Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I know I haven’t blogged for ages. Looking back, I see I reported that Zinjibeel had cat AIDS. Well, sadly we discovered that poor old Zinge had a lot of other stuff wrong with him as well. At some point in his short life, his rear end had been subjected to a massive trauma, probably a car. Both his back legs had been broken and had set by themselves all crooked. His tail was broken where it met his spine and all his intestines shoved forward. He was in pain all the time and increasingly aggressive because of it. We talked to Dr Dominic about the possibility of pain management (there was nothing else that we could do) but he said it never really works too well in cats – something to do with ‘enzyme pathways’. So we made the difficult decision to euthanize him. We went to say goodbye and cried like babies.
We decided not to even think about another cat until after we’d come back from the UK in August. But I still had to visit the veterinary clinic for work… and there I found out about a one-year-old black cat who’d been in for an injury to his tail and who needed a home. I reluctantly allowed them to pass my phone number on to his foster-mum. When she called me it turned out that she didn’t just have Fahad (the black cat) but all his brothers and sisters too. She wanted to find homes for as many of them as possible. I said we’d think about taking two.
So we went round to the woman’s apartment and met the cats. They were all absolutely lovely and I would have taken them all, had we a villa with a garden. It was difficult to choose, but in the end we took Fahad and the little tabby girl, Pretty. Before too long they had new names: Omar, because he is Arabic and handsome, and Petal because she is so lovely and delicate (although now we’ve had her for a few months, we’ve realised that if she is any kind of flower, it’s a Venus fly-trap).
We brought them home and released them into the bathroom with food, water and a litter tray. Petal immediately climbed into the void behind the toilet that we hadn’t even realised was there. At some point Omar got in there with her. After a few hours we opened the bathroom door. Petal stayed behind the lav. Omar went under the bed.
They stayed in their hidey-holes for 2 days. After that they came out and acted as though they’d known us all their lives. They get up to all sorts of mischief: to date they have climbed the curtains (breaking the hooks), knocked over my bedside water glass so I got a cold midnight shower, sharpened their claws on the sofa and flooded the kitchen by detaching the drain hose behind the washing machine. They have a very strong prey urge and love to hunt and eat cockroaches and flies. When we come in from work they throw themselves onto their backs and demand belly strokes. They're great.