Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Happy Birthday Boy

Yesterday was the adoption birthday of my very own sweet boy, Vinny Barbarino - the Wonder Cat.

Vinny on his first day home

Today is the anniversary of his homecoming.

I'd not had a pet of my very own in 20 years...not since I adopted the hell-cat, Nancy, and subsequently left her to torture my mother for the next 15 years.

For one, I didn't ever feel ready to have a pet. I mean, I love animals and wanted one but I didn't feel ready for the responsibility. Nor did I feel very settled for most of that time. I was always moving around and barely able to take care of myself let alone another living being. Hell! I didn't even have it in me to take care of a fake plant!

But once I moved into The Grotto and in with Lex, I started to feel home and settled. So I decided it was high time to find me a furry bundle o' love.

Vinny's favorite toy...don't try to take it

I went to the Denver Dumb Friends' League on that Sunday a year ago with the intention of just looking. I told Lex I wouldn't do anything rash. And he totally fell for it.

Because when I went to the shelter that day, the very first cat I saw was this little black Curious George of a thing who kept trying to get my attention every time I came near his kennel. Finally, I went out to the lobby and asked about visiting him.

When they brought him into the getting acquainted room, he bounded out of the carrier and into my lap, looked up at my face, and then laid his head on my chest and started to purr. Yep! Had me totally at hello. I signed the paperwork on the spot.

looking for a snuggle

He had to stay overnight because even though he was estimated to be 3 years old, he'd never had his nip/tuck done.

When I picked him up the next afternoon, he was a bit groggy and upset but I figured he was just cranky from someone messing with his balls.

No no.

He seemed to be alright that first night, exploring, cuddling, eating a bit. Even into the next day, he was ok...sneezy, but ok. The day after though, the proverbial shit hit the fan. I got a call from Lex telling me the cat was foaming at the mouth...and sneezing...and wouldn't get out of his clean clothes laundry basket. I raced home from work and sure enough, Vinny was producing buckets of drool...all over Lex's clean clothes.

You can't see the drool, but this is Vinny in the basket and he's miserable and drooling

So I rushed him to the vet1. The vet had never seen anything like it! The copious amounts of drool was decidedly not normal. The best we could figure it, he was having some kind of severe reaction to the anti-inflammatory the shelter had given him after his surgery. That, in combination with a raging case of kennel cough, and the cat was in quite a state. Additionally, because he'd also not gone to the bathroom for 3 days, they palpated his bowel2 and then sent us home for better or for worse with an antibiotic not guaranteed to work.

The palpation worked at least. Because he was out of his carrier for approximately 2.5 seconds before he was pooping...on my bed.

Vinny snuggled into his cave on my bed

After that, it was touch and go. We couldn't get him to take the antibiotic. His reaction was so severe, we were afraid to try after the first time and since it wasn't really expected to work, we gave up. Fortunately, it was Thanksgiving week and I was off for the next several days. Unfortunately, I was also hosting my very first ever Thanksgiving supper and was in a state of cookery panic. Every spare minute I had was spent lying on the couch with this bundle of misery curled up in my neck, drooling all over me, and occasionally lifting his head long enough to sneeze...which, as I'm sure you can imagine, was loads of fun what with the drool combined with the snot and the close proximity to my face. I didn't care though. All I cared about was the fact that my first true baby that was solely mine seemed to be dying before I'd even gotten a chance to love him thoroughly.

So I loved him with all my might, dozing but not really sleeping. For 2 days it was like this. He didn't eat or drink anything. He slept on my chest or on my pillow. He wouldn't go to the bathroom again.

Then, on Thanksgiving night, he emerged from my bedroom and spent time getting acquainted with our guests...drool and all. He even curled up in Blair's lap for some loving. After everyone left and we were doing dishes, he went over to his food bowl and scarfed down everything in it and then begged for more.

He was clearly out of the woods.

Vinny helps make the bed

And here he is, one year later, happy, healthy, and everything I could have ever asked for in a cat. He is cuddly and loving, a bit of an attention whore. He follows me around and talks to me all the time. He sleeps with me every night and tells me all about his day when I get home from work. He likes to just be near us and he loves to play and try to escape up to the second floor of the apartment building. He hates other cats and made us miserable when we tried to adopt a second cat back in May.

Vinny lying in wait to attack Saoirse

He's clearly a one cat guy...but that's ok. He makes up for it by having tons of personality...even more than me.

addicted to facebook

1: Firehouse on 6th. Best vet clinic EVER! They give all new clients a bottle of wine. And I needed that bottle of wine right at that moment.
2: Yummy, I know. I can tell you for certain the vet's finger up that cat's butt was completely non-consensual.


kk said...

Happy Birthday, Vinny! You're the kind of cat that really makes me wish we could have a cat over here, too.... I love cats, but my daughter is sadly allergic (just like I was when I was a kid). Hopefully, she will get less so as she gets older (just like I did).

zero hour said...

Happy Adoption Bday Kitty!
makes me miss my Ming Lee all the more!
sniff sniff.... :(

Anonymous said...

Gawl Darn it!! He's ever so cute! and I have yet to meet him...
(adds this to my list of reasons to visit soon)