Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Always good to have a fall-back...

Some of you have noticed, I'm sure, the general lack of progress on the mission. and of that group I'm certain that a subset are beginning to fret. "What if she doesn't succeed?" this group is asking. "What if she completes the search and is still single? What then?" Well I don't want you, this subset of fretters, or the fret subset (as you shall hence be known; FSS for short) to worry your little heads any further, because I've already set up my back up plan, if you will. I have a fallback all in place.

I have new cats.

Call it cliche, call it classic, but I figure if all of this pursuit of wove comes to nothing I can always become one of those crazy ladies with cats! Heck, I'm already part-way there, what with my being a lady and being crazy. And I've heard some folks say that being a blogger is only about 6 steps away from "crazy cat lady" in the sad and geeky spectrum. So I figured that I'd better cover my bets, and I essentially completed the "crazy cat lady" starter kit in my home.

Regular readers (aka "my favorites") know that my previous roomate did that kitty shuffle a few months ago and I've been doing that required 'being sad' thing for a while. But right before the happiest time of the year I shuffled myself over to the animal shelter for which I've been volunteering and said to them, I said "hey ho, oh caretakers for all things soft and cuddly! I would to relieve you of not just one, but of two of your best felines, please oh please!" And they said "surely!" but in animal shelter language, which translates to english like this:

"OK, go and pick out the kitties that you want." (I did this -- there's way more to this then "I did this" but that story is kind of long. So do me a favor: craft your own version of that story int he comments, 'kay? For now we'll just say "I did this.")

"Now fill out this really long application which, you'll notice, is cleverly devised to ferrett out all people who are both bad and stupid enough not to know what answer will make them look bad as they are." (For instance, one question was "how much money a year will you budget for food, vets, etc." The answer is either a large number (say, a meeelleeeon dollars!) or "whatever it takes" but if someone is dumb enough to say "$6 a year" or "vet visits? Puh-leese! They'd just better not get sick!" this is where they get caught.)

"Now we're going to call your landlord and get the OK for you to have cats" (which I'm very glad I already knew was coming, because most of the time this is the heartbreaking part. Hardly any landlords are sitting around by their phones waiting for someone to call and get permission for tenant happiness, so most folks here have to put a hold on the animal and come back in a day, or a few days, or (in my case if I'd not have known) weeks and weeks until they can make contact w/ that landlord. But I'd planned ahead here. Yay for me!)

"Now have a seat at this desk while our "counselors" make you read and sign or initial things promising that you're not a bastard or a serial killer or an evil genius bent on world domination." (I have no idea how binding these kinds of forms are, but it's possible that all my ambitions of becoming an evil genius bent on world domination may be screwed now. Dammit.)

"Now wait..." (means the same thing in english and animal shelter language, so we waited. Man oh man, we waited.)

...all of this is to say that it took a couple of hours, no joke, but finally I had me to cardboard boxes that had these little furry arms that would flash out of their holes and try to snag and/or kill whatever they got their claws into!
Tangent: I had to decide if I would give the actual names of the kitties here. So far I've been protecting both myself and also the innocent w/ nicknames (no, I'm not one of the innocent. Ask Risky or the Queen) and I had to decide if these new kitties needed such protection. And I decided yes -- they're getting nicknames too. This is as much to protect me from accidental discovery as to protect them, but who knows - they may be on the lam from the law, completely unbeknownst to moi!
So now (finally! Man, this woman can drag out directions to the end of the block!) let me introduce my two new roomates!

First is the adolescent, at a tender 18 months (making her about 10 or so in cat years). She is a very lovely calico with these faded colors, like someone washed her a bunch and then left her sitting in the window. (something she'd have been totally cool with. The "in the window" I mean, not the washing a bunch.) She's old enough to be mellow most of the time and one can reason with her usually, which is nice. Bit she's still young enough to play with toys, flop on the floor as landmine kitty or rampage through the house with her adopted little brother (it's coming) She's SO MUCH BIGGER then my last roomate and she's thick with kitty goodness -- a sturdy, stable, wall of a kitty she is. We'll call her Lulu. I'd been bonding with Lulu while doing my volunteer shifts at Greenhill but I'd been thinking that I really should take home an older cat (somewhere between 3-6 years) because they have often a harder time getting adopted. But then the fates conspired (another long story better off skipped) and suddenly all of the older kitties with whom I'd bonded had gone home with other people. This cleared the way (and my conscience) to take Lulu home!

This then brings us to the little terror. I knew I wanted to bring home a kitten, it having been 15+ years since I've been able to enjoy that kind of craziness. (Remind me later that the kitten was totally my idea when I'm plotting to mail it to South America!) However in shelters kittens are like comfy-but-sexy black pumps; they fly off the shelves way too fast to spend any time bonding with them. So I'd known all along that the kitten choice was going to depend entirely on what kittens there were waiting for homes when I came. Turns out there were only a couple, but I got lucky. I met Mr. Man (as we're calling him here -- Mrman or Manny for short) and he totally fascinated me. He's totally black (although in good light you realize his black is a black/brown/red swirling mix, and I'm pretty sure that it swirls constantly, like fancy stirred soup.) and he was completely zonked in a kitten pile. With his eyes closed you couldn't figure out where he started or ended! I've never had an all-black cat before, and it was a lovely surprise when he finally opened his eyes to see the dark gold, HUGE eyes that peer out of the deep black. He's all kitten -- it's a challenge just to get shoes tied in my house now. Can't move my feet in the middle of the night (too tempting) and he LOVES to jump on his adopted big sister when she's 'doin' her bidnez.' (and I encourage him with the giggling, I'm afraid.)

My new roomates, my new challenge, the thing that forces me out of bed on the weekends (besides my bladder, of course) and if all else fails, my fall back. Oh, and I've started knitting too. Look how prepared I am!

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