Thursday, July 4, 2013

I'm going bats

...somewhat literally.

Yesterday I started my morning clean-up in the cat facility. Gawaine and Arthur had had liberty the night before. They were flopped on the vinyl floor watching me. Corky, the teenager, begged for attention from the cat room pass-through window, so I let him out. He began following me around hoping for attention. As usual, I started in the main room and moved into the runs, putting the cats back as I went. When I got to Gawaine's run...

Damn it! There was a dead bat on the floor.

If you have a cat facility in a barn, bats are a fact of life. However I had spent quite a bit of time last summer caulking and covering cracks, and had hoped I had the bat thing licked. But bats can get through tiny cracks, and apparently this one had. It was not in condition to be tested, so that meant only one thing.

Off to the veterinarian for rabies boosters!

While I had not seen Corky anywhere near the bat, since he follows on my heels like a little shadow, I didn't dare risk it, so he came along. Both Arthur and Gawaine had been boosted within the last two years. Corky had just been vaccinated a little over a month ago, but only for the first time. When a cat could go into someone else's home, you don't try to stretch the law to save money and time, although it was a total pain to give up my holiday afternoon off to go to the vet.

Story of my life. Sigh.

Gawaine is a howler in the car. You would think he was dying. Arthur acted like it was all a walk in the park orchestrated just for him. Corky acted like a normal cat...a few meows, a little nervous, but otherwise OK. Joan from Cornerstone fit me in within two hours (!!!) despite it being the last four hours on the day before a holiday. The place was quiet chaos. Everyone was clearly extremely busy, yet no one appeared rattled. I wanted to lean against them hoping that skill would rub off on me. The three cats got their vaccinations one at a time, between periodic breaks in the busy-ness.

I forgot my cell phone, so I could not take a photo of the cutest dog in the world, whom I met on my way out. "Murphy" looked like a petite lab mix---maybe more like a flat-coated retriever with a buzz cut---but only knee high. I can't begin to describe how perfectly proportioned this delicate little dog is. Wait...she said she adopted him off Petfinder. Let me see if he's still online....

Here he is. His photos don't do him justice. I swear, had I seen this dog when he was available for adoption, he would have been mine. The veterinary staff agreed that he was the perfect example of the perfect mutt. He has the tiniest bit of blue merle in his coat as well, and had the sweetest disposition. Friendly, a bit shy, and not at all wiggly (at the vet's office, at least). As I sat there remarking on him, his guardian mentioned he was adopted. I asked where. She said he saw him on Petfinder. I said "Oh, that's great, I work for Petfinder!" (Working 10-12 hours a day becomes absolutely worth it every time someone tells me they adopted a pet by visiting Petfinder). She then said she adopted him from Every Dog's Dream, and as a further coincidence, I had not only seen their adoption center in the Johnson City PETCO store for the first time last week. I had also been emailing with them for work reasons just a few day's earlier. It was a bit funny to have contact with a rescue group an hour away that I had never heard of before, three times in a couple of weeks. But there you go. That's the rescue world.

Every visit to the vet with a cat I've had a long while is an adventure in that, while the veterinarian has computerized records that can find a cat in a second, my paper folder is two inches thick. It would be even thicker if we didn't periodically go through to pull out the adopted cats. Since they were so busy I flipped through and finally found Gawaine, who had last been in in 2011. Every page was a blast from the past, seeing the records of kittens and cats who were long gone to their new homes.

I was also able to see that my last bat adventure was two years ago, so I guess they aren't as big a problem as I recall.

At any rate, it will be time for a caulking and ceiling-painting party soon, to keep those bats at bay!