<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Kittens and Poison Ivy

Despite the fact that this has been a weekend of totally average length, I feel like it's gone on forever. And I mean that in a good way.

Friday was a BBQ at work for everyone in the building. Some time I'll have to wax poetic on my theories about office environments and snacks--not to mention work-related social events--but for now I'll say that I was very happy to have the free lunch (which really was both free and lunch, TANSTAAFL aside) and to go home early. And home I went--my New House home, that is, because I'd learned that my family was now in possession of two tiny, black stray kittens.

Now most of you know that I'm allergic to cats. Quite allergic, actually; association with cats of pretty much any description will have me reaching for Claritin and/or decongestants and/or Ventolin within moments. That being said, I am totally and absolutely a cat person, and would never miss an opportunity to play with kittens. (My brother is very allergic to cats, too, perhaps even more than I am, and his attitude towards kittens is about the same. We really do agree on some subjects--who knew?)

Apparently, Marc found some guy dumping dirt in our back driveway, which is quite far away from the house and therefore prime dumping ground for anyone and everyone. While Marc was telling this guy to quit it already and pay attention to the No Tresspassing sign that was about three feet from his head, he happened to notice that someone had dumped a milk crate of cats in the same area. (He is also quite convinced that dirt-dumping guy and cat-dumping guy are not the same person. He's charitable that way.) Around the crate (having been cut or bitten their way through the plastic ties holding the plywood lid on the crate, I don't know which) were a young mother cat and her three kittens, all of whom were black.

Marc and his friend managed to grab two of the kittens and bring them home. The mother and the other kitten refused to come close enough, running away and hiding before they could be grabbed. Various members of my family have gone out looking for those two for days, but no luck.

That someone dumped a milk-crate full of cats anywhere makes me more angry than I can put into words at the moment, and that we were only able to catch two of them makes me upset, too. But the good thing is that two kittens were caught, and fed (and fed and fed) and given fresh water to drink and a warm place to sleep.  The slightly larger, darker one has been named Sara and the dark grey, lightly-striped one is Max (though his gender is somwhat under debate).

And so drugged to the gills, I happily played with the kittens. We played the chase-the-spider-plant game, and the run-after-the-ball game, and the pounce-on-one's-sibling game (though I just watched and laughed at that last one).  They fight and leap about, and curl up together in the chair, and bite things with their tiny kitten teeth.  Friday night, I knelt down by their sleeping chair and as Max climbed onto my shoulders and Sara climbed into my lap, both purring like motorboats and meowing for emphasis, I thought, I want to keep them.

My mother seems to have thought the same thing. As I'm typing, Max and Sara are still living happily at New House, and talk of their continued residence there continues.

And speaking of my mother ... it turns out that when she was gardening a week or so back, that plant underneath the raspberry cane that she was pulling out for four hours was poison ivy. And as it so happens, Lindy is one of those people who is very, very sensitive to poison ivy, more so than the average person. Apparently it can take about seven to ten days for the rash to fully come out (which I did not know), so this weekend she was an absolute wreck. I have never seen blisters that bad in my life, and how she kept from clawing off her own limbs from the itch and pain of it, I don't know.  One of the first things I said to her was that it was bad enough that she needed to go to the doctor. The pharmacist agreed.

But even after the very powerful medication that the doctor gave her on Saturday began to work, it was not a miracle cure. And I can't see someone hurting like that and not help. It's just not an option. And so I spent most of Saturday wrapping and re-wrapping my mother's arms and legs in cold compresses, and cleaning away the old calamine lotion and all the various bits of cotton wool and Kleenex that had managed to adhere themselves to the wounds, and putting on more lotion and cream--in short, caring for her over the space of an afternoon as she has cared for me countless times before.

I had to leave that evening to go pick up hamsters, of all things, but she was already doing so much better when I left than she had been that morning, or even the night before. And she has those kittens to keep her company; there's always that.

No kittens for me here, sadly, but its been a lovely day anyway.  Finished a book that Jihane gave to me, 32AA by Michelle Cunnah (first bright pink book with a bra on the cover that I've ever read), and When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot, and started another Meg Cabot book this evening. Plus I watched an episode of Firefly, and slept until almost 11, and ate pancakes, and wrote. Now if only I had some chocolate or a fanastic dessert, I think that this day would have been perfect.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 9:13 PM


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