Emancipation Proclamation

Last Sunday, Mr. Understanding and Thing 3 went pheasant hunting out in the country.  Farmed-to-table pheasants, they cost a pretty penny to knock out of the sky.  This is not my gig, so I abstained from the activity and enjoyed the silence of my house. 

While hunting, Thing 3 heard the mewling of a cat.  Being an animal lover, she mewled right back.  They had a conversation for several minutes during which Thing 3 ascertained the location of the cat:  A barn.  She debated going into the barn but eventually decided yes.  And there she found a tiny black fluffy kitten with its hind leg stuck between the slats of a metal chair.  She called Mr. Understanding in for help and between the two of them they were able to free the kitten’s leg, already broken in several places.  Thing 3 rode home with a bird or two in a bag and a cat on her lap. 

A trip to the vet the next day, where Thing 3 works part-time, confirmed the kitten’s two options:  euthanasia or amputation. 

Now I am a practical person.  Thing 2 has cat allergies (we did not figure this out until he was seventeen).   Our outdoor/indoor cats are now just plain outdoor cats.  So I knew there was no future for this kitten inside my house.  The question is: Can a three legged cat be an outdoor cat?  Yes. 

There was also the price of amputation to consider.  I told the vet I was not up for a $1,000 kitten.  I should be on the Price is Right because that is the exact amount it costs to remove a kitten leg.  (I threw that figure out because my MIL, Winnie, spent big bucks to pull her dog’s teeth.)  The vet, a most lovely young woman who graciously mentors Thing 3, said she would do it for cost, $300, which also happened to be the exact figure I’d had in mind when Mr. Understanding told me to “use my judgment”.  (Turns out he thinks I am cheap!)

Another issue is that we have three other animals in and out of our house.  How would they get along?  Mamie still needs to be queen.  This animal would, in fact, be my empty nest responsibility.  As readers will recall, I had previously nixed the puppy idea. 

Finally, there was the issue that we needed some JOY in our house, even if it arrived unexpectedly and in need of healing.   Mr. Understanding and Thing 3 had already bonded with the cat during the leg extraction and subsequent ride home.  Mr. Understanding is a cat whisperer par excellence, I recalled, and Thing 3 needed to focus her attention on something other than Girl Drama.  And I, well, a kitten is not the answer for me, but perhaps the answer for me is the answer for others

While Thing 3 scrubbed in for the amputation, I dropped by my hairdresser Felicia’s to make an appointment and told her about the cat.  Knowing about my puppy dilemma, she laughed and said to me, “Well, you did throw it out to the Universe, you know.  Didn’t you say that animals were good healers?” 

Does a three legged kitty serve me right?  Apparently. 

Finally,  there was the issue of the name.  We wanted to stick with the theme of naming our animals after former Presidents or First Wives.  After determining it was a boy cat, the obvious choice was Barry O or just plain Obama, since he is a lame kitty (President Obama is a Leo).  But since he still current, and not former, we decided against.  Carson was another good option, due to the use of surgical separation skills involved, but since he’s not yet in office we had to nix that name too.

So our kitty’s name is Lincoln and he is now emancipated from his leg, hopping around delighting everyone but the other animals, who are totally ambivalent. Black lives do matter.  (And so do spotted, orange, long or shorthaired ones.) He will be inside for the winter while he heals and gets his immunities up.

But the best part of it all is that Thing 1 is coming home to live in her proverbial parents’ basement, liberate herself from expectations, and be healed. Lincoln was the tipping point – the ol’ three legged cat trick!  It will make for yet another crazy December, another December where I pack up an abode.  Wah wah wah.  The price tag is high but oh, so worth it, to have my big red Kitty home!  Christmas came early in our house. 

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19 Comments

Filed under Life

19 responses to “Emancipation Proclamation

  1. sallycalligan

    Such a lovely ending. Healing to all.

  2. Laura

    I would have voted for Barry O. Wait – I did!

  3. MCV was Here

    Love the post. Can’t wait to meet Lincoln. Outdoor cat my derriere . . . 😉

  4. Black cats are the best! Especially on Friday the 13th! I had a black cat with no tail and he was the greatest cat of all time. So happy to see you are back to writing on your blog. Miss you, MK!

  5. Flaky Friend

    I for one think you would have gone higher than $300. So glad to hear Thing 1 is coming home. Love you!

    • $300 is my internal barometer of when to ask Mr. Understanding for monetary authority, notwithstanding the fact that I am the family negotiator (cars, houses, etc). This figure is because I bought a Mix Master in Brazil for $300, over time. When you “parcelar”ed an item, you got it up front and had to pre-write checks for each month. No lay away – instant gratification! Am not sure whether it was the amount for a mixer that bothered him or the monthly ding to the checking account. In any event, I stand by the mixer decision as I still have it and it continues to yield joy. HOWEVER, I now check if something costs more than $300.

  6. Winnie

    I’m all for it – everything! Except the dead birds. Love you all and Lincoln too.

  7. broccolibooksandbed

    Terrific post! I’m thrilled to hear the good news and think it is entirely fitting that your household is growing with all the love there is to go around!

  8. You are the best writer. Great post.

  9. raftbuddy

    Best quote ever: “perhaps the answer for me is the answer for others”. That sums up being a mother so well and also explains how, like you got a kitten, we wound up with a puppy in our youngest’s senior year. Also, now our husbands have even more in common (aside from their excellent wives) sharing a hobby that we apparently both eschew. I LOVED this post. Happiness to all in Ohio over the holidays- much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving!!

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