Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Crazy Cat Lady

We all know a "crazy cat lady." The stereotype is ubiquitous. She is the "old maid" bachelorette. She is the saucy "old lady." She is the woman who just couldn't say no to "just one more." She is the myth that all women of a certain age want to avoid.

But, the reality is, she is within us. Within many of us. And while we may be happily married with children, she lives and reigns within and even with only two feline babies, I mean cats, she dwells happily in the realm of our home on S. drive.

And so, I can share with you my tale of cat mommy-woe, because you will have sympathy on a confessional cat woman, a story I have withheld for lo these many weeks because, well, it shamed me as a cat worshiper to have to tell this tale.

Cooper, that would be my 21 lb. plus (I mean who counts the ounces really...) tomcat and I had a little, well let's call it an "accident" recently. I was sitting on the couch, having just fed the real baby in this house (that would be Grayson, not the miniature dachshund), when Cooper happened to wander across my lap, and noticing his vast array of matted fur spots, I decided to do what I often do, which is to cut them out with my kitchen scissors (which I must mention I've done at least 437 times before). I pulled the hair on his back up to make the process easier, grabbed a hank of it and cut. Success. He changed position, I repeated the process, but Cooper turned and hissed. I shushed him, shamed him for hissing at Mommy, and he quickly walked back toward me to be groomed again. I lifted the hair on his back to finish my task and noticed a gash, oh, about half an inch deep. No, really. I had cut into his back quite deeply, and all he did was hiss.

And then return to the scene of the crime.

Did I mention Cooper was not, well, not so bright? He was, after all, hit by a moped in his early years, but that's another story.

But, let's remember that he did come back when called. What a good boy is he?!? Robert calls him less than good, more stupid, but I prefer to reflect that my cat simply follows directions well.

The bleeding was, surprisingly mild, and Miss B. came to the resuce with a towel immediately. R. stayed home with the baby boy and Cooper and I were off for the Emergency vet clinic, where Cooper ended up between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and midnight on a certain June night with seven staples and emergency surgery to the tune of approximately $200.00. I, of course, cried throughout the emergency vet visit, apologizing profusely while the sweet young thing of a vet reassured me that I was still a good a good cat mommy, but, I wanted to insist to her, "You didn't see how trustingly he walked back to me when I already had the shears of death in my hands...You don't understand how I suck, I truly suck."

Yesterday Cooper had his stitches removed by his regular vet who love, love, loves him and has been through multiple cat sagas with him (i.e. the broken hip of 2005, and the notorious cat-bite situation shortly thereafter where he mistakenly confused me with an evil predator out to deceive him and bit me viciously requiring an ER visit [by me, not him]). Dr. F. gently educated me about grooming tools, lest I ever decide to tear matted fur off my boy again, and she stroked and petted Cooper until he was hypnotized. The moment of ecstasy came for me when the veterinary assistant whispered that his staple removal and grooming was "on the house."

Today I came home with a new tool for Cooper...the "underbrush grooming rake," as recommended by Dr. F. As promised, big hunks of tangled fur came off my shedding boy, and Cooper purred in ecstasy.

So, my title as "Crazy Cat Lady" will be unchallenged for at least the next few months.

And we'll hope that Grayson's sneezing fit as I groomed the cat was completely unrelated to cat allergies. Because I simply can't go there yet.


mlmcreynolds said...

I am completely sympathetic! My terrier came in last night and was leaving blood on the tile - not loads, but enough to notice. We looked and Bear had a shallow cut across his snout and a nick on his nose. Turns out Bear got too close to my husband while he was weed-eating. The dog didn't yelp when he got nicked or when we cleaned out the wound (no stiches - it stopped bleeding pretty fast). My husband feels terribly, but I _know_ how careful he is, and I know the dog likes to "chase" the weed-eater. You are not a bad cat mommy, I promise!

Mrs. M said...

I just want to cry for you! We have three cats (2 and a spare), and I would have felt terrible in your shoes.