Monday, July 26, 2010

A tale of one lost kitty, and how you can help

About two weeks ago, my library received a furry visitor: a handsome boy, all black save for a white spot on his chest, with medium to long hair. It was a drizzly, cloudy day and this guy obviously wanted to come in to the library where it was dry.

It's no secret that I'm all for cats in the library, but I was overruled and out-numbered. Out he stayed, though he never strayed too far from the door. In fact, if he wasn't at the door, he was sleeping right up against the glass block behind my boss's desk.

As the days passed, it became more and more obvious that this was not just another stray cat. He craved human attention, for one. Any time I would go out in the courtyard, he'd come running from his spot near the glass block, meowing and purring. He'd jump up next to me while I sat on the ledge of the wall and demand to be pet. He even gave himself self-service pets - not content with the amount of attention I was giving him, he'd rub his whole body under my hand in an attempt to say, "Hey, LADY! I need some petting!"

When it became clear that he wasn't going to leave, I started asking around to see if anyone knew of someone looking for a new cat. Nobody was initially willing to take him, citing housing situations, multiple pets already in the house, and a general dislike of cats (I KNOW. Dislike of cats? What?). By now, my boss had given me the go-ahead to feed our courtyard kitty (we'd been named Megadeth. I don't know why...).

Late last week, it was determined that if Megadeth was not removed from the library property, he would be placed in a kill-shelter. I ramped up my efforts to find him a home, if only temporarily, and late Thursday night the call came in - my friend A. would help rescue him. She couldn't keep him for the same reasons that I couldn't (existing cats in the house, no way to quarantine a new cat) but she was pretty sure she could convince her mother-in-law to foster him for a night or two.

The earliest I could facilitate the rescue was Sunday morning - Friday and Saturday were going to be spent driving to NJ and preparing for a triathlon (Mike, not me. I'm just the cheering squad/photographer). So, A. and I agreed to meet around 9am and crossed our fingers that we'd have luck catching the cat. A. found a vet that accepted walk-ins and we discussed the best and worst case scenarios. Best: the cat would have been micro-chipped and would soon be reunited with his owner. Worst: he'd be full of bad kitty diseases and we'd have to have him euthanized.

We arrived at the library around 9:30 and I approached the cat's typical hiding spot, fully expecting him to come jumping out from the azalea bush and onto the ledge. That had, after all, become our routine the last 10 days. When that didn't happen, though, I started to think an even worse case scenario had played out - until I remembered that on Mondays, library staff would be greeted at the front door by this cat... We were at the back door! On a hunch, I ran around to the front door. A quick second later, and Megadeth was running over to me, talkative, hungry, and in need of love. I scooped him up, took him around back, and got him into the carrier with hardly any trouble. We then drove from the NW part of the city to the SW part of the city, listening to the cat meow and cry and otherwise carry on for 25 minutes. He was not, as you can imagine, amused. But, he was still fairly well-behaved.

Less than an hour later, we had the all-clear for Dave, the Cat Formerly Known as Megadeth (we renamed him in the car; he likes the name, too). He tested negative for FeLV and FIV, got dosed with some Frontline, and was ready for his first foster home. So, back up to the NW part of the city... Once we had him at his temporary home, Dave walked around, sniffed, ate some kibble, and begged for some love. Since leaving him yesterday around noon, I've heard that he's nothing if not a gentleman - he hasn't sprayed or marked once in his strange, new home and he regularly checks on his fosterer. He's eating and drinking and grooming and, above all, napping like any house cat should.

A. was hoping to get him to the vet tonight for a more comprehensive examination, including, perhaps, an estimation of his age. To our untrained eyes, he appears to be altered and he has not been declawed. He's a fluffy guy, complete with ear and toe tufts. He likes to bonk his head on you and when you pet him, he leans in to get *thatmuchmore* love. I've not known many cats as sweet as this guy.

Dave's story isn't over yet. He needs a forever home in order to complete this story. Do you know of anyone that needs a sweet fluffy guy in their life? Please send them my way.

Want to help but can't commit to taking this guy as a foster or a forever cat? Please donate whatever you can to help offset Dave's vet fees by clicking on the button below:

Update: Dave will be going to the vet Tuesday for his exam. And, A. has offered self-cleaning litterbox to whoever takes Dave as their forever-cat.

Update #2: Dave has been to the vet and once again charmed everyone. The vet places his age at around 3-4 years old. Dave is NOT altered, he is an intact male - so, we're going to explore low-cost neutering for sure. *points to donate button above* Dave also is on antibiotics for a wound on one of his front paws. Hopefully, the antibiotics will clear up the infection. If not, Dave will need surgical attention. *points harder and more emphatically to donate button above*

Update #3: Today is N-Day for Dave - he's getting neutered (perhaps as I type!). Thanks so much to those of you that have donated - we've got more than half of Dave's vet bills covered! If you haven't donated (any amount!!!) but would like to, it's not too late - click on the PayPal button above.

Also, Dave still needs a home! He'll be recovering from his surgery for the next couple of days, but he'll be ready for his forever home as soon as early next week. Know of anyone that needs a handsome kitty? Point them in my direction!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

10 things I like about where I live:

1. I'm in a great quasi-suburban neighborhood in Philadelphia, a mere 17 minutes by slow train to Center City and a quick 12 minute stroll to trail heads that drop you into the Wissahickon Creek area of Fairmount Park.

2. Aside from living in Philadelphia, I'm pretty close to other major cities and can always justify a quick day trip to NYC, DC, or Baltimore.

3. I'm close to home - my husband and I grew up in rural Salem County, NJ, a mere 45 minutes away by highway (closer to 2 hours if we take back roads because we tend to get lost).

4. I've found my place in a great group of friends. Whether it's knitting, library-talk, or just whatever, my friends are the best. I would not have met them all if I didn't live in Philadelphia.

5. We've got history - William Penn, Lenni Lenape, Swedes, and more. It's fun to play tourist in your own city!

6. We're a scrappy town, a city full of 'tude. There's nothing quite like a Philly fan, and don't youse guys forget it. Any given sport, any given season, you're going to hear someone complain about the shittiest team, the best team, the worst play, the miraculous play, and so on. Chances are they're talking about the events of a single game. We can smack talk the crap out of our players and teams but still profess undying love for them at the end of the season. We're allowed to do that, but don't you visiting teams try it.

7. FOOD. Restaurants, cheesesteaks, water ice (say it with me - wooder ice), the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market, trucks at Penn, the hot dog man outside of the museums, and the "don't tell mom I let you eat a pretzel from the guy outside of the stadiums".

8. I like that I live in a place that has all four seasons, though to be honest, I'd trade some summer for more winter. Still, the surrounding counties are full of parks and vistas and trails and all kinds of fun stuff to do out-of-doors. And the drive to get to, say, French Creek or the Jim Thorpe is especially nice if we take the twisty back roads and our motorcycles.

9. Speaking of out-of-doors, I love that we're pretty close to both the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Any given long weekend, we could go either direction and bask in the glory of nature.

10. I really love my house. We've been here for 10 years now and have done a lot to improve our living space. Most of the work we did ourselves. One Thanksgiving, I tiled the kitchen floor, another late August, we built a deck in a week. We've rewired, retrimmed, repainted, receilinged, and repurposed. I love that we have a secluded walled garden and a garage. I love that we're an end-of-row and have lots of windows and trees. It's still very much a work-in-progress (as I type, there's a guy doing demolition to our front porch ceiling), but it's our work-in-progress.