Raining Cats and Cats - 7/14/2010

I've gotten a lot of complaints about not having blogged for so long.  I haven't been in the clinic much lately, so there hasn't been too much to talk about.  But yesterday was a super "fun" day, so I've got some material.

First, I'll update you on a few of the stories from the past:  Horatio, my radioactive cat, is holding his own.  He's more than holding his own.  He's pushing the other cats away from their food now.  However, he still becomes a sickly boy whenever he thinks it will make my husband "mound" his food up for him into a "volcano" every time he takes a bite off the top.  And then there was the day I was talking to my husband while he "fed" Horatio.  After a while, he looked down and exclaimed, "What am I doing?"  Horatio had gotten full and left.  Penny had slipped in and was enjoying the special treatment.  Incidentally, Penny is the cat next to Signup for the Scratching Post in the right margin of the website.  That's her before we made her so fat.

All of the kittens my brother and his boys were fostering have been adopted.  He still has "momma" though.  I think they are going to keep her, but I hope by saying it I haven't jinxed it.  The last vote was 3-2 to send her back, with Ken and his oldest son voting to keep her, the two younger boys voting to get her adopted, and their own cat, Shadow, voting to throw her the heck out.  But since it's kitten season and hard to get adults adopted, Ken's holding on to her.  And we're pretty sure that Shadow is going to change his vote:

Sleeping Together

Finally, OF COURSE, Felicia is still always right.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we were having a double clinic (two vets) in Willow Grove and I was supposed to teach a new volunteer the ropes.  For convenience, I'll call her S.  That's not her real name, of course.  (It does, however, remind me that my father's family called him T when he was growing up.  This is because he grew up during the Depression and his family was too poor to afford a whole name for him, so they just gave him a letter.)

Anyway, I'd asked S to meet me at the Willow Grove clinic between 9:30 and 10:00am.  I left the Claymont clinic at 8:20 leaving plenty of time for the 45 minute trip.  Riiiiight!!!!  It was raining.  Raining hard.  Raining cats and cats.  First mistake--not listening to that little voice in my head that told me not to get on I-495 in Claymont.  Dumb.  I-95 was backed up from ... I dunno ... Boston or something ... all the way down onto 495.  Of course, I saw this once I was on the loooong entrance ramp from Philadelphia Pike.  You know, one of those extra long entrance ramps that gives you all that extra time to think, "I'm an IDIOT!" as you're forced to drive into a mess.  I crawled along to the first exit (Chichester Ave off of I-95).  Still hopeful I'd get there before 9:30, I got off in Boothwyn.

I know how to get to the Blue Route from Boothwyn without using I-95, but I hoped that TomTom would know a better way, you know, one that would be as quick as taking I-95 with no traffic would be.  I'm one of those people who thinks technology can improve upon the rule that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  After arguing with TomTom for quite a while to convince him that I was NOT going to get back on I-95, the best he could do was the same thing I already knew:  take Meetinghouse to 452 to 1 to the Blue Route.    About now, I started communicating with Felicia about how badly the trip was going.

The drive on Meetinghouse went well.  I'll still get there on time!  This naivety lasted through many more detours and arguments with TomTom as well as several more text messages (only from a dead stop of course) to Felicia and the vets about when and, then, after a while, if I was getting to Willow Grove.  We were all in the same boat (ha ha).  Julianne said she had to wait a half an hour in her driveway for the river that was once her street to recede before she could even get on the road and Felicia was driving on median strips and through 3-foot deep "puddles."  For a while I thought there was something wrong with one of my tires until I realized it was just because several miles of the PA Turnpike were under several inches of standing water.

By the time I pulled in to the clinic parking lot, it was about 10:10.  Of course, there were no parking places left.  And it was still raining cats and cats.  I'm actually pretty sure the storm was following me.  I had two carriers with two kittens each to take inside.  I pulled up to the door and discovered that I was temporarily parked in a giant puddle.  So I couldn't put one carrier down while I struggled with getting the other out of the back of the car.  It took two trips.  Then I came back and closed the tailgate and went in search of a place to leave the car.  I drove around for a bit before I decided on a place in the street where I probably wouldn't get towed.  By the time I walked back up to the clinic, I was completely soaked.  And I saw that Debbie, one of our other volunteers who drives up from Delaware, was starting the same process of emptying cats from her car that I'd just been through.  I grabbed her cats cause there was a line of cars behind her waiting to do the same thing. 

So I finally walked inside the clinic and began searching for poor S who I was now 45 minutes late meeting.  What a nice way to introduce a new volunteer to Forgotten Cats!  I finally found someone I didn't recognize and said, "Are you S?"  She was.  I held out my wet hand, introduced myself, and dripped on her feet.  Meanwhile, others all were swimming in as well.  The clinic started about 30 minutes late.

We trained S to do prep and instruments.  She seemed to fit in pretty well, despite the late wet start and the incident where I ran through the instruments room carrying an empty trap, pushing the poor Dominos Pizza delivery man, and screaming, "Out of my way!!!  Maaaaaaaaagggggggggggooooooooottttttttttsssssssss!!!!!"  Fortunately, they were only on the trap and not on the cat.  I must confess.  I've lived a sheltered life.  I've never actually seen a maggot before.  (As an aside, I looked it up to make sure I was spelling it correctly.  The definition - a soft-bodied legless grub that is the larva of a dipterous insect as the housefly - doesn't sound nearly as disgusting as they are.)

So that was the day in Willow Grove.  We sterilized 86 cats and 1 dog who cried all day long.  We ate some pizza.  We got a great new volunteer who said when the day was through:  my back hurt, my feet hurt, and I love it.  And the sun even came out for the trip home.

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