Thursday, September 8, 2016

Between the Bridges

Between the Bridges
Broad Channel

by: Peter J. Mahon, September 8th, 2016


A few weeks ago in this column I mentioned that I learned that one of our 4 cats, Nibbles (who was introduced to our home last year by our oldest daughter Amy who promised at the time that she was only "babysitting" the feline for 2 or 3 days until her friend returned home from a trip) was pregnant.  Up until that time I thought the cat was simply obese as she had been devouring her food not unlike participants in the July 4th hot dog eating contest at Nathan's in Coney Island. Once I knew "Nibbles" was a mother to be, I made an appointment to have her examined by the vet over at the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways on Saturday morning, August 20th at 10:30 am.  As far as Grace and the girls were concerned, Dad was just being a "good guy", taking the soon to be mommy cat to the doctor to make sure everything was okay.  In fact, the only reason I wanted the cat examined at the vet was to have an ultrasound done so I would know well in advance of their births just how many kittens I would have to quickly arrange adoptions for!

The Friday before the vet's appointment I sat both girls down and laid down the law!  Once born, none of the kittens were to be given names because I did not want anyone becoming to attached to any of them.  Additionally, they were both to immediately start to discuss the possibility of adoption with all their friends, co-workers, neighbors and even strangers because 8 cats in the house is simply too much and I did not want to become known as the "old geezer cat person" of West 12th Road.

They say "timing is everything" and whoever "they" are - they are right! The following morning I was up early to make sure I had everything in place to transport Nibbles to the vet but around 6 am I heard a yowl coming from the first floor bathroom. Upon investigation I found Nibbles laying in the shower delivering the first of her litter.  I quickly cleaned up the shower area and placed a clean set of towels on the floor along with food and water and set up a temporary litter box for the new mom.  Not knowing what to do next I simply sat down on the toilet seat and waited until about 8:45 am when she dropped a second kitten.  At 9 am I called the vets office and explained that I would have to cancel my pending 10:30 am appointment as nature had already taken its course regarding Nibbles pregnancy.  In hindsight I must have sounded like an expectant father because the staff laughingly assured me everything would be fine and urged me to calm down and let "mommy do all the work."  Armed with that bit of sage medical advice I sat back down on the toilet and supervised (okay, simply watched) the birthing process until 11:15 am when at 11:15 am yet another kitten made it's way into this world and the 4th, and thankfully final, kitten was born at 12 noon.

Today, almost 2 weeks later, the first floor bathroom is still off limits and our zoo population is now at 8 cats, 1 dog who thinks he is human, 2 turtles (one of whom thinks it is her mission in life to separate my fingers from my hand), 1 bearded dragon with a back problem and 1 elderly guinea pig with cataracts. (Is "guinea" pig an ethnic slur?)  Lest I forget, there are also 3 white rats that have been missing in action for over a year now.  God knows where they are!  In addition, we have the cremated remains of  2 dogs,  2 cats and a rabbit sitting upstairs on the fireplace.  I keep telling Grace when I move on all I want is a simple cremation and then pack me in with our recently departed pit bull!

By the by, if any of the readers of this column out there (or any members of your lovely, caring, animal friendly families) would care to adopt any of our recent flurry of kittens....or a dog...or a couple of turtles...or a lizard...or how about a long in the tooth guinea pig with bad eyesight let me know because they are going fast and we do deliver!  Keep in mind that should the 3 white rats ever surface, they are fair game for relocation also.  

Who do I think I am kidding?  Truth be told, they are not going fast, in fact they are not going at all!.  The bad news is that when I mention this to anyone they simply stare incredulously at me as if I am off my "meds" and then laugh and walk away,,,quickly!  The good news is that the staff at the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways tells me they may name a treatment room after me. 

Gotta go, I have to conduct a google search on feline chastity belts and I also know it's gonna be happy hour somewhere real soon!

Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?

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