Monday, April 30, 2007

May the vet have mercy on our finances!

I'm sitting here with one of our youngest cats, Priscilla. She is a black Persian with very delicate features and black fur that would make any cat envious. And she is sick. So we are going to the vet.

This "little princess" taunts my husband with her charms - she will walk past him, swaying her fluffy tail, and then turns her head over her shoulder and look at him as if to say, "don't you WISH I would let you pet me?" Of course, Mike WILL pick her up, and then she cries as if her claws were being ripped out one-by-one. So Mike puts her down. He sits down. She jumps up in his lap, swishes her tail, lays down and will stay there ... as long as he doesn't try to hold or pet her. Love on her terms, it seems.

Hm, love on her/his terms. Doesn't it seems as though the world's population acts the same way? I'll love you WHEN you do this. I'll love you IF you do that. Kids particularly know how to work that angle, especially with Mom.

I guess that's why I love cats so much-you know up front that if they love you it WILL be one THEIR terms, so there's no hurt involved, no unmet expectations. No bribes. No guilt.

Cats are also good in place of heat. This past year our furnace went on strike. We should have suspected something was up when the air conditioner didn't work last summer, but we thought it was the dreaded compressor and you KNOW how much those cost! So we sucked it in, bought some extra fans, and made it through summer.

Winter was a bit harder. We have an all electric home, so cooking didn't seem to warm the kitchen up as much as the old gas stove that I remember in my childhood. We lived in a two room flat in the city with a small gas space heater in the living room/bedroom, and the gas stove in the kitchen. Some winter days it was so warm that we had to crack a window!

Back to my cat bedspread. I have a recliner that Mike bought for me to sit and sleep in right after my heart surgery - we call it the magic chair because it stays empty of cats until a human sits in it, and then "magically" they all appear and HAVE to sit there with you! Mike can't stand it, but this past winter it was marvelous 'cause when I would get so cold that I couldn't feel my toes I would sit in the recliner and the cats would warm me up! It worked so well that we even let them sleep with us a couple of times, but sharing a queen size bed with a husband who is a bed hog and ten cats is really over the edge - especially when a seventeen pound tabby thinks that your neck is where he should lay.

While we were observing Priscilla last night, wondering if we should let me do her own thing or keep her in the bedroom, her runty sister Bitsy got very jealous. Bitsy has ALWAYS had showers of attention because she is the runt - she had to have a blood transfusion when she was a kitten. Well, to get to the point, she got on the bed last night and butted Mike's hand (the one that was petting Priscilla) . When he GENTLY pushed her aside, she YELLED at him, jumped up on his hip - he was lying on his side - and - she peed on him! I thought she was going to loose all NINE of her lives!

Once Mike took a shower and changed clothes he had calmed down. Now, instead of being mad at Bitsy, he picked her up and told her that HE was sorry for ignoring her! Talk about behavior modification! I think she accepted his apology because she licked his hand and grunted (she doesn't meow, she grunts or yells).

Well, hopefully this vet bill won't be too high. In the last three months we have lost one cat after stomach surgery to remove a cancerous tumor ($525) and one to liver failure ($300). They were both about 14 years old, and had lived great lives, but as the oldest of the clan they have been sorely missed. Priscilla is listless and shaky on her feet, but she is taking fluids so hopefully she just has a virus.

Update soon.

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