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Sunday, October 21, 2012


I thought I'd killed our dogs. By 'our' I mean my wife's, I can't say I don't love Max and Sheba; but I can say I probably wouldn't go out looking for a dog on my own. Right or wrong, I'm a cat person.

Corinna is just the opposite, or why would she have a couple of dogs and no cats even if she likes cats?

And every time, the past year or so, I've said I miss having cats and should go adopt one or two, she has said, "You should go do it."

After my divorce, I was left with a dog and a cat initially, but I wasn't sure how my housing situation was going to shake out. I did know having pets was often an obstacle to affordable rentals.

So as my pets died off, I didn't entertain any thoughts of replacing them.

Since I've remarried and all that, things have shifted around, and every time I would interact with other people's cats, I'd realize how much I missed having cats.

Then I accidentally poisoned our dogs, like I say.

We'd gotten a mouse problem in our basement and even maybe the kitchen some. The first culprit was grass seed, a bag of by the garage/basement door that got torn up and was basically a mixture of grass seed and mouse turds spilling out on the floor. With a food supply like that, the mice weren't just visiting. Eventually I even found mouse droppings on my desk. They were getting bolder and bolder.

I bought some D-Con bait trays, things I used to control mice in my last house, including a decade with a dog, without an issue.

The day after I deployed the baits, I came home to see a D-Con tray chewed to hell in the middle of the living room floor. Two more in the basement had been found and consumed. We're talking about nine ounces of poison that advertises it kills mice in one feeding.

The emergency line said, relax. It takes three to five days to act and there's an antidote, Vitamin K.

Still, that night, every time I heard a dog clear its throat of shift around or go get a drink of water, I woke up thinking I was hearing death throes. It's funny, Corinna is the dog person, but I was the one losing sleep because she actually believed what the poison control people told her (she has a Master's in pharmaceutical chemistry, so she probably understands the mechanisms these things work in better than I do).

I didn't kill the dogs, though I did sentence them to a month of Vitamin K and in the case of Max some Immodium to go with that because otherwise he's a diarrhea powered rocket.

I was taking Sheba in for a follow-up with the vet for this poisoning thing (Corinna had seen some bruising she wanted to check on, possibly the pup needed a bigger does of K, though that turned out to not be necessary), decided to drop by the Humane Society where she was adopted from.

When we walked through those doors, six months of training her not to jump up on people evaporated.

I've never seen her so excited as she was seeing her Humane Society peeps again, and they were glad to see her.

And I wanted to see about some cats anyway, because like I say, I missed having cats. Their website (I'd visited it a day or two earlier) listed a pair of kitten siblings, six months old, who were good with dogs and other pets, and who played with each other. However, when these kitties saw Sheba, they freaked out and poofed up. At which point, the Humane Society girl asked if I really needed kittens.

She had a pair of adult cats who weren't siblings but who acted like they were. They had even played with dogs, were rough and tumble with each other and pretty fearless.

I walked into that second cat room and Jello tried to climb me straight off. Then, when I went to talk to Zippy, Jello climbed the tower Zippy was on and tried to climb my camera bag and get in my face.

Then Zippy got on Mo's lap and I was like, These cats are doing everything they can to make sure I adopt them. Really, I felt like they were already my cats. It didn't hurt that Jello proved his smarts by turning on the faucet to get himself a drink.

They stood their ground with Sheba in a room and the next thing I know I'm in the pet store buying litter boxes, cat food and scratching posts.

Jello, so far, is more apt to come upstairs and deal with the dogs. Even petted himself on Max's nose this morning. The dog was standing there, deciding whether to bare his teeth and snarl, and Jello just jumped up and head-butted the dog's snout and walked away.

Zippy has stuck to the basement, but I think he was the one who freaked Sheba out and sent her through a shelf down here tonight. She went upstairs to feel sorry for herself.

And in their first twelve hours, they killed three mice, that I took and threw away, so I guess they're the thing for that problem and far less harmful to dogs.

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