Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Actual Telephone Conversations Heard at My House (a.k.a. "Glen Frey songs you REALLY don't want to hear")




VET-- Borderland Veterinary Center.

ME-- Yes. My wife and I have a cat that has gone into heat and we were hoping never to have to go through this ever again. Can you help?

VET-- (Laughs) I'd say we need to get her fixed.

ME-- Indeedy. When can the spaying commence?

VET-- Well, let's give her some time to completely come out of heat, so, say... three weeks?


Needless to say, it's kind of noisy around chez Juice with Avie Kitty officially in her very first and hopefully last session of heat. I'd really hoped to have more time before this went down, but I drug ass getting her fixed so now we have to live with it `til it subsides. While it's Avie's first heat, it's not the first time I've gone through this with another cat. In fact, I went through this several times with my old kitty, Winston, circa 1992-93.

Winston, as a young kitty, was already known for being "bad," so much so that her full given name had become Winston Churchill: The Infinitely Bad Kitty. At the time, she lived with me in my first non-parentally owned home, which I shared with three to four roommates, known as Da Crib (a name chosen for its irony, as we were all very very white). While given to genuinely inappropriate kitty behavior already (such as unauthorized trips atop the kitchen counter and strewing stole-from-the-garbage corn cobs behind the hall toilet), part of her reputation was no doubt spawned by the machinations of nature during the three heat cycles she experienced while in the house.

The first of these occurred four or five months into my residency there, and sent her into the traditional spine-shattering, sleep-rending cat-howls and repeated attempts to escape the house common to being in heat. This behavior, in turn, caused tension and loud arguments between me and my roommates, none of whom appreciated having their precious sleep disturbed by the wails of a horny cat. At the same time, I didn't want any more kitties in my life and resented the lack of care exhibited by my roommates who repeatedly let the cat out during their comings and goings. I bore even more resentment, though, to the roommates who not only let the cat out, but then didn't even make a cursory attempt to go and get her and return her to the house, in my absence. These conflicts often developed into a third category of problem, which was the loss of sleep by some of my roommates caused by the screaming argument I was having with other roommates over the above issue of resentment.

After the first "heat exchange" I resolved to get the cat fixed for the sake of keeping the peace. However, for a poor college student such as I was at the time, such kitty-cooter operations were kind of pricey and I wound up dragging heels on getting it done for a few months. Then, before I knew it, the damned cat was in heat again and all the problems and conflicts resumed. More months pass and more good intentions fall away and we repeat.

Following the third such heat session, my roommates staged an intervention and basically told me it was my ass if I didn't get her fixed, and quick. My dad, fortunately, found a two for one deal on kitty fixings, and we got Winston and her sibling (who is my sibling's cat) Cleo done at the same time. The funny thing is that during her heat sessions, Winston had been very subservient to all the other cats in the house. If she was eating from the common cat-food bowl and another roommate's cat happened along, Winston would get out of the way and let them eat. Following her surgery, though, she was much less understanding and beat the hell out of the first cat who crossed her during mealtime. You've never seen a more surprised expression on the face of a cat.

As for Avie, the way I count it, we're now on day four of the heat. Every time I think she's coming down from it, she opens up with an even louder howl that we've heard before. My memory is that Winston's sessions only lasted about a week. The vet's notation of three weeks seems like a looooong time.

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