Monday, July 2

Dora's Big Day

I try not to let my crazy/obsessive love for animals over-power this blog, but just in case you haven't noticed already, I love love love my pets.  Erik and I have been talking for a while about the best time to adopt our next little one, and for months we went back and forth between a second dog or cat.  Ultimately we figured we'd wait until we purchased a home, or at least until after the wedding madness is over, and we put it on the back burner for a bit.

And then along came Dora.

I met this sweet kitty in our back yard one day.  She was hungry, super skinny, desperate for attention, and particularly friendly.  I told Erik about her, and he instantly said, "Take her!"  (Guess which one of us was voting for another cat...)  I laughed it off, because I figured that she'd never actually come near me.  But I was so wrong.  Just a week later, I went out the front door and saw her walking up the sidewalk.  She stopped and looked, and started crying again.  This time, she came right over to me.  So I scooped her up, and walked her right into our house... not knowing at all what I would do after that.

As it turned out, I didn't really have a choice in the matter.  In mere seconds, this girl was on our couch, sprawled out, and fully content.  No hiding, no crying, no panicking.  She was just... home.  So we took her off to the vet that night, making sure she didn't have fleas or anything contagious to our other pets, and the vet and I talked for a while about her giant stomach.  She looked SO. PREGNANT.  The vet guessed that she was probably half way through a pregnancy, but couldn't be sure without an xray....which we opted not to do.  We took this girl home and started the big moral debate--get her spayed now or let her have the kittens?  Now I have no interest in initiating any commentary about abortion on this blog, but this was a major issue for us.  The facts are simple, there are thousands upon thousands of cats and kittens (and dogs and puppies) on this earth that do not have homes.  Shelters are putting them to sleep every single day because of the severe over-population, and without a doubt, NO ONE should be breeding these animals willingly.  We knew in our hearts that having her spayed immediately was the right thing to do...but looking at that big belly, we stressed for days.

Wellll, if you're still reading this far into my ridiculous cat story, here is where it becomes interesting.  We found out a week later that our dilemma did not really exist.  Dora had worms.  No kittens.  Just a big ol' full belly of worms.  (Ewwwwwwwww!)

And if you think we're totally crazy, here's a belly shot taken when we were still ooohing and awwing over her alleged pregnancy:

So after she was de-wormed and the belly completely disappeared, we made an appointment to have her fixed.  And THEN she went into heat.  Ever experience a cat in heat?  Let's just say that it was a very very VERY long and miserable two weeks.  After some research, I found out that it's not a good idea to have her spayed during that time, so we decided to wait it out.

And then one morning, she was gone.  I was heartbroken, we both were.  She ripped a window screen open, and was on her way.  The next night, we heard her screaming outside.  The following morning, I saw her running up the street (with her boyfriend right behind her).  Erik and I were like distraught parents of a troubled teen.  We were searching the streets, talking to neighbors, and putting copious amounts of tuna around our yard.  Dora would come to our house and cry, and then always run away before we could get too close.  Finally, after several days of her antics, we saw her run under our front porch.  

The porch is completely enclosed, or so Erik thought.  He was so adamant about catching her.  He took his cell phone, flashlight, and towel... and sat in our front yard.  And sat and sat in front of this tiny little hole.  I told him that Dora wouldn't come back until she was ready to come back on her own, but he insisted that he could catch her.  I gave up and went in the house... and about 20 minutes later (yes, Erik was still sitting in our front yard, staring at the hole), I heard tap tap tap on the back door.  Dora?  Dora!  Our little explorer came back to us!!  And after days of running and hiding, this girl had it in her to actually knock on our door!

So now I sit here, on my first real day of summer vacation, happy and sad about this little girl.  Right now, she is in surgery at our local Animal Welfare Association.  After getting her spayed, we'll never have to worry about her running out to see her boyfriend anymore.  Thank goodness, because this little girl has been such a joy for Erik and I, as well as our Ray and Browny.  And for those of you out there without pets, you might not understand, but for those of you who do, I'm sure you can relate to all of the love that a pet can give.

(clumsy girl falls off the couch a lot -- pay no attention to Mad Men on the tv)

(sisters play)

So if you actually had the patience to read this enormous post, I urge you.. beg you, really, to donate to your local animal shelter.  All of the local animal shelters need your support.  They're over-crowded and under-funded, and would greatly appreciate money, supplies, or fostering you might be able to give.  Please consider making a difference, and do it somewhere local!


  1. Welcome to your new home, Dora! She looks like such a sweetie. I wanna give her belly rubs!

    Last October, we had some similar cat shenanigans. Our neighbor moved and left her kitten behind, outside. We captured him one night, gave him a bath and flea meds, then sadly had to keep him in our basement for a few weeks. He wasn't neutered and was spraying EVERYWHERE when he was around our other cat. I couldn't wait for that vet appointment to come. After a few stressful weeks, he joined the rest of our family upstairs and has been there begging for treats ever since.

  2. I LOVE cats. I'm so glad all will soon be well with this sweet baby! :)

  3. Oh, what a story! I'm glad it turned out well for you!

  4. Thanks, Dani!  She's still groggy from her surgery but I'm sure she'll be back to her craziness in just a few days!