Sunday, January 12, 2014

Basement Kitteh

In December, I had a bit of a lapse in blogging, though I have some excuses. Granted, they are feeble excuses, but I'm going to milk them for all they're worth.

One of these is the saga of Basement Kitteh. In mid-November, we were adopted by a stray cat. We fed her outside (you may recall my post here about building an outdoor cat shelter) but the weather was deteriorating, I was concerned she might be pregnant. The closest shelter with any room for her was an hour-and-a-half away, and required confirmation of pregnancy and an FELV/FIV test, and vaccinations if she wasn't pregnant. Basically, we had to bring her inside.

Unfortunately, my cat Neville has severe vaccine allergies and can't have any shots, so outside kitty had to be quarantined in my dog's old crate in the basement. And thus, the name Basement Kitteh was born, and stuck.

We brought her in on a Friday; I made a vet appointment for Monday. Then came the plot twist. Basement Kitteh must have tussled with another cat while she was outside, because she suddenly came up with a massive abscess under her jaw. So Monday's simple tech appointment became a full exam with an expensive antibiotic injection, and a delay in taking her to the shelter (since she couldn't get her shots until the infection had healed). The only good news? FELV/FIV negative, and not pregnant.

Waiting out the abscess took nearly two weeks; coordinating vaccines and transport another week. All this time, we kept Basement Kitteh downstairs; she was tame and friendly, but skittish, and I was pretty sure my two rambunctious dogs would be too much for her. Of course, I wasn't about to plunk her downstairs and leave her, so I made sure to spend as much time as I could with her every day. Caring for her took up a lot of my time.

It's weird; after three weeks, you'd think I'd have a hard time giving her up. But I knew from the beginning that wasn't going to be the case. Both my cats came to me as strays (literally, from across a crowded parking lot and a street, respectively), and Basement Kitteh came to me the exact same way. But whereas I never had any doubt that Neville and Hermione were supposed to be mine, I didn't feel that way with Basement Kitteh. I was supposed to help her, but I was only a stop on her journey, not the final destination.

A huge shout-out must go to BARKS in Byram Twp, NJ, and to my cousin Cheryl who found a place for Basement Kitteh. She's still up for adoption, under the name Mary, so if you're looking for a sweet kitty friend who's shy but so very, very sweet, give them a call. BARKS has lots of other cats and dogs looking for their forever homes, so if you live in the area, be sure to check them out!

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