Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Supernatural Pet-Power

I scoff at people who tell me, “It was MEANT to BE!” However, that said, one afternoon, I picked up the kids from school and as we were driving down the not-yet-paved road away from school, a black dog ran right in front of the van. I honestly thought I had hit the poor thing. I screeched to a halt, got out, and ran around the front of the van to look - nothing. I went around the passenger side - nothing. I went to the back - nothing. I could hear the kids shrieking, but thought it was because my fear had rubbed off on them. I finally shook my head and went to get back into the van. Guess who was in the driver’s seat?

There was absolutely no way we could have another pet. We already had four cats, two geckos, an aquarium, and another dog at home, and were preparing to move overseas for two years!

But we all fell in love with Zippy after we had gotten him back up to speed healthwise - he had been living out on the mesa, eating rabbits, and had worms and every other parasitical disgusting disorder possible. He was a loveable dork, with separation anxiety, nervous tail-biting, and a penchant for throwing up in the car.

Soon, though, the day came when I was going to have to find Zippy a new home. We had already prevailed on our families to keep two of the cats for us until we returned home, had found a new home for the geckos and the entire aquarium. One cat had died, and we were taking one cat and our other dog with us. Nobody wanted to keep Zippy. I called a friend who worked for one of those no-kill, all-volunteer, adoptathon places. She said there was little hope, since they had so many dogs who needed good homes, but to bring Zippy to their next adoptathon and fill out paperwork.

The morning of the adoptathon, I had a horrible cold, and almost decided not to go. But I got up and dragged my sorry butt and Zippy’s nervous and excited butt down to the place. I started filling out the paperwork, while Zippy stuck like glue to my leg.

Before I even finished, a man and his two kids came up with their dog and asked about Zippy. He and their dog sniffed each other and began to play. He twisted the kids up in his leash and licked them everywhere he could reach. The man said, “Well, that was easy. We want HIM.” I explained all about his nervousness and barfage, but they insisted Zippy was the one. So, within an hour, we had finished the paperwork, driven one of the volunteers to the family’s house to make sure it was appropriate for Zippy, gotten the volunteer’s approval, and sent Zippy off to his new home. It was so fast I didn’t even have time to get verklempt until I was driving home afterwards.

The family has sent me updates and photos and have reported that Zippy gets along famously with their other dog and cat (cats he did NOT tolerate at our house!), and had stopped biting his tail and never threw up in their car! He is much happier there than he was with us. The three kids fight over who gets to have Zippy sleep with them. The timing was perfect.

So, part of me says it was meant to happen exactly the way it did or it wouldn’t have happened so smoothly. The other part of me says, “Oh, come ON, ya’ freak!”

We also have a ginger cat, Tang, who is with us now, who I had known as a kitten when he was put up for adoption at the vet clinic where I worked. He was the last kitten left and I had almost talked DH into bringing him home, but we had a very old cat and didn’t want to torment her in her old age. After hours, I would let him out and he would follow me around while I cleaned up before leaving, chasing the dust mop, climbing up onto my shoulders, etc.

One day, he was gone. A friend of one of my co-workers had taken him home.

Six months later, this friend came in with him. He was horrible, she was allergic, they couldn’t keep him out in the garage anymore because he was peeing all over everything, etc. They had never vaccinated him, had no litter box (no wonder he was peeing all over the garage!), never neutered him. Basically, the poor guy was alone in a garage 24 hours a day. So I brought him home - after getting his vax done and having him neutered. He’s been perfect and is the best cat I have ever had in my life. When we decided to come overseas, and were looking for babysitters for our other cats, every single family member we asked said, “Oooh! I’ll take Tang!”

Again, it seems like it could have been meant to be! He reappeared just a week after our older cat had died. He seemed to remember me, though I’m sure he really didn’t. Had they just taken him to the pound, he probably wouldn’t have been a good candidate for adoption, since he was no longer a tiny, cute kitten and he had health issues that I was able to have corrected quickly and more affordably, since I worked at the clinic. He fit in immediately with our other cat and our dog. The timing was perfect.

Similar story applies to our other dog, but not as dramatic. A woman came in to the clinic with an adorable black and white dog under her arm. Her first words were, "I want a rabies vaccination and nothing else! How much will it cost?" While she waited for the doctor, the rest of the story came out. She had gotten the dog from AHA for her three(!)-year-old. The three-year-old, of course had no idea what to do with a dog, and was too afraid to go into the backyard anymore. The dog had been alone in the backyard getting haphazardly fed and watered (based on her condition when I first saw her), but never played with or trained in any way for the past six months. She smelled awful.

I suggested an exam and at least one more vaccination, for parvovirus, since I had seen puppies die of parvo and didn't want to see it ever again. She said, "No, just a rabies."

She went into a room to get the vaccine, and soon, the doctor came out from the back room with the dog under her arm. "Does anyone want this dog? The owner is going to take her to the pound as soon as we are done here. She only got the vaccine because she got a ticket for not vaccinating and she needs the vax certificate so she doesn't have to pay the ticket."

I immediately spoke up, "I want her." The doctor put her down and I squatted down and the dog ran over to me right away and tucked her head under my knee, peeing all over the place in excitement and nervousness. I typed up a document for the woman to sign stating that she was giving the dog to me in exchange for my paying for her vaccinations. The woman signed the paper and left with her vaccination certificate.

Before I left work that day, Speck had a complete exam, all the appropriate vaccines, a nice, long bath and grooming, and more love and attention than she'd probably had in her 8 months of life. She has been the best dog in the entire world ever since! The timing was perfect.

So, it appears that I have a supernatural power to arrange the best possible outcome for stray cats and dogs. Or perhaps I exude some ectoplasmic stuff that attracts the needy cases that only I can take care of appropriately. Or some other supernatural power arranged things and they were just meant to be.

Naah, I just got lucky. But it’s fun to play pretend!