Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Geriatric Giant

Y'all know I did not need another cat. I mean, yeah, I'm a self-professed cat lady, and yes, I do have my own house with plenty of space and all, but did I need a sixth cat? Not really. Then, on Monday of last week, I learned of a cat belonging to a friend of a friend that was in desperate need of a home. The friend of a friend was leaving the country - moving to South Korea to teach English, something I've done multiple times - and the program she was going with didn't allow their teachers to have pets in their apartments. 

Before I moved to Korea in 2010 I had a lot of animals. At that point I'd been living in Southeast Georgia, an area of the US overrun with stray animals, for a year and a half. I'd acquired quite a few dogs and cats that had simply turned up, abandoned, in my neighborhood. I was really lucky that my mom was able to take the cats and one of the dogs, and I was able to find people and organizations to take the stray dogs I'd taken in. I'd had my animal situation straightened out months before I got on the plane. 

In contrast, this friend of a friend was leaving on Wednesday. I first spoke with her on Monday; she'd yet to get her cat sorted. The cat in question was fifteen years old, and had lived with her for his entire life. None of her friends, family, or acquaintances were willing or able to take the cat on. Some had suggested having the cat euthanized, which she was unwilling to do; however, as she was about to hop on a plane, her options were rapidly dwindling to that or animal control. 

Most of you may know that during the aforementioned period during which I lived in Georgia, I worked for animal control. It was the worst period of my life, and I am not exaggerating. I have seen exactly what happens to elderly cats and dogs that get dumped at the pound: No one wants to adopt them. They end up spending the rest of their lives terrified, and either die of the shock or are euthanized in a state of terror. Between that and the feeling that it was my karmic duty to repay the world that allowed me to place my animals before moving to Korea in 2010, I agreed to take the kitty.

The owner had told me that he was fat. She hadn't told me how fat. This cat is a behemoth. A geriatric giant. He came in a crate the same size as the one I use for Mochi (one of my dogs). He weighs at least 25lbs. I don't know for sure because I haven't been able to pick him up because he is absolutely terrified of me. Apparently he got a can of Fancy Feast for breakfast and another can for dinner. I continued this food regimen for his first couple of days with me (mainly because he was so stressed from having his world turned upside down, I figured I'd keep him on his comfort food), but I've already switched him to Purina Healthy Weight dry food. 

The big guy has commandeered the spare bed (much to Polly's displeasure, although she's been acting a lot more social since his arrival), and he growls and snarls if I or any of my beasts approach. I'm hoping that he can calm down and spend the rest of his life relaxing in my kitty paradise, but right now he is totally not digging his new environment: