Tag Archives: pets

Two steps forward…one step back

If there’s a God, I think that I must have done something to really piss him off. Every time it seems like my life is getting back on track, something happens to derail all my plans, and put me in a worse situation than before.

That’s what happened with teaching. I moved out of the house I’d lived in for five years, and went to live in a shitty, red-neck town in the middle of nowhere because it was the only place I could find a job. I knew it would suck, but I thought it was worth spending a year there  to get a career started. Things didn’t work out at all so I moved back to the town I’d been in before, only to find myself living in a shit hole with landlords who never fix anything. Worse still, I came back more in debt than ever before, and with more relationship troubles (my husband couldn’t find a job in the town we lived in, and he resented moving there).

If anything good came out of my aborted teaching career, it was the knowledge that I do not ever want to fucking try to teach again. It’s just not for me. If I hadn’t had that awful experience, I would probably have moved to a different state and tried teaching there, which would have been a huge waste of time, money and energy.

In some ways, I landed on my feet when I arrived back in town. I found a job in a large company which is, as far as these things go, a good, fairly relaxed place to work. I’m currently a contractor, but I will be interviewing soon for a full-time position there and, if I get hired, it will mean, of course, more job stability and a few hundreds more a month. It’s not much but it’s something.

Things were finally starting to look up!

Until last Saturday that is. That was when one of my cats decided it would be a really good idea to jump into my neighbour’s yard where, unbeknownst to her, there were two very large dogs waiting for her on the other side. What were you doing letting your cat out unsupervised, I hear you ask?! Well, ironically, my husband and I were fixing our fence that day to make it harder for the cats to get out. Since we were busy working on the fence, we just didn’t notice the cat leaving our yard. Ha! Also, our cats hardly ever are allowed outside.

Do I really need to tell you what happened to my cat? She’s nine pounds and the two dogs must have been around fifty to sixty pounds each. MM scaled the fence as soon as we heard all the commotion and pitiful screeching sounds coming from my cat while I – to my eternal shame – stood in my yard for a few seconds, not wanting to follow him because I was too scared to imagine what I might see. I eventually went over the fence, and helped my husband get the two dogs off my cat.

Miraculously, she survived but she was pretty fucked up – three broken ribs; punctures wounds to the fat pad on her stomach; internal bruising (although thankfully nothing was punctured) and an open wound on one of her legs. I am now $5000 poorer. Yes, you heard that right – $5000. She was in the cat version of intensive care at an emergency vet for two days, and then she was transferred to a specialty hospital where a vet operated on her stomach to remove flesh that was rapidly becoming necrotic.

I made the mistake of telling my colleagues about my $5000 vet bill, and  I could practically smell the judgement pouring off of them, not to mention the ridicule. It’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t spend $5000 on a pet, especially $5000 they don’t have. They think I’m absolutely fucking bat shit crazy. I don’t regret my decision, though. This cat is a member of my family, and what was I going to do? Let her die? I don’t think so. I would never spend lots of money on an animal if all I was doing was prolonging an already miserable, painful life to make myself feel better, but the cat had a good chance of survival, and I just could not put her down.

I’m delighted she’s still alive (way to go, cat! All nine pounds of you took on one hundred pounds of dog!), but I have no idea how I”m going to pay this bill. I’ll be using CareCredit to pay for it initially but this company is such a rip off. I have twelve months of interest free credit for the emergency vet bill of $2000 (so, about $170 per month) and then I have only six months of interest free credit for the specialty clinic bill  of $3000 (so, $500 per month). Somehow I have to come up with $670 extra per month. If I don’t, the APR is something ridiculous after the promotional period ends.

Someone recently commented on my furry family (I have eight cats and two dogs) and said that it’s never good to be too extreme in life – whether with religion, politics, drugs/alcohol or animals. He said that if my animals stop me from doing what I want to do in life it’s no good. I guess I agree, on some level, but my animals are my family, and I care for them deeply.

On the other hand, I am now going to have to spend so much time working (whether overtime at my regular job, or escorting) that there’s not going to be any time left over to work on the things I want to to improve my life.


People who don’t like animals are weird.

I’m not sure how long I have until the battery on my iPhone dies, so I’ll make this quick. I’ve decided to do NaBloPoMo again, so it would be embarrassing if I missed the first day.

Sitting in a café, sipping on yet another soy chai, and listening to the Velvet Underground, and to the overly-tattooed barista say “dude” and “man” too much. I’ve just returned from a volunteering session with this high school senior I’ve been mentoring since last October. I helped him pass the reading section of the SAT’s, and now I’m helping him find and apply to scholarships. He’s a good kid – very polite and responsible.

My meeting with the musician didn’t go terribly well on Monday. Well, he was nice enough but we just didn’t click. I could tell we wouldn’t as soon as he walked through the door. You may call that overly judgemental; I’d call it intuition. He was one of those people who don’t like revealing anything about themselves, or care to ask you much about yourself. How the hell are you supposed to have a conversation in that kind of situation? People like that scare me, to be honest. I have realized, through experience, that some people are like that because they’re shy or socially awkward, but this guy wasn’t like that. He was just guarded. Why be guarded? What are you hiding?

I also didn’t like the fact that he completely ignored my cats and dogs. I have well-behaved animals, so it wasn’t like they were all over him, causing mayhem. My dog did sniff around him a bit, and, for some reason, decided she liked him, and lay beside him on the couch but again…nothing. Didn’t acknowledge her existence except maybe a slight sign of irritation. I don’t expect people to love my pets anywhere near as much as I do, or to pay them as much attention, but I find it off-putting when people treat them as an inconvenience, or just simply ignore them. I realize that some people are scared of animals or have alleriges, but this wasn’t this guy. I can’t help but think that people who don’t like animals are missing the compassion gene.

What do you think? Have I got a point?

Cats’ Eyes

Sometimes I wonder why the idea of having kids is so terrifying to me at the moment. I do want to have children eventually, but I’m in no way ready for the responsibility, either financially or emotionally (and you could add physically to that, as I can’t say I’m looking forward to pushing them out of my vagina!). However, when you consider that I now have seven bloody pets, it begins to make little sense that I don’t want kids yet. Surely having seven pets is tantamount to having one kid?! Well, OK, maybe not entirely, but it’s probably just as expensive and my pets keep me tied down to this city – which I’ve been wanting to leave for soooooo long – just as much as a child would. In fact, in some ways they keep me tied down more – if I wanted to leave this place, it wouldn’t be all that expensive or stressful to do so with a kid in tow; but seven pets?! How the hell do you travel thousands of miles across the country, or even the world, with seven pets? You cannae just throw some colouring books in the back of the car and a bag of sweets to keep them amused. Sigh.

Despite the inconvenience and expense of having so many animals, I do love them dearly. They are the light of my life in so many ways. For someone like myself who has experienced so little unconditional love, it has been very good for me to love them unconditionally, and to feel them love me right back. Midwestern Man says that the only reason I love animals is because I’m a control freak and because they do what I say, and don’t answer me back, but I think he’s wrong. True, it is unhealthy that I enjoy the way they need me, and will always need me – it’s not like they’ll be going off to university any time soon! – but codependency isn’t at the root of my love for animals. I just enjoy their presence and they are far more complex, dignified and noble than most human beings realize.

I often wonder, too, if certain humans are able to have a more honest and sincere relationship with animals than they are with humans? When it comes to romantic relationships with men, it has often been so difficult for me to separate my feelings for the person from all the fucked-up and overly idealistic fantasies you can’t help but internalize when you grow up in a Western culture. I’m sure that some people are able to love others in a simple, sincere way without tearing themselves in knots with questions and doubts, but I am not that kind of person. I wish I were, but I’m just not.

This is why animals are so refreshing for me. When I look at one of my cats, I don’t think “Hmmm. Not too sure about you…there was another cat down the street I saw recently and I think we might get on better together. Also, that cat had more attractive markings, and just looked like it took better care of itself…Yeah, just don’t know how I feel about you at all”. Instead, when I look at my animals, I just experience pure love and concern. I only found my new wee kitten less than two days ago, but already I would say that I love him.

As for the wee guy, I took him to the vet yesterday morning and, much to my surprise, the prognosis is good! He tested negative for feline leukaemia and FIV (yes, the virus that causes AIDS in cats), which is huge, as I couldn’t have had him around my other cats if he had had those illnesses. He does indeed have the feline herpes virus, as I thought, but the vet thinks that his ulcerated eyes will be OK provided I keep on administering the antibiotic eye ointment he gave me! The vet also gave him 250 mls of subcutaneous fluids because he was very dehydrated, and since then, the wee guy has been doing much better. He still looks like shit, but he’s managing to eat and is a cute wee bastard! He purrs like crazy whenever I pet him! But, hell, I’d be purring like crazy, too, if I’d just been picked up from the streets of the ghetto and magically found myself in a home where I’ll have the best cat food and lots of cuddles for the rest of my life.