Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Swallow This

Note: You may want to read “Tattoo and Piercing” (Dec. 8, 2007) before reading this.

I don’t believe a woman’s intuition is any better than a man’s, but women may listen to and follow through on intuition more than men. In fact, I have male friends whose intuition is better than most, so when they offer insight, I listen. On this day, I wish one of my friends had stopped by and shared some insight, ’cause I certainly didn’t listen to my own.

I’d been doing my annual hand-sewing to repair a sweater and laid the thread-laced needle on the living room window ledge. Walking past the window, admiring the greening spring grass, I glanced down and thought, I should put that needle away in case the kitties find it intriguing.

Of course, a needle doesn’t offer the same fascination as twitching yarn, a bouncing ball, or Shiloh the dog’s tail, so why worry? I proceeded to the dining room table and began to write.

Half an hour later, I looked up from my computer and saw the last of my thread being swallowed by the younger, extremely skittish of our two felines—the one I called Piercing because I needed him as much. Oh my gosh, I thought. How dumb can an animal be? Me being the animal.

I pushed myself away from the table, stomach in my neck, and ran toward the freakish cat to pull the needle from his tongue.

Catching this cat is like catching a hummingbird on caffeine. Since Shiloh, our Lab, first found him in our neighbor’s woodpile, he has never been tame, except to Shiloh and Tattoo. You can’t reach down and pet him, much less hold him and duct tape him to the wall. He has the personality of traumatized Siberian tiger and the weight to sound like one when he walks.

When we decided to keep him, he was a fur-covered twig, emaciated and starving. Feeling sympathetic and feeding him was my first mistake. Accepting him after another neighbor discovered him in her garage was my second. Paying to get him neutered and vaccinated was my third. The fourth is right around the bend.

Down the stairs he ran, faster than my ex when I said a bill was due, and into his unreachable cubby. He’s going in there to die, I surmised. I felt awful. Honest.

An hour later he emerged from his cubby and tried to eat. Sadly, he tried to eject the needle with a gag. Thanks to our hardwood floor and his inability to dig in and launch, I caught him. Six calls to veterinarians and one return call later, my daughter and I drove to a vet, who, since it was day’s end, sent us to emergency, which he said would be cheaper. Ha! My friend who just sold her animal hospital informed me otherwise.

Three and a half hours and $220 later (mistake number four), the kitten was still alive and had a hole in his tongue where the vet had to pull the needle and thread out—after cutting the knot off—and not through the same passage in which it went. Piercing now wears a tongue ring.

copyright © 2008 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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