We finally pulled the trigger. We officially adopted Chase and Christy two weeks ago. You may remember them – the two foster kitties featured at the end of this post back in September.Among the many foster kitties we’ve had, they were the most difficult. Christy had complications with her spay wound shortly after she came to us. She started vomiting after being put on antibiotics. There were wiggly live worms in her upchuck. After a good amount of staring – good thing I’m not the squeamish kind – I was able to determine that these were round worms. Round worms are very common and treatable, but it meant all four cats had to go through de-worming treatment.
Giving cats medicines shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is in our household with Bellucci. She absolutely hates any form of coercion. I’d rather chew on a mouthful of raw cilantro than having to administer medicine to Bellucci. Her bloodcurdling screams sound as if she were being skinned alive; in reality it’s my wrist that’s being shredded by her claws. After the five days of treatment, I had so many bloody scratch marks on my arms that I felt the need to explain to people that I am not a self-cutter.
Shortly after the de-worming treatment, Chase and Christy started having loose stools. Those unsightly liquidy mush lumps were super stinky. In addition, they suffered from bad flatulence. I didn’t even know cats farted, but Chase and Christy’s farts rivaled my husband’s post-Mexican food fart-a-thons (ok, I admit it, mine too). We thought that the loose stools were caused by other parasites, but the vet said that their poops were parasite-free. We were spared from having to administer another course of medicine to all four cats, but we were still confounded by the unknown cause.
City Critters, the non-profit organization from which we foster cats, took Chase and Christy back for a couple of weeks for further observation. The volunteers there tried out different diets for Chase and Christy, which did the trick.
Because of Chase and Christy’ health issues, they missed a few adoption opportunities. They were also growing quickly, which may have put them at a disadvantage because there were many smaller kittens available for adoption at that time.
Despite the ordeal – or perhaps because of it, with the feeling that I had nursed them to health – my husband and I began to fall in love with Chase’s fearless curiosity and Christy’s innocent affection. We missed them on the weekends when they were being shown for adoption. We visited them at the Kips Bay Petco (where they were being shown) and felt strangely jealous when other people checked them out.
We had experienced pangs of separation before. We had fostered over a dozen of cats before Chase and Christy. Every time we returned a foster cat to the Kips Bay Petco knowing that they could be adopted and we would never see them again, we felt varying degrees of sadness. I even blogged about it before. Wasn’t I the one who said that we should let a good thing go in order to make room for things with a higher purpose?
My husband and I spent much time agonizing over whether to adopt Chase and Christy. We weren’t so bothered that others may think we are crazy cat people; we weren’t fazed by the additional responsibility of taking care of four cats as I have plenty of time to pamper them and to facilitate their integration with the other cats; we were most torn about not being able to foster again. But I knew keeping them was becoming inevitable as my husband’s connection with the kitties grew. He started calling Chase “my little man”. And the clincher was seeing MacGregor and Chase, the two boys, playing and holding
hands paws one day.As part of the adoption, we renamed Christy. She is now Clementine (aka little Tiney), after the orange in her calico coat and her sweet temperament.
To square off the decision, I began to think through the meaning of “higher purpose”. As a City Critter volunteer, I did want to take care as many homeless cats as possible before they could find their forever homes. But perhaps there are other ways to help achieve City Critter’s higher purpose of reducing the suffering and death of animals in New York City. So, I explored other volunteer opportunities with its organizers. It turns out that they need someone to help update their Petfinder online adoption database, a perfect job for an administrivia super-diva like me. While updating a database is not as fun as playing with a variety of kitties, I am glad that I am able to continue to contribute to the higher purpose.