Tuesday, September 25, 2007

it's not over until the drunken lady sings

On August 23d, late at night, the Sober Husband yelled for me to come quickly, and I discovered our tiny orange foster kitten hemorrhaging and crying. Our local raccoon had come in through the cat door, caught the kitten, and dragged the kitten back outside. Iris uber Alles and I raced the kitten over to All Animals Emergency Hospital, where he was admitted for the night. The kitten was in shock and had lost a lot of blood.

The next morning, Iris and I went back and picked up the kitten. His little skull had a fracture, his eyes had been mauled and were shut (although the vet assured me the actual eyeballs were intact), and he was very weak. Later that day, we took him to see the staff vet at the shelter, who gave us antibiotics, eye medications, and painkillers. I kept the baby on a heating pad and tried to get him to eat. A few days after the incident, the swelling had gone down enough to make him bearable to gaze upon, and he looked like this:

The kitten had problems with his head wound becoming swollen, and he had to have a surgical drain installed. At this point, the children christened him "Sideshow Mel", as his surgical drain reminded them of Sideshow Mel of the Simpsons' ornamental bone-through-the-hair.

For weeks, he kept his eyes shut as much as possible. Eventually he became able to open one eye partway, and by then he seemed to recover some energy. It happened slowly, but one day I realized that far from the little convalescent who didn't stir from his hotpad, Sideshow Mel had become the feistiest and most violent of our kittens, wreaking havoc throughout the household. Mel also went on a growth spurt and became the heftiest kitten as well. Unbelievably, the kitten mauled by a raccoon who nearly died was the first one of the litter to be ready to go up for adoption. The only lasting effect of the attack was that his eyes are shaped a bit oddly, and they don't point in the exact same direction. His left eye has a bit of a devilish slant to it, and its gaze is a bit off-kilter.

Iris and I bade a very sentimental farewell to Mel and his brother, Alastair, as we took them in to go up for adoption. (We still have the three smaller kittens from this litter).

Over Labor Day, I shamelessly declared a marathon here on this blog to raise funds to help defray Mel's hospital bill. The readers generously pitched in and contributed $395, which was an enormous help to me, not just budgetwise but emotionally. I felt supported, in so many meanings of the word, in this so often lonely work of animal fostering (the loneliest time is cleaning the litterboxes. No one wants to join in that part of the job!)(incidentally any donor who did not receive a thank you card or gift and who wanted one --- I know some donors prefer to receive absolutely no cheap crap in the mail, even cheap crap lovingly selected and mailed by a drunken person -- should please email me at drunkenhousewife@gmail.com so I may amend that oversight. "Capt. Steve", your thank-you card is in the mail, and everyone else should have received their already).

Several of the readers insisted that like Jerry Lewis, I should end my marathon with a song, and here you are. This one's for you, darling readers and donors: the Drunken Lady sings.


Silliyak said...

Sorry you adopted out Mel, but from the picture, it looks like he wants a rematch with the raccoon, so it's best he was shipped out.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Silliyak, the Sober Husband has a firm pet policy. We are on a replacement only status right now. If an existing pet (or the Sober Husband, for that matter) were to pass away, Iris, Lola, and I would be able to adopt a replacement pet, but in the meantime, we've frozen the numbers. Sigh. Mel is a tough guy and will defend his home from all rodents and other animal intruders.

hughman said...

wow. what a chanteause you are! smoking!

Anonymous said...

For some reason, the second picture isn't showing up for me (I'm getting the Red X of Doom), but I'm glad to hear the little fellow is doing better.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, the second picture isn't showing up for me (I'm getting the Red X of Doom), but I'm glad to hear the little fellow is doing better.

Carol Ann/Marketeer

Missy said...

I'm actually tearing up over Mel's departure, but happy for him.

And nicely sung on the song as well...

Anonymous said...

he looks like a teenager! :(

Amy said...

I can't see the second picture either.

2amsomewhere said...

A very groggy 2amsomewhere lets out a loud and enthusiastic "Woo hoo!" to your family for nurturing a vulnerable and wounded creature into a thriving ball of energy.

Mel was truly blessed to have you in his life, and he should be an inspiration for all of us who have at one time just wanted to give up.

As for the audio, let's just say if there is ever a Drunken Idol show, I will gladly repeat dial your vote number until the handset falls apart.