked him in the bedroom to protect him from the wrath of Ali. Ali is at least 3x his size and she was fur-i-ous, pacing all over the rest of the apartment in a palpable state of agita, tail whipping back and forth so hard it could have snapped right off.
After arriving home that evening I brought him around to some neighbors to see if anyone recognized him. No such luck. I looked out for word or sign of a missing kitten, nothing. Frankly I had no interest in pursuing that search because anyone who’d let a little fearless kitten out with no collar in a very busy NYC neighborhood frankly isn’t worth the effort.
I got him to the vet pretty quickly. No microchip and a broken tail tip. All tests came back negative. Turns out he’s a very healthy little guy and rather than being a tiny 9ish month old as I’d first guessed he in fact is a HUGE 4 month old! He’s going to be a very big boy and is already scheduled for neutering.
He’s a cute and very active little guy. He eats like an absolute pig and wants to play constantly. So much so that I’ve named him Pita (as in Pain In The Ass–the vet liked it so much she’s stealing the name for her next pet). Unfortunately I can’t keep him. My loyalty is to Ali and I can’t live with her constant state of agita or the neverending fear I will come upon a bloody mangled mass of white and gray fur at Ali’s feet while she looks up at me with a look of pure smug satisfaction.
We’d only been married about five months when we decided to get a cat — or, rather, when I begged to get a cat, and Trev agreed. When we went to the rescue place, I had my heart set on finding a nice, placid tabby. The lady who ran the cattery, who was blowsy and faintly whiffy of sherry, had other ideas for us.
She took us to a cage in a back room where the difficult cases were kept. The cats with missing ears, or exotic medical conditions, or laden with kittens were here. She lifted a scrawny, black tom cat out of one of the cages. He had both forelegs shaved from IVs following recent surgeries. He had a wonky eye, from being whacked about the head by nasty teenage boys. I was dubious, but she thrust this cat into Trev’s arms.
The cat immediately began to purr, surprisingly loud and deep. It butted its head against the underside of Trev’s chin. My husband’s eyes grew wide. His bottom lip may have wobbled.
“I like this one,” he said.
And so we brought home Zeno. On account of the abuse early in his life, he was weak at first, and although generally friendly, he was given to clawing people who tried to touch his belly. But he soon waxed fat, strong, and glossy, fed by our too-liberal hand and a steady diet of birds, mice, and treats from neighbors.
He was an accomplished sleeper, turning up in unexpected places and in daring positions, as is the way of all cats. He enjoyed going out in the rain and would return, soaked and purring, looking for a lap to dry off in. He groomed himself obsessively, accompanied by loud smacks and grunts and snorts that led us to call him “the Pig”.
He was never once impatient with Eve, even when her eager, sticky little baby hands snatched at his ears or tail, and he always greeted visitors to the house by paying them the highest feline compliment possible: he would try to climb onto them and go to sleep. Midwives, mothers-in-law, and guys from the gas company alike got the chance to bask in his purr.
And he loved the garden, napping in the sunniest beds when it was pleasant, and behind the sage bush, or among the raspberry canes under the plum tree when it was too hot.
Zeno had been sick for about a month, and by this morning it was clear he was never going to get better. So we made the hard decision, and poor Trevor brought him home to the plum tree for the last time today. We will miss him very much.
Evelyn at CAAR passes along the good news that between this website and my compulsive twittering, we were able to raise $1200.00 bucks for Cooper’s surgery- enough to pay for the surgery and rehab and help some other animals in the process. She writes:
Surgery was on June 16th and he was able to go back to foster home on afternoon of June 17th..Here is report from his foster mom:
“This is called an FHo-femeral head osteotomy. They remove the head of the femor in the joint and the muscles hold everything together. Wait until you see the xrays. Cooper’s was more complicated because he had bone fragments in his hip from his old injury. It is unbelievable how well it works, just like Dr. Homolko, our vet in Cashiers, said it would. Cooper is walking and wants to play but he is supposed to be on a leash for 3 weeks. He has his follow up appointment on 6/30. On Wednesday, I have a wonderful family coming to see him. They lost their precious Bullett last year and are now ready for another dog. It is so important that this dog have a wonderful home because he is the NICEST, best behaved dog–just a doll!Please let me know if you need more info.”
Please share with your Balloon Juice gang and thank them for me for being so generous with their donations and most of all for caring about our rescue animals in Western North Carolina.
Thank you so much for donating and helping these dogs and the good folks at Charlie’s Angels out. They do great work, and get more done with less cash than any other outfit I know of- I follow their FB feed, and with their budget, they are constantly rescuing tons of animals.
This is Cooper:
He’s a Shepherd/Hound mix. Here’s a close-up:
Who’s a good doggie? Who’s a good doggie?
Cooper is! But Cooper has a little problem. It appears that he has a bum hip, so the kind folks at Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue have agreed to help him out:
We saved him from shelter, had him vaccinated, neutered and he tested negative for heart worms . Our foster parent noticed that he was limping after a walk..After two visits with two different vets and x-rays, we were told that he needs an FHO, removal of ball on femur on one hip. Think he was hit by car in the past.. Other hip is injured too but does not need surgery. Will need an eight week recovery time. He is a beautiful dog and very well mannered but is in constant pain.
We also are in the process of treating 3 of our dogs for heart worms. Each dog or cat is always vaccinated, spayed or neutered, tested for heart worms or feline leukemia/ AIDS and all these expenses add up quickly. We have 20 dogs going on transport to Philly, PA this Saturday to reputable rescue groups but that will still leave us 41 dogs/cats that need to be placed..
We are hoping that the Balloon Juice community will step up again as they have in the past to help us with our financial needs.
He’s going under the knife today, and I’m in for $50.00. If you are lucky like me and can lend a hand to this sweet pooch and the lovely folks helping, you can make a donation at their website. And, as always, any purchases you make from the Balloon Juice store directly benefits the good work CAAR is doing, as all proceeds from sales go to them. Last year we raised thousands, and were able to really help a lot of needy animals.
An email from reader Marcelo in Austin:
I just wanted to let you know that the dachsund/corgi mix I emailed you about way back when has found a forever home with one of your awesome Balloon Juice readers! We passed her over this morning to an Austin-area BJ reader in a visit that had as much bittersweet tears as it did satisfaction at such a happy ending. It’s been a fun few weeks fostering the dog and giving her all the love we could, and my wife and I are so thrilled at all the offers we received for housing – some readers even offered to come from as far away as Albuquerque, NM and Spokane, WA to pick up the dog! – it’s really reinvigorated my faith in humanity and my belief that there’s good in the world. I just wanted to thank you for putting her picture up on the front page and helping us find her a home, everyone who commented on the thread with advice and support and everyone who offered to add this wonderful dog to their family. It was truly amazing.
Good to know.