The Forgiving Humans (The Cats, Part 5)

I wrote last time about how our cats seem relatively unfazed when they attempt to occupy the same space as our feet. In it, I showed appreciation for how they don’t hold our clumsiness (and their kamikaze foot rubbing) against us.

The opposite, however, is also true. Each of our two cats has brought some unique challenges into our lives.

I have written previously about having to take Gilligan to the vet less than two weeks post-adoption. The trend has continued, and it seems like if there’s a malady to be had, Gilligan will acquire it. We’ve spent quite a bit of money on X-rays and examinations and procedures. He eats special prescription food, which is pretty much the only thing we can feed him that he won’t throw up. Except when he does; he still throws up every now and again. The vet just shrugged and said “some cats throw up sometimes no matter what you do.” I’ve gotten pretty good at cleaning up cat vomit.

I don’t know if it’s because of the vet visits or just because he hates car rides — possibly both — but Gillie has an absolute fear of the cat carrier. If I don’t want him to come into a room, all I have to do is put the cat carrier in it and he will stay away. If it’s out and I so much as move in its direction, he will make sure he’s in another part of the house entirely. If I am so bold as to actually touch the carrier, he immediately disappears into the Cat Dimension, never to be seen again. Getting him in there can be tricky, and is only possible because he is at heart a very sweet cat and will let me do things like pick him up and put him in the detestable cat carrier without biting and scratching and fighting.

Right now, poor Gillie has a respiratory tract infection. It’s not too serious — I told our vet about his symptoms and she recommended just keeping him home and giving him plenty of food and rest, which are his two favorite things anyway — but only this cat could somehow come down with a cold when we’re in quarantine.

With Kiwi, it’s a completely different story. She’s healthy as a horse (are horses known for being incredibly healthy? Just now writing that phrase it struck me how odd it is). Her very first vet appointment is coming up later this month, and that’s just for scheduled vaccinations. But I have tiny pinpricks and claw marks all over my body because she is still really bad at controlling her claws.

Although she was a pretty crazy cat when we first got her — alternating between super skittish and super energetic — and very antisocial, with lots of love and attention she’s turning into an incredibly sweet little girl. She used to bite and scratch very aggressively, but these days it’s extremely rare for her to attack. It’s been a real joy to watch her grow into such a sweet cat.

However, her tiny little claws are still very sharp, and even when she’s purring and cuddling as happy as can be, she will sometimes extend her claws just far enough to pierce the skin. And unfortunately, one thing we haven’t managed to do yet is convince her to let us cut her nails. I think both Kiwi and I have PTSD from the last time I tried. I certainly still have the scars.

Pet ownership requires quite a bit of patience and forgiveness, but thankfully it seems there’s plenty of that on both sides!

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