CAT FANCY, or A Flat Feline Fiasco

Posted on: November 24, 2009




 can I get myself into some MESSES. 


Truly, I don’t wake each morn and say to myself,


“Now, what kind of crazy-assed, unbelievable,

FUBAR quagmire are you gonna git

sucked and stuck into  TODAY?!”


Crazy shit just HAPPENS to me.    


I am a completely unwilling participant in 50% of the

cluster-fucked jams in which I find myself.


I’m just the poor dumb schmuck who happens to be
in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. 

As for the other 50%;   I ATTACK those

with a flyin’ leap and a big, ‘ole





This here is NOT a Yee-Haw yarn. 



I am a SUCKER for ANY poor, helpless, defenseless or injured life form.


As a little girl, I rescued and nursed back to health countless injured fauna:  baby bunnies, baby birdies, turtles and the occasional baby snake that wended its way up through the drain of the downstairs shower.  

I made these little critters as comfortable as possible by setting them up with hospice care in my Barbie Dream Home and RV. 

I force-fed them sugar water from a medicine dropper.

They all died within a couple of days.

Although, there was one plucky little black snake that hung on for over a week.   I loved him.  

I had to keep him in a shoebox, though, ’cause he could slither right through the Winnebago’s invisible windshield when I tried to make him drive it.    My mother made me keep all of my patients outside (especially the scaly ones).  

I must have forgotten to put the lid back on his box one day; when I came back, he was gone.  I was heartbroken.

My only hope for him was that he would grow fat and strong for many years before he met his end at the tip of my father’s shovel.

 This past September, I rescued a near-death field mouse from my sidewalk.  He was adorable.  He made the cutest squeaks. 


He made it less than a day.


I went to Petsmart only hours later and bought a replacement. 




The Dingus was NOT happy.


A few weeks ago, M1 had big Economics project due at school. 

(A THIRD-GRADE Econ project — using terms such as economic specialization, scarcity and opportunity cost, for crissake!)



Hell, I didn’t learn those terms until junior year! 



They did come in handy though as El Guapo and I walked from class to class at good ‘ole KHS.


I’d point out all the other high-school-hottie-boys and say,



“See him?  Opportunity Cost.”



So, anyway, I have to schlep my kiddies to school the day the project is due ’cause ain’t no way M1’s big-assed poster board was bus-bound.  It wouldn’t even fit in my fun bug; we had to take Suzie (aka the Trooper/aka the Dump Truck).   



Does The Viv LOVE animals? 


She names her freakin’ vehicles. 

You decide.





When we pulled onto the busy road

 from our development,  

I spied the poor cat lying

 in the middle of the oncoming lane. 




My heart clenched up. 



I was about to look away, not able to stand the thought, let alone the sight, of a pet that had been run over – when the poor little fella

lifted his head from the road and looked right at me.


Our eyes locked for a millisecond.


I let out a pathetic yelp and then an



“Oh, my God! 






I aimed Suzie for the berm, threw ‘er into park, told the M & Ms to




I ran into the busy road without care for my own safety or that of my two children on the roadside WITHOUT the HAZARD lights flashing.  

(I’m up for ‘Mom of the Year’;

That decision clinches it.)


The kitty lifted his head again and issued a weak and liquidy meow at me when I reached him. 

I couldn’t see very well because I was crying too hard. 


(Yes, The Viv cries;

 even sassybitches

have a heart once or twice a year.)



Even though he was bleeding from his nose and rump, I could see he was a gorgeous tabby.


He was SOMEBODY’S beloved pet. 



BUT, if he’d started out the day with all nine lives,  

he’d just SHAT a good seven o’ them on the road.



 I HAD to help him! 



I bent over and tried to slide my hands under him as gently as possible so as to do no more damage.  He meowed in pain, but allowed me to cradle and cuddle him back to my car.  

I was utterly oblivious to having caused quite the traffic snarl in every direction. 

Luckily, most folks around me probably thought I was the one who’d hit him or that he was MY cat and I’d just had to scoop him off the asphalt.  They gave this cat-scrapin’ crazy lady  wide berth. 

(However, any of those drivers who know The Viv probably just shook their heads and wondered just what fresh hell I’d gotten myself into THIS time.)

I gently placed my new flat feline into the passenger footwell and covered him with a blanket I yanked from the cargo area of the Dump Truck.  Thankfully, the M & Ms could see only the kitty’s head from their backseat perches.  They were whimpering and worrying over the fate of this little fella.


I, on the other hand, was a basket case. 


A passionate person, I have no ‘medium’ setting.  Every emotion I own goes from zero to 150 in the blink of an eye.  I’m never just sad; I’m MOROSE.  I’m never  just a little happy; I’m ECSTATIC.   I’m never merely miffed; I’m FURIOUS.    I know only the extremes.



This stripey fellow BROKE MY HEART.



I got back onto the road and tried to calm my own nerves and those of the M & Ms.


(GEEZ, M1 had a big presentation to do!)    


She’s already PAINFULLY shy and reticent to speak before an audience of ONE as it is.



I’d just thrown her into a tizzy

with my SPCA special-op o’ the day. 



I may have just DOOMED my kid’s chance of success then and there. 

(Again; MOTY material)


We said some flimsy little kitty-prayers in the next few minutes’ drive to school.  

I THINK I wished M1 ‘GOOD LUCK‘ as she hopped out of the car.  The forces of the universe must have been smiling down upon The Viv;  M2 did NOT hop out of the car and tell the teacher’s aide on car-duty to look in the front seat ’cause Mama scraped a flat cat off the road on our way to school.  


 I whispered and murmured sweet-kitty-somethings to my friend as I raced to my vet, not a few miles away.  Again, the gods graced me as I hit 35 mph through the school zone (with the fuzz sitting RIGHT THERE).


With my kitty in arms, I burst through the vet’s doors.



“Please help me!”



The staff flew into action.  They whisked away my whiskered pal and asked me about his story. 

Whatever I’d held back until then came flooding out. 


I was a bawling, blithering idiot.


It wasn’t even MY damn cat! 


I must have looked quite the fright with my mascara smeared all over, babbling nonsense about  


How could someone just mow him down and drive away?!”







A receptionist led me over to a bench to sit and collect my sad self.   A few minutes later, a tech came out to let me know they’d put my fuzzy buddy on an i.v. and oxygen. 


Although, to me, all cats are male until I learn otherwise, I asked if they knew ‘his’ sex.  The tech said they couldn’t tell yet as there was too much blood down about his nether-regions to get a good looksee.


This prompted another bout of bawling.   

(from The Viv; the tech was fine.)


 I decided to ‘busy’ myself by perusing one of the many

volumes of patient-photos resting on a table. 





It was pretty much a freakin’ ‘MEMORIAL-TRIBUTE’ album, chock-full of snaps of hundreds of beloved pets that had bitten the dust.


(more boo-hooing ensued)


Another quarter-hour elapsed and my tech came back to chat.  

 She asked if I would be willing to assume the charges for treatment.



In such a state,

 I’d have signed over my damn house. 



Then she asked me what I wanted to call the cat since they needed a name to enter under my bill.


I blurted out,




(And I call myself a WRITER?!)



I couldn’t have coughed up something sassy like  














What the HELL?!




 The Viv NEVER misses

an opportunity to be a smart-ass.


A near-death experience should be no exception; 






‘At dere’s a godsend of fodder

fo’ da snicker, in my book.  



I disgust myself.



Perhaps I could have been lucid enough  

to come up with something ‘aaawww’-inspiring as

HOPE  or  “FAITH  or   “LANCE”.


Hell no!

Freakin’ “FLUFFY” was my best shot.


(Sorry, my new flattened feline friend;

your hero is a MORON.)

(At least it speaks to my mental incapacity —

which, AT capacity, operates at barely-above-retard)



The tech then led me into an exam room.  The vet came in to share the x-rays with me. 

Miraculously, he (confirmed at this point) had no broken bones!  He did, though, have severely bruised lungs.  Plus, his lungs and heart had been jammed up under his ribs and were not resting where they should. 


Poor little fellow.


Twenty minutes later, the tech came back to give me an ‘estimate’ for the cost of Fluffy’s care should he have a necessary operation and two nights in the clinic:






 I wailed and moaned like a paid mourner

followin’ a flippin’  funeral parade, for God’s sake.


Honestly, I’m not sure which upset me more:  

Being the one responsible for deciding whether Fluffy lived or died

(I pay; he livesI don’t pay; sayonara, Fluffy.)




The knowledge that The Dingus would

snuff out MY LIFE when he found out

about my little CAT FANCY (FIASCO).




Hell, The Dingus

would put ME down

 for anything over $200.




What to do?


(bawl and wail some more)


I told the tech (in between great, heaving moans) that there was NO WAY that I could pay that much for a cat that wasn’t even mine, and that my husband wouldn’t pay that to save ME, let alone a pet.


The sweet tech consoled me and put her arm around me as I sat and blathered on about only wanting to help this poor animal, and now it would DIE just because I have a pucker-tight spouse and the fact that I enjoy living at home. 


I’ll admit –  though I BRIEFLY entertained the flickering idea;




The Viv ain’t turnin’

no tricks for no damn cat.




(So long, Fluffy, my flat feline friend —

it was nice to scrape you

and your entrails off the pavement —

now I too know how it feels to be eviscerated….)



Even if I chose to euthanize the cat, my bill for what had already been done for him was a whopping






In the back of my mind

I was frantically trying to recall

the location of every homeless

and abused-women’s shelter I knew.



I begged the tech to please let me try to find Fluffy’s owners; what if I decided to kill the cat when his family may not even know he’d been missing and then hurt?


The clinic agreed — if I paid my $481 first — to hold the cat until 4 o’clock.  It was only around 11 am, and I figured I at least owed Fluffy (and my maimed conscience) the chance of locating his owners. 


Surely, surely – with some prayer

And some luck —

and my bull-dog-determination

I could find his folks.



(and yes, The Viv fuckin’ prays;

happy now?)




So, the tech took a picture of  Fluffy and his outstretched, iv’ed and bandaged left paw on my new Crackberry (I didn’t even know how to take photos on it; she had to figure it out). 


 I coughed up my VISA and went out in search of Fluffy’s family.


I returned to the scene of the hit’n’run, and parked in the development across the road from my own.


I started knocking on doors.  It was a weekday, so many folks were working.


It  was evident that many were indeed home, though, as I could hear and/or see them about in their homes, but many didn’t answer the door. 


I can’t imagine why not;


Perhaps it was my old, ridiculously baggy, paint-splotched sweatpants, neon-green-and-black-striped Grinch socks, brown house-shoes and school-bus-yellow reflective raincoat




my tear-stained, mascara-streaked, frantic and desperate face that caused them question the prudence of opening their door to this bedraggled STRANGEr.


I canvassed three streets, door-to-door.  I fully expected to be taken down by a SWAT team at any moment; in MY ‘hood, someone lookin’ like me would’a  had a free ride in a sheriff’s sedan by the fifth harassed house.


Only a very small few, brave women answered their doors, looked at the photo of Fluffy, and shook their heads in the negative. 


No one recognized him.


Somehow,  I lost my bearings deep in the development.  I’m sure I knocked on a few house’s doors at least twice.   It was nearing 2:30 pm, and I was mentally, physically, emotionally EXHAUSTED.  



It was time to toss in the towel.


(Sorry, Fluffy-boy;

I gave it my my best shot.)


 As I was meandering along, arguing with myself whether or not I’d already hit this house or that, or which street led back to my dagum car, I turned a corner and spotted my Suzie-truck. 




Since I’d recovered my sense of direction, I got a little second-wind.   


I realized that I didn’t hit the few houses between there and my vehicle.


Not one happy to give up, I tried the six or so houses.



Not one answered door

until the house which was only

 two houses away from my damn car.



Even though there were two cars parked in the driveway, I was not really expecting anyone to answer the door.


But, as The Big Guy does work in oh-so-mysterious ways, a sweet, middle-aged couple answered my buzz.


“Hi, I’m really sorry to bother you, but this morning I found a cat that had been hit on the road.  Do you have a cat?”


The woman said, “Yes, I do, but he’s out now, and I don’t know where he is.”  Her face was beginning to register worry.


I held out  my Blackberry.


“I’m so sorry, but could you please tell me if this is your cat?”


The woman took my phone.  Her husband peeked over her shoulder.


Then she whimpered and winced and put a hand up to her mouth  —  and my phone to her chest.



“Oh, my God!  It’s Bowzer!”



She and I both got teary, and I crossed myself,

 thanking God that I had found Fluffy/Bowzer’s family.



I  think, in one breath, I said, “I’m so sorry to just knock on your door and break this news to you like this.  I didn’t hit him.  I don’t know who did.  I was taking my girls to school this morning —  I just live across the highway —  and as I pulled out of our development, I saw him lying on the road – in the oncoming-traffic lane.  He picked his little head up and LOOKED RIGHT AT ME!  I HAD to help the poor, little guy.  He’s down at the [local] vet now, and they’re taking good care of him.  He doesn’t have any broken bones, but he’s on an iv, and his lungs and heart aren’t sitting where they should be.  He’s going to need an operation, and it’s going to be AT LEAST another 500 bucks, just so you know.  But the thing is, you HAVE to call or go down there and tell them he’s yours because…I had to sign papers to euthanize him…in case I couldn’t find you.  You have only until 4 o’clock TODAY.   Please, please, call them.  He’s listed under ‘Fluffy’.”


The woman told me it was such a strange coincidence; Fluffy/Bowzer had a scheduled appointment at that particular vet clinic —  the VERY NEXT DAY.


Wow.  That was freaky.



It gets even freakier:


Bowser’ is my Nana’s maiden name.


(although, the woman shared that the cat was named for the big-mouthed guy from Sha Na Na, not for my Nana.)


We did quickie-introductions, and the couple thanked me profusely. 


We hugged and said goodbyes; they had a kitty to claim.


I  crossed myself a few more times on the short walk to Suzie.  I felt as if I were in the middle of some hazy dream; the whole morning had had a surreal feel.  I couldn’t help feeling that God was sending me a message of some sort, or that He meant for me to come to know Fluffy/Bowzer’s family – and he nearly killed the damn cat to accomplish His will.


I climbed into Suzie and just sat there; numb and dumb – for a couple of minutes – still considering whether or not I’d just been a part of some grand Creator scheme.


I had to call 411 for the vet’s number.  When I called, they told me that the woman had already called and was coming to see Fluffy/Bowzer in just a few minutes. 


Though I was kinda still dazed, I drove Suzie around town for the next half-hour or so.  I didn’t have anywhere to go (at that point, I’d already decided that I’d get the M & M’s off the bus, fix my family a nice dinner, then pack my kerchief and hitch a ride to the shelter).


When I got home, there was a message from the vet on my answering machine.  The couple told them I’d given them only my first name and that I didn’t tell them I’d already paid $481 for Fluffy/Bowzer’s care. 


They wanted my contact information – to reimburse me in full.


Though I hated like hell to do it, I agreed to accept the reimbursement. 


How I wish I could have said, “Don’t worry about it!  I was happy to do it; I absolutely refuse to take your money!”


On the other hand; I rather enjoy having a roof over my head, a daily shower and spending time with my kids without a Social Services escort.


I am most happy to say that, though The Dingus was none too happy about the mere POSSIBILITY of ‘pissing away’ 500 bucks on ‘some stupid cat’, he was happy that the M & Ms saw SassyMama show compassion and charity (almost) to another living being.  They did witness Mommy ‘doing the right thing’ – something we’re forever preaching.   Perhaps they will one day ‘do the right thing’ without thought to how much it might hurt their wallets.


Bowzer’s mommy calls me with updates; he is on the mend!  Although he’s got a long, slow recovery ahead, he’s got at least one life still in him.


When he’s ‘all-bedder’ as my little one says, we’ve been invited to visit Bowzer. 


The M & Ms simply cannot wait. 


In the end, whether it was part of Divine Intervention or not, two families have come to enjoy a new friendship because of  that CAT FANCY. 


And ya know what?



I’d  do it all over again

in a purring-kitty heartbeat.




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4 Responses to "CAT FANCY, or A Flat Feline Fiasco"

HI Viv…you may be in K-town…but I just had to comment. A similar story happened to my sis and me….her neighbor hit and killed her Cairn terrier after yelling at him every day to slow down (there’s still hatred there)…then a few months later, the neighbor found a stray kitten that his kids wanted to keep…my nephew with the big heart for the down and out asked my sis to give the flea ridden kitten a bath….so my sis did as asked and added a little dog flea killer to the kitty’s neck for good measure….well you may know the rest of the story but the kitty went into convulsions…we called our vet in a panic because even though there was still hatred, killing an innocent kitten would not have been the way that she would want to get back at him. The vet tech said that those products are lethal to cats and should be taken off the market! Even though they were about to close, they told us we could bring it right in. He took it’s vitals and gave it a shot ($$) and told us to go to the animal emergency vet ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$). The poor thing stayed alive on life support for two days and $600+ later the vet called to tell us there was no hope. I have chosen to this day to leave my better half in the dark about this one as I hear that their childhood cat met its demise against the kitchen wall after Pappy found it on the table! A stray surely would not be worth $1.00 much less $600.00!!!!!!!!! Happy Turkey Day….wish we were going to be there with you….XOXOXOX AND MISS YOU ALL!

Hey, SNL! Miss ya!

OMG! I think YOUR cat fiasco tops mine — any day! That’s horrible! No, I never heard that story; how very sad for everyone involved.

And, no, of course not, T. would never wish something like that on ANYONE, no matter how much of an asshole he is!

God does work in mysterious ways, but know what?

You all were probably much more affected by that poor little kitty’s death that that idiot was.

Yes, it’s true; ‘Puff’ the kitty learned to fly in his last moments of life.

Then, my guess is, Grammie stuffed him in one of the empty milk cartons on the counter and then stored him in a brown paper bag on the washer for a week before the trash man cameth and tooketh him away to a much better place.

At least he didn’t have to sit between the 20 lb. bag of flour and the Big Lots Buy-Out of XXL tee shirts in the upstairs bedroom.

Love to you & yours!
Auntie Viv

You worked off a lot of karma that day. Thanks.

Welcome, Beth!

You’re not kiddin’ sister; I’m just tryin’ to buy a ticket to the afterlife.

Granted, I’m shootin’ for Purgatory; Heaven’s WAY out’a The Viv’s reach!

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    • Sassy Viv: Thanks, Mr. Pete! Honestly, I've been too busy to go to town on it. It's gonna be a bear, I know. Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!
    • petedenton: I totally agree about having a preview button. Good luck with the rebuild!
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