Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday critter blogging (by Suzie)

       No cute photo, sorry. Just a parable.
       I love cats, but I’m allergic to them. In the past, I’ve fed cats only to end up owning them, to the extent that anyone ever owns a cat.
       In recent months, people in my section of our humongo apartment complex, including me, have been feeding a very big striped cat. (If I name him, if I acknowledge that the woman next-door calls him “Ringo,” then I’m doomed.)
       The sight of the VBSC overwhelms my smaller Chihuahua, who wags her tail furiously while licking the cat's face. She play bows, and the VBSC rubs against her. They communicate cross-culturally.
       (Her next favorite is a male Chihuahua who spends his days on a balcony. I call him Romeo. My Chi whines at him, and he sticks his head through the bars and whines at her, and then I think he licks himself, but perhaps that's TMI.)
        I put up signs, hoping someone would adopt the VBSC. Taking him to a shelter would mean death because our county has too many adoptable cats already, and he can’t compete with a cute kitten or a cat that’s OK living indoors. I could have gotten him fixed for the lower price offered for feral cats, but I would have had to bring him in early, and the VBSC doesn’t have a reliable schedule. (This reminds me of writing about the homeless mentally ill who would be given appointments to return in two weeks at 3 p.m., or some such.)
       I worked out a deal with a friend whose daughter runs a rescue: If I could capture the VBSC and bring him to her house, she’d take the cat to her daughter, who would shelter him long enough for him to get fixed, get tested for diseases and get shots. Then we’d return him to the wilds of my apartment complex.
       Yesterday, I stuffed him into a pet carrier and took off in my car, with him wailing in despair, and me feeling like a traitor, wondering about humans imposing our will on animals, etc. Then he let go of a gallon of urine. While waiting to hear how he's faired, I’ve tried Nature’s Miracle on my cloth car seat, and then water and vinegar. Next up will be zeolite.
       If you have not experienced it, I can’t tell you how bad male cat urine smells. After driving around a while, however, I found that I was getting used to the odor. And it got me thinking how we tolerate stuff in our lives. We try to get rid of it, of course, but after a while, we adjust, and we need someone else to get in the car and say, “OMFG, this car stinks! How can you stand it!?”
       Apply this to politics as you see fit.