Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tiny pawprints

Over this past weekend, we were forced to say farewell to the most recent addition to our menagerie, due to a nasty case of feline infectious peritonitis. I am not the veterinarian in the family, obviously, but my wife informed me that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the kitten from succumbing to the virus, as it’s one of those things which just happens to some cats. It is also incurable and fatal. Notwithstanding all of that, euthanizing the kitten wasn’t an easy decision and elicited no small amount of sadness. The kitten was lovely and sweet and will be missed.

The one silver lining, arguably, is that the slow progression of the disease allowed us not only the mental space to prepare for the inevitable but also time to line up … not a pet replacement, exactly, because that doesn’t just sound fairly mercenary but is mostly inaccurate. Let’s just say we knew we would soon have the logistical room to adopt another kitten if we so chose, and if the old kitten-shaped hole wouldn’t precisely be filled, at least it could be distracted from.

So somehow we ended up with two kittens, who were essentially a package deal, a brother and sister, one mostly white (the boy) and one predominantly black (the girl). They were being given away as the previous owner belatedly discovered a severe allergic reaction to them. I admit I was slightly paranoid upon hearing that, since I used to be ragingly allergic to cats before my relationship with my wife forced me into habituation, which might for all I know only apply to certain cats while leaving me still vulnerable to certain other long-haired and fluffy breeds. But so far, so good. The new pair of kittens came home the very day we put the sick kitten to rest, which was Saturday, and we’re all acclimating well enough so far.

Still, astute readers no doubt cannot help but notice that instead of getting any closer to our professed ideal configuration of one dog and two cats, we are moving ever farther away from it, with the current pet-census standing at two dogs and three cats … and counting? One never knows.

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