We don't have any pets right now. With the move to Texas, and having 2 kids under 2 (ok, Annie turned 2 one month after Lucy was born, but still...) we just couldn't deal with any more accountability, feeding, or frankly- poop. It's the first time in my entire life that I don't have a little four legged creature, and it's weird. What's even more strange is that my 2 little kids are absolutely OBSESSED with dogs and cats. We actually keep milk bones in the pantry for the pooch that lives across the street.
Matt has promised to buy a dog for us after we are settled next year. Annie and I have picked out his name- we shall christen him Walter. (big, big fans of Walter the Farting Dog in this house...) But thinking of pets reminds me of the last days of our last cat- Missy. It sounds like a Desperate Housewives episode gone wrong.
Missy was living out her days in the garage, because she had a nasty case of fleas and my Annie developed a flea allergy that she has since grown out of. It sounds worse than it was--- I spoiled her with lots of canned food, and dedicated petting time (probably more than when she lived with us inside) but it still felt crummy. Lucy was 3 months old, and I decided to take her to music class with my friend Katie. We were going to walk, so I had bundled both kids in the double stroller, and was taking them out back so I could say hi to Missy on our way out. I called her name, and usually she would come bounding out to greet me. Not this morning. I heard her crying, and found her laying on her side, barely able to lift her head. Things didn't look good.
My friend Katie, who is fighting Irish from Boston, and also a well versed ICU nurse--- looked at Missy and then shook her head. If I remember correctly, she mentioned something about her farm days (farms? in Boston?) and said Missy wasn't going to last the day. I needed to take Missy to the vet, but Katie had just had a baby, and was not in the position to suddenly take care of my high maintenance 2 year old, my 3 month old and her newborn. Katie said she would make Missy comfortable, and to call the vet and schedule an appointment for when Annie took a nap. Then, she'd watch the kids while I took the cat in. In shock, I nodded my head- and then Katie asked where the medicine cabinet was. This is when Marc Cherry took over scripting the afternoon.
Katie found some left over sleeping pills the doctor prescribed (they made you feel like a cotton ball slowly being pulled apart), some Vicodin left over from my kidney stone days and I don't know what else. She crushed the pills into powder while we sang little songs to our kids, and then popped the concoction into a syringe and Missy lapped it up like milk. We laid her down in her bed, and then went to Music Class. Although we were late, we got there just in time to sing:
"Two Little Kitty Cats lying in the sun
One jumps up and says I'd like to run...."
Katie shoots me a look from across the room and I start to laugh and cry at the same time. We leave music class, and I load the kids in the car, dreading what I have ahead of me. I pop the key into the ignition, but my steering wheel is stuck. Really stuck. I jiggle. I wiggle. I try as hard as I can to get the damn thing going- but no luck. Katie is now waiting for me in front of my house, and my cell phone is (notoriously) out of batteries. I have 2 kids in the backseat that think this is pretty funny and a drugged up cat at home waiting to meet the grim reaper. I get the stroller out of the back and load the kids up- preparing to ditch the car and walk home- when the creepiest, Deliverance impersonating, Appalachian hill billy walks out of the florist shop on the corner. I must have looked pretty pathetic, because after I asked for his help, he got in my car, and was able to unlock the steering wheel and show me his disdain for dental work in less than five minutes. (curse you, upper arm strength!)
I ended the day saying goodbye to the little cat that had kept me company for 13 years. She definitely wasn't in any pain when I got her to the vet--- and the doctor was kind enough to say we had eased her suffering, and that her number was definitely up. Still, after reading this--- I'm thinking maybe little Walter might want to wait for awhile....