Thursday, May 26, 2016

Emotional Support Animals, Bring On the Drama, and Vera

I didn't think this would happen.

I got adopted by a cat.

Senior pets rock.
This is Callie, a 12-year old Calico "babushka koshka" ("grandma cat").  She picked me out of several potential humans for adoption over at the Cleveland Animal Protective League.  Callie got to make herself very comfortable at My Happy Place yesterday.

I didn't think I would be adopted by a cat (or, technically adopt a cat) because of my anxiety over how to pay for food and litter and such and pet insurance for pretty baby.  Apparently, I must have gotten over that because not only do I have to worry about litter and pet insurance, Callie has hyperthyroidism (a feline version of Graves' disease), so she noms on prescription food.

But by looking at her, I think she is worth every penny.

So, you're probably wondering where the drama comes in, right?

Callie has been prescribed to me (not her specifically, but just to have an animal in the apartment), by both the psychiatrist and the psychologist as an emotional support animal, an animal (regardless of species) that serves as a calming aid to an individual who has severe mental illness (and that would be your's truly).  I did get her registered into a nationwide database registry as an emotional support animal, but that doesn't mean anything unless I have a letter from one of my mental health teammates stating that the animal is required for my treatment.

So far, I haven't heard any griping from the property manager, which is good.  The real test will come next Thursday, when the contracted exterminator comes in for the monthly visit to keep ants away from the bathroom.

In the 24+ hours I have spent time with Callie, this is what I have learned about her so far:

1.  She craves more attention than I do.  How in the holy fuck is that possible?  She stays by my side no matter where I go around the 10' x 13' box I live in, even into the bathroom.  Callie loves to have her chin gently rubbed and loves to get kisses on her forehead.  I didn't think I could find anything more sweeter than tea brewed in the American south, and yet, here she is; all loving and happy.

2.  Callie is a scavenger.  She needs to inspect what it is I am putting into my mouth before I eat it.  And if she questions the integrity of the food item, she will take a bite to ensure sustenance quality.  Except, I don't want her to do that; she's on a restricted diet, heh.  I did, however, let her have a couple of noodles from my macaroni and cheese I bought for dinner last night.  Her ravenous appetite literally put the appetite of my boys, Belle, Junior, and Sam, to utter shame.  That's my girl.

3.  She is litter trained and very dainty.  At least very dainty when she uses the litter box.  This is not the case when she eats.  Food is splattered all over the area surrounding her dish, again, because she is a scavenger.

4.  Someone before my submission had the disgusting nerve to declaw Callie's front paws.  I don't mind the scratches; but a cat's nails is very important to the integrity of a cat's personality.

5.  Callie is not afraid to paw me when she wants me.  She wants attention?  Paw.  She wants food?  Paw.  She's checking on me?  Paw paw.  How did I get so lucky?

6.  She is very shy and skittish around other people, cats, and animals.  Callie is very picky about her company.  This could explain why when she and I made *gulp* eye contact, it was a sub/Dom relationship at first sight.

My next set of things to do with Callie is get her to a vet for her free physical between now and June 8, get her a collar and a name tag, and get a carrier (I prefer a backpack carrier because I like free hands).  I don't think she needs a bath, because she smells clean and her fur is super soft.

I can only hope that, out there somewhere, Belle, Junior, and Sam are happy and are proud of me.

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