September 5, 2007

Pirate with Cream Filling

SO. More than five years ago, when I was pregnant with Maisy, I went to the No Kill Cat Shelter to get myself a kitty. Walley-Cat had just chosen to die in the most perverse manner possible, and even though I was 7 or 8 months pregnant – the WORST possible time to integrate a new pet into a family, I found I was getting violently depressed. Cat-less is not a look that works for me.

So we went. And as is my wont, I fell for the most horrifying beast in the place.


Gompers, the cat of my heart, was, as a TEENY kitten, constantly shooting jets of green goo out his nose. POLLYPS! The vet said. I signed a surgery waiver for a 150 dollar procedure to REMOVE the mythical polyps. The vet got in there and saw Gompers had been born with no HOLE between his NOSE and MOUTH.

On impulse, and without thinking it through or calling me, he decided to punch a hole there… of course the green goo in the closed off nose cavity drained immediately into Gompers’s lungs --- instant pneumonia, just add one stupid vet and a truly EPIC amount of mucus. Gompers almost died from that…he was in the hospital on an IV for DAYS wavering in and out of life… He survived, but from then on, Gompers sounded like Darth Vader when he breathed, his face smelled like old cat food because bits of kibble would get lodged in his ragged vet-created problem hole, and he never really did stop being excessively boogery.

Walley-Cat had a WEIRD heart disease. Weird for a cat. It presents in dogs and humans but NO vet, even the fancy one they brought in from Northwestern , had ever seen a CAT with it. They got very excited and kept doing tests on him.

We were not excited, as to us it meant that he sometimes fell over sideways and shot vile substances out of every orifice he possessed while making this YODEL-OF-DAMNED-CAT-IN-HELL noise. It was both unpleasant and expensive. We spent over a THOUSAND freakin' dollars after the diagnosis, and two or three weeks after a course of treatment had been set and was working to control the condition, we finally cut off the on-going tests. We realized the Fancy Guest Vet was essentially getting us to pay for EKG’s because Walley’s condition was SO DARN INTERESTING that he wanted to SHOW HIS FRIENDS.

Cleo, my pre-Gompers girl, had flea allergies, a vicious disposition, a tendency to go into “mock heat” even though she was fixed, and suffered from trichotillomania so sever she’d pull her entire body bald unless she was kept on a strict regimen of cat anti-depressants.

So. I have a DREADFUL track record for picking good cats. Well, that is if you define a “good cat” as one that doesn’t produce dreadful smells and cause medical bills greater than the value of your current motor vehicle.

Not at all surprising that at the no kill shelter, I rejected the cat I had found on the internet and come to see, a perfectly lovely young Russian Blue beauty with no medical problems and a charming disposition. Instead, I found myself sidling over to a Main Coon foaming with bitter juices in the corner. He was called, at that point, Socks, and I could see the name was impugning his massive dignity. He was fat, already middle aged, had one eye, the pellet that had shot the eye out was still lodged in his brain, and his chart said, in huge red letters WARNING: GETS A BUTT RASH.

I had found my cat.

Scott: Really?
Me: Really.
Scott: Did you see the part about the butt rash?
Me; He doesn’t want to be named Socks. I can TELL. We have to take him OUT of here.

One of the volunteers said the cat had one more problem. “He hates other cats. Hates. Violently. That’s why he is so miserable here. If you get him, he needs to be an only cat. No more cats, k? He likes DOGS just fine and to the best of our knowledge he has never actually KILLED a human being – but no cats.

Scott: No more cats huh? Sold. Can we name him Pellet Head?
Socks: Absolutely not.
Me: He says no. Sorry.

So Franz Schubert, our bad bad Leroy Brown, our one-eyed mad pirate of a cat, came home. And OH, did he hate other cats! When our neighbors cat, Ginger, came to sit on our porch, Schu-bot would HURL himself at the glass by the door so hard the house would shudder, dying to get out and rend and tear until Ginger was a few bits of bloody hair tufts drifting away on the wind like dandelion fluff.

Did I mention I recently decided I had to get a kitten?
Yeah. Maisy my youngest baby, went and got OLD ENOUGH FOR KINDERGARTEN, and I needed a BABY. A BABY! I decided to fill that hole with a BABY KITTEN.

Scott: Won’t Schubert KILL the kitten?
Me: No. He would LIKE to have a kitten! I can tell.
Scott: I think he would “like to have a kitten” in the same way I would like to have some lamb chops. I think if you bring home a kitten you are going to end up with Schubert and some PIECES of kitten.
Me: Oh NO! Schubert is ELEVEN now. He has mellowed!

As I said those words, the FIFTY POUND dog walked past, realized he had accidentally wandered into the area defined by Schubert as “MY PERSONAL SPACE” and he hurriedly put his head down, genuflected in abject terror, and backed slowly away.

Scott: Yeah. I can see that.

So I went and got a kitten…He lived in my bathroom and bedroom for a few days until I felt up to integrating kitties, and then I let him out and the two met and within 48 hours, Schubert freakin’ FELL IN LOVE with this stupid kitten. He just TOOK to him. The kitten bothers and fusses and creeps all over him and bites his head and worries at his tail, and Schubert…LETS HIM. Schubert even shows a slight inclination to…ROMP ABOUT, a here-to-fore unseen phenomenon.

Not only is he gentle as he plays and – dare I say it? Yes! Yes! I dare, as he plays and HONEST TO GOD CAVORTS with Boggart, but yesterday, the dog was chasing the kitten, and he got too rough, and Boggart got scared. Bagel CAUGHT Boggart and STAMPED on him. Scott and I were both running to intervene as the kitten squeaked and hollered. Before we could reach them, SCHU leapt up from his nap, roaring like an enraged tyrannosaurus, inserted himself between Bagel and Boggart, and TORE THE DOG A NEW ONE.

It’s like they are BFF. Look below at the happy belly-exposed PLAY going on, and join me in my mind-blown boggle:


Posted by joshilyn at September 5, 2007 7:57 AM

Someone predicted this in the comments a while back. Let's all breathe a big sigh of relief.

We have two cats -- one older and one younger. The older one used to stalk us and attack us if we even picked the other cat up. I think he thought everyone was up to no good!

Posted by: Leandra at September 5, 2007 8:24 AM

Aaaawwwwww....that's all heart-melty! (In a good way, not an icky horror-movie way.)

Posted by: DebR at September 5, 2007 8:43 AM

That's just too cute. So glad they get along!

Posted by: Jessie at September 5, 2007 9:10 AM

That's just adorable. I'm so glad they're friends. I wish my cats would stop hissing, growling, snarling, and chasing, especially at 3 am...

Posted by: amy at September 5, 2007 9:17 AM

Maybe Schubert rightly figures that now it's two against one with the dog. ;)

Posted by: Mir at September 5, 2007 9:51 AM

Toldja! Toldja! Nobody, I said nobody, feline,canine, hu-mine, and sometimes even equine, can resist a yellow striped kitten! I wanna pet him!

Posted by: Rhonda at September 5, 2007 10:18 AM

YEA!!! I knew that Shubert would love the little Boggart!!!

Posted by: shannon in oregon at September 5, 2007 11:04 AM

I'm thinking there are some Vets that owe you big time money.

great pix

Posted by: Cele at September 5, 2007 12:02 PM

Aww! Very cute! I want a kitten now.

So, did the butt rash thing hold true? ;)

Posted by: Kristina at September 5, 2007 12:50 PM

So happy that you get to say to Mr. Husband "SEEE! Toldja so!" Congrats on your happy pets!

Posted by: jenn at September 5, 2007 1:03 PM

Giggle, awwwww you pick your cats like I pick my dogs. Luckily Spike has turned into a sweatheart unless he thinks comeone is going to hurt me then he grows into a big big dog.

Such a cute picture.

Posted by: Vanda at September 5, 2007 1:25 PM

Glad the kitties get along. Your snotty kitty reminds me of my Maggie kitty. She was quite snotty and Darth Vadarish. The vet finally checked her out and determined that she had kitty herpes. It is actually quite common with farm kittens. There is no cure, but it really impresses guests with her monster boogers!

Posted by: Jo at September 5, 2007 1:50 PM

SO CUTE! I want kitties. Now. Or puppies. I'm glad your babies get along. It's good to have a big brother.

Posted by: aka nik at September 5, 2007 5:00 PM

Sorry folks, but I have met Schubert and I fear he is just lulling Jos into a false sense of security...either that or he sees the kitten as an opportunity to create a minion to aid in his plot to conquer the world!

Posted by: Amy-Go at September 5, 2007 5:31 PM

Awwww. That's so sweet. I guess it was just time for Schubie to have a playmate.

I'm glad someone else goes for the disaster animals besides me. I bought AND PAID FOR!!! two bald lovebirds. They had some incurable disease (beak and feather?), and the pet shop was going to kill them. The guy was such a freak, he probably planned to wring their necks. So, I bought them.

Go, you!

Posted by: ZaZa at September 5, 2007 5:57 PM

That is the most adorable thing I have ever seen. Even though I am allergic to cats and WILL DIE a horrible, shrieking death if I am near one...

And I think you are the coolest person EVER for always going for the underdog... er, I mean undercat.

Posted by: melodyann at September 5, 2007 10:13 PM

Maybe Shubert is a big ole mama cat in grumpy old man fur?

Posted by: Catherine at September 5, 2007 10:14 PM

Wow. Boggart is unbelievably tiny next to your monster Schubert! And he really is so cute. Stripey yellow kitties always are, especially when they come with soft little white paws.

We too had snotty kitties. Hordes and scads of them, actually. The mucousy patriarch of the bunch was diagnosed with a form of chronic bronchitis, and we always figured that the rest of the sneezites could be attributed to rampant inbreeding, but after reading Jo's comment about the kitty herpes, I wonder....

Posted by: jessica at September 5, 2007 10:39 PM

Once when our kitten was very small, she sneezed and the size of the thing that flew out of her nose scared us. We thought it might be her brain.

Looks like you aren't the ONLY one who has a soft spot for adorable yellow kittens.

Posted by: Roxanne at September 6, 2007 12:17 AM

Now aren't you glad I was such a bad influence on you? :P

Posted by: Sarah at September 6, 2007 8:35 AM

now, if Boggart begins to nurse on SCHUBERT's ears, AND Schu permits such an affront, we DEFINITELY need pictures of that!!!

Posted by: Elena at September 6, 2007 8:55 AM

Aw! It's just like in Heidi, when the grandpa was all crusty and cranky and antisocial, and then Heidi's sunny personality broke through the crust and warmed his ancient heart (and cured a paraplegic.) OR! Like in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, when Kris gave the Winter Warlock that choo choo train, and then he PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER!

Posted by: Aimee at September 6, 2007 10:55 AM

Amy-Go: I'm voting for the minion. It's *always* good to have a minion ;-)

Posted by: Beth at September 6, 2007 2:49 PM

Oh my sweet buttery Lord! The cuteness! I can hardly stand it. And this made me cackle. In my office. At the college. People are lookin'!

Posted by: Andi at September 6, 2007 3:39 PM

This posting couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I just had to "let go" of my dog Merlin on Tuesday morning; the pain medication just wasn't working anymore. I've been moping around the house like a zombie - that is until I read about your hilarious and wonderful menagerie of pets. Thanks for the smile. Go Bogart!! Melting hearts near and far.

And I just have to say I actually laughed OUT LOUD at the huge red letters: GETS A BUTT RASH. Hmmm one eye and nether region skin problems. Yep. That says keeper to me!

Posted by: LSantarpio at September 6, 2007 4:40 PM

AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGGH! Boggart looks exactly like my Finley.

OH how I miss my Finley when he was a kitteh.


Posted by: ScottsdaleGirl at September 6, 2007 5:28 PM

I miss having a cat, but my husband is allergic to them. Sounds like you have a kind of sixth sense when it comes to cats.

Posted by: Terri at September 8, 2007 12:24 PM

::::Melting::::: How SO very cute!!

I really, really hope our cat Cassie will take to our new pup, Willow. (My daughter wouldn't let me name her Buffy LOL).

Posted by: Angel at September 10, 2007 4:26 AM

Simply amazing. Who knew? One wonders if this new BFF thing might help with Shu's "weighty" concern. Sorry to hear about your poor lobes, though.

Posted by: David at September 10, 2007 1:44 PM