That Infernal Creature

I adopted a cat.  Well, no. Marissa adopted a cat.  Well, no.  Some cat adopted Marissa.

It all started when the night we arrived home from the honeymoon there was a cat waiting in front of the garage door.  It was covered in matted hair, had lost a lot of hair, and was busy itching itself all over.  In other words it was flea-ridden, mangy, and — now — in Marissa’s lap.  She played with it for awhile.  Unable to determine its gender, she named “her” Madeline.  Marissa was completely smitten.  So smitten, in fact, that I spent the next 30 minutes unloading the car by myself while she played with that infernal creature.

Once I was done unloading she decided to ask if we could keep it.  This is when I said the dumbest thing I have ever said, and believe me there is plenty of competition.  I said, “Ok, if that cat is still here come tomorrow morning I’ll see if we can take care of him.”

She was very excited, and I felt relatively safe.  What are the odds the cat would stay nearby?  The next morning that infernal creature was waiting by the door for Marissa to emerge.

So began our long and arduous journey to pet ownership.  First thing is first, we have to talk to the neighbors to make sure the animal — still called Madeline — wasn’t owned by someone.  I don’t much care for talking to people, but it worked out fine.  Most of our neighbors came to us before we came to them.  It turns out that everyone in our building had been feeding that infernal creature.  Meanwhile, that creature had been killing and eating birds.  I have to assume with so much food readily available that this cat was just in it for the shear joy of killing.

So I tell Marissa that we have to get the cat to the vet.  We need to make sure no one is looking for it and we need to get him treated for fleas and mange and whatever else he has undoubtedly already passed on to Marissa.

A few days passed without either of us seeing the cat.  I was ecstatic.  I hoped it had wandered off, but I would have been ok with it getting hit by a car or something.  Maybe someone else had adopted it.  Then one day Marissa goes out to the car and leaves the inside door and garage door open.  I come out of the bathroom and that mangy infernal thing is sitting in-front of the door.  The thing hisses at me and runs for the door causing me to jump through the ceiling.  The thing hissed at me in my apartment!

The next day we tried to load it into the car for a trip to the vet.  Turns out the cat is not a fan of cardboard boxes, being chased, or car rides.  Marissa did eventually catch him and tossed him the back of my car.  Yes, in the back of my car, where it proceeded to hiss and meow at me the whole way to the vet as I worried about it peeing in my car.  Have you ever smelled cat pee?  That stuff is permanent.  They should use it in those little ink packets on clothes so that the robber is more miserably marked.

We get the cat to the vet where they sell us a cardboard pet carrier for $9.  Turns out the cat isn’t chipped and doesn’t seem to have anyone looking for it.  $90 later it’s vaccinations are up-to-date and we know that it is a neutered male with no fleas or mange.  Which means it is allowed in my apartment now.  We let the thing through the door and it immediately heads to the center of the room and lays down.

Look at that smug little...

Look at that smug little…

 Of course, we’re not done.  Oh, I really wish we were, but he still has badly matted fur and a lot of hair loss.  He needs to be groomed.  So Marissa made an appointment for him bright and early one morning.

By now Marissa has taken the liberty of naming the creature.  His name is Doctor Tobias Fünke — the world’s first cat analrapist.  (A mix between analyst and therapist.)  He was named for the Arrested Development character and goes by Toby for short.

That night the infernal creature ran to my leg and started meowing with urgency.  He has food and he has water.  I pet him, and he runs off to find Marissa.  She, being a sweetheart, decides to follow the cat.  He goes immediately to the litterbox and proceeds to have his first bowel movement in a couple of days.  He just wanted someone to watch.  Thank goodness he is litterbox trained, but it was really the worst smell I have ever encountered and after several days without one he left enough behind to carve out an entirely new cat.  I smelled it and nearly hurled.  Ok, that can’t be normal.  So I clean the litterbox and take the mess immediately to the apartment complex’s trash compactor.  Meanwhile, Toby is pacing around the room, suddenly more happy and energetic than he has ever been.

The next morning Marissa gets up early to drive the cat to the groomer.  Just a short distance away, Toby has an enormous rush of diarrhea in his cat carrier.  Marissa tries to roll down the window but the smell is overwhelming.  She is forced to swerve to avoid the smell.  This action carries Marissa’s car into the curb causing her to rupture a tire wall.  Toby sees this as an opportunity and makes a run for it.  He tracks diarrhea all over the car and Marissa before escaping into the road.  Marissa spends the next 30 minutes chasing him around, eventually catches him and drags him to the groomer.  He is now covered in cat crap, but the groomers take him anyway.  I arrive to help Marissa get her car fixed.  Fortunately, she happened to crash into the curb of a Discount Tire so we just took it to them and had all the tires replaced.  That needed to happen anyway.

When they returned the car to us they had sprayed the interior heavily with some kind of “new car smell” spray.  Apparently they couldn’t take the smell of cat diarrhea either.

When we pick the cat up the groomer is pissed about how pissed Toby was.  We’re a bit pissed too.  It’s been a long day for everyone.  We take Toby home and now he looks like this:

Shaved Cat

Toby cleans himself after the groomer thoroughly cleaned him.

That is one ugly cat, but we’re not done yet.  See we need to figure out why he isn’t feeling well which means collecting a stool sample for the vet.  It went better than when I did it for myself.  See this post for more horrific information.

The vet does some tests.  We’re now a couple hundred dollars down on cat costs plus a grand on the car.  Suddenly we’re tasked with administering medication.  We’re tasked with “pilling a cat” as the vet called it.  I’m going to get some pictures tonight to show you how that looks.  I may also get some pictures of the claw marks he left behind.  Once that’s done I’ll tell about his constant willful defiance.

That Infernal Creature.


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