Thursday morning, the phone rings. I answer it, nobody there. I check the caller ID, it was the vet's office. I call them back.
Small talk ensues...why? And then she gets to the point.
"Somebody dropped off a kitty here, they found her by the courthouse and they were going to keep her, but changed their minds. They said to take her to animal control, but Charlene [the office manager] said we should call you first. She's emaciated and very tiny. She's been tested for disease and had a complete blood test and there's nothing wrong with her."
I ask about how old she is, because we are NOT taking in kittens or young cats at this point. Just seniors and it has to be pretty dire for us to do that. Well, the vet figures she's around thirteen years old.
"Just a minute..." BRIAN!! (He's out with the handymen.) I relay the info. He said whatever I wanted to do.
"Okay, we'll take her, but not today, they're doing stuff in the yard today and it's noisy. Tomorrow."
Then it's yesterday. Brian had some errands to run, then he was going to finish the stuff at the side of the house, cover the pipe that had just been replaced (which he'd uncovered before all those torrential rains hit last winter - yeah, remember that El Nino that seemed to bypass San Diego?). I wait and wait and wait as he did his chores, I take a shower, and then he's finished. I didn't want him to be running the tractor when we got home. I grab the carrier and off I go.
Elena takes me back to where the little kitty is. She's so small....Elena opens the door to the cage, I start to pet her. I can feel bones, her hip bones are prominent. I put a little of the kibble that's in a bowl next to her in front of her. She starts to eat it. She purrs for me....my heart melts.
And I get more of the story. It seems she was living in a neighborhood and some people took pity on her and decided to take her in. First off was to the vet's office. The vet didn't charge for eighty percent of what they did for this little kitty. Disease tests, blood tests, a bath to get rid of all the fleas, parasite treatment, trimmed off all of her mats (she's a short haired kitty). The new owners call to see how everything went. She's all good, there's nothing really wrong with her. "How old do you think she is?" About thirteen. "Oh. Well. I wish you'd have told me that to begin with, we'd just have her put to sleep."
So, instead of animal control, Charlene says "call Dianne". The vet asks later "have you called Dianne yet?" Shannon is reluctant because of Smokey, the cat who stayed there for over a month because they were waiting for results for a definitive FeLV test that had been sent out to a lab. In the meantime, Charlene's aunt said she'd take him. But for the sake of this little scrawny girl cat, she made the call.
And here she is! I got video before I got photos. And where she is now, the lighting isn't all that good and I really don't want to keep blowing the flash in her face. She's absolutely adorable!Brian didn't come inside to see her right away because he was busy. But when he did, she meowed at him and gave him her best kitty smile. He's smitten.We're calling her Bernadette. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, you'll understand why. We will call her "Bernie" for short.She's tiny, she's cute and she's very vocal (I was listening to her last night and at times, she sounded just like Marco).We have her in the double decker large dog crate right now. There are a couple of boards on the bottom that serve as steps to the top level and the litter box is under those on the very bottom. I have pee pads covering the bottom because those make for easier cleaning than a towel or nothing. She's been really good about using the box. She doesn't seem to like the top level so much, she's been hanging out on the bottom. I wish she'd move more freely between the two because the food and water is up. If it was on the bottom, the other cats thinking this was prime marking area would pee in her food and water and that's not acceptable. So, I spend some time trying to coerce her to the top, using tuna. It's worked, but as soon as she's done eating, she's back down.When she sleeps, she sleeps deeply, but she's not sleeping for long. It will take a few days for her to relax in her new home. We have her in the crate so the new smells and the other cats aren't overwhelming for her, a safe place for her to be as she becomes acclimated. The other cats don't seem to care about her at all, very little interest in her on their parts. Which is good, because like I mentioned, she's pretty vocal. And when she yells at another cat, they run.Here are a couple of pictures I took this morning. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.On her little wooden porchThis photo gives a better idea of how thin she is.We don't know how old she really is or how long we'll have her, but it will be as stressfree a life as we can make it for her.So, welcome to your forever home, Bernadette! No more life on the streets for you.Oh, I called Shannon yesterday afternoon to let her know how she was doing. Shannon said she was going to call the lady who brought her in, because she had really been concerned about this little cat. Geez, don't these people talk to one another? I told her what Elena had told me.Shannon didn't call her to update on Bernie's progress. Good. Asshole people.UPDATE 1:15 PM:I just saw her drinking water, then eating kibble on the top floor, so we're good! Then she was back on the bottom. We're golden!