Sunday, April 17, 2011

Describing the Tweeb

On Friday, we met the cat-sitter, an interesting experience, as neither of us had ever used one before. We've got a trip to Scotland coming up next month, and after buying the tickets, we started working out the kitty logistics. The last time I traveled extensively, Karel had stayed at home (well, he was working, but the fuzzbutts still got their usual care). They're accustomed, to some extent, to having us disappear overnight, but we've never left them alone for more than 36 hours.

Most of that is because Noodle is a snarfer. He'll eat himself into an explosion if we'd let him. We've slimmed him down since his adoption, but that was only by sheer force of will, feeding him twice a day and strictly regulating his diet. Needless to say, leaving food out for the whole weekend would not be good for him.

The second, not-insubstantial obstacle was the litter box issue. The boxes are scooped every- to every-other-day, the better to encourage the cats to use them, and not, say, our sofas. We've had a few piddle-and-poop incidents, typically involving cat carriers and trips to the vet, but when one has renal failure and the other is a boy (male cats are more susceptible to urinary issues), you really want to make sure they can pee freely whenever they want.

Our vet has a few flyers in the waiting room from people offering pet services, so I took one and followed the directions to arrange the initial meeting with the cat-sitter. It was late in the afternoon, when they were more-or-less awake and somewhat more active, so some actual introductions were possible. The first thing she did was ask us to describe the cats, because then she would know what was normal for them. Now, Shadow and Noodle are pretty typical cats--i.e., their lives revolve around finding the perfect sunbeam, swatting at each other, and food. They are perfectly healthy, perfectly pretty, and, couch notwithstanding, very well-behaved.

But how do you begin to describe a cat that looks like a very large rat that was cut up and glued back together with Elmer's? A cat around whom we've built a separate vocabulary....whose physical, psychological, and medical needs could fill a was at that point that we realized what crazy cat people we'd become. I mean, we've always loved cats, but when you care for the Tweeb, you get sucked into her world. There's no getting out of it--you're in it, 'til death do you part. Makes getting married look like a breeze.

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