I’d like to write a carefully crafted column on some weighty issue this week but every time I try to focus the new kitten in our house walks across my computer keyboard, and ghhhhhhty90000000000-[[[[ ˜762.
It’s not just that he’s a poor typist, it’s also when I return him to the floor he tries to climb my bare legs like he is scaling K2. His little pin-like claws have done some damage and it’s very distracting.
So, please excuse me if you get to the end of this column and say, “What the heck was that all about?” I’m laying the blame (in advance) on my furry co-columnist.
The kitten, which my sons named Huckleberry, comes from Peaceable Kingdom. The no-kill shelter held adoptions at PetSmart in Whitehall last weekend and this two-pound ball of striped fur looked so bewildered and serious as people tried to poke their fingers into his cage to pet him. A Peaceable Kingdom volunteer told me the kitten had been found abandoned in Allentown.
So far, he hasn’t put much of a dent in our budget but I live in fear of what happened to a friend’s cat. Mary Mooney, who now lives in Portland, Ore., told me a few months ago of her own cat-astrophe. She wrote:
“Here on the home front, I had Cat Drama. Sort of ‘ER’ meets the Food Channel meets ‘Fear Factor.’ One of the cats had a near-death experience last month after eating parts of two toys, which got stuck in his intestines and required emergency surgery. It was awful, but he's made a full recovery.
“So Liam spent two weeks looking like Frankencat -- they shaved his belly and parts of all four paws (to attach monitors or some such) and then they closed his incision with 17 metal staples. To keep him from licking and chewing at this, he had to wear something called a soft collar, which was basically a blue cat poncho.
“His brother Pip wouldn't go near him -- whether because of the hospital smell or his revulsion at the 70s fashions, I'll never know -- and there was much feline drama until Pip realized that the weird-smelling, poncho-wearing cat actually WAS his brother. Liam got his staples out last week and now just has his terrible haircut to remind him of his folly.
“It's amazing how fast he healed up. [A friend] had staples in her stomach when she had her C-section, and she assured me she wasn't jumping on kitchen counters three days after the procedure.”
It turns out Liam ate the dangling nylon rope tail from a catnip mouse and part of a plastic mouse covered in fur. Ever since the very expensive operation Mary snips off anything dangly on a cat toy, doesn’t buy fur-covered mice and chucks anything that starts to look too chewed up.
So cat lovers should consider themselves warned, or as our Huck would say, 333302222225/6901++666o.