||[Sep. 14th, 2016|01:20 pm]
So not long after Tatia died I started thinking about fostering kittens. Tibby had always done well enough with other cats in the household—Tatia hated him, but he always wanted to be friends with her, and he and Edna Mo more or less got along, so I didn’t think he’d mind. A week or so later Ryan forwarded a text to me from a friend begging for foster homes for a litter of feral kittens. I responded to this and ended up with two wee ones, a black one and a white/orange tabby mix, both boys. I named them Apple and Jack. They were tiny and terrified (I kept them in the shower at first) but gradually grew to trust me and eventually try to take over the apartment. They were PRECIOUS and tiny and very, very sweet.
HOWEVER. Tibby did NOT appreciate their presence. In fact he was utterly miserable. At first, when they were more timid, he hissed at them to keep them in their place but as they got bolder (and realized there were two of them and one of him) they weren’t so intimidated by him. In fact (adorably) they tried making friends with him—they would try to nudge him and reach out. He wasn’t having any of it, though, And then when they started trying to gobble his food (at one point I literally lunged for the both of them and held them in my lap—they immediately started purring--so he could eat) he went on full strike and basically just hid in the closet the entire time. And he went off his food.
After a few days of this I started freaking out. I told the woman who’d set up the whole fostering arrangement that she needed to find a home as quickly as possible for the babies. As adorable as they were Tibby couldn’t handle it and he was and is my priority. Alex (the woman) was kind of difficult about this. We had talked before about how to get them adopted out—we agreed it would be ideal for them go together as they had bonded, but she seemed to have left it up to me. Then in later conversations, she started digging in her heels—we had to find them a home TOGETHER. And she didn’t seem to “hear” me—at one point she suggested I put up fliers in my building advertising them and I responded “According to the bylaws of the building, I’m only allowed to have one pet, not 3” so she replied that I should advertise that I have one kitten for adoption, and then when someone comes to look at it, show them both. Uh, no, that’s really not an option. Don’t suggest things that are going to get me in trouble.
The weirdest thing was when she told me “there is a reason adoption places only adopt out in pairs.” Uh, what? That isn’t true at all. Both Tibby and Tatia were adopted singly. Nobody in NYC would ever have cats if that were the case! One organization (interestingly, the one from which I adopted Tibby) only lets you take home pets if they’re in pairs OR if you already have another pet (so, I could take Tibby because I already had a cat) but every other place I researched allows single adoptions. She seemed really committed to “we must have the PERFECT situation,” both of them adopted together, and I was like 1) this could mean they NEVER get adopted, and 2) </s>I, not you, am paying the price for your insistence on the perfect instead of pragmatism. Because the babies are here with me, and it’s my cat who is miserable. It was starting to get kind of tense until a cat-parent-ex-machina fell down from the sky (a friend-of-a-friend of hers) came in to take Apple and Jack. Problem solved!
Or so I thought. He was certainly happier after they’d left but he still wasn’t eating. So Labor Day Saturday I took him to the vet and they immediately diagnosed the problem. Tibby had severe dental issues—his mouth looked horrible and he was mewling piteously during the examination. It was very upsetting. So they pumped him full of antibiotics and pain meds and I took him home (they couldn’t operate until a few days later). He ate a little bit during those days—the pain meds helped. When I took him back for surgery—he was terrified. They put him into a kennel and he was absolutely shaking and hyperventilating. I think he honestly thought I was going to abandon him. Oh Tibby, my sweet earnest Tibby. Never. You are my precious baby boy, my Tiberius Hotspur Spots Green, Lord Stompalot, Sir Sassafras, my precious big-pawed ‘normous boycat. I love you to pieces—always have, always will. And I’m so, so sorry—after losing Tatia, I never should’ve put you through that stress with the kittens. I’m glad I was able to help them but it was just too much for my boy. He comes first. Always.
He was in the hospital for a few days, and then I got to bring him home Friday evening. He was ECSTATIC. He could not stop suzzing up to me, purring, demanding headskritches, curling next to me. And yes, he was eating. Even with hardly any teeth, he was eating. He seems more energetic and even a little social with the people I’ve had over. All I can say is Thank God. I could not handle losing another cat so soon.