July 19th, 2007

Eleanor and the Horizontal Learning Curve

If you’ve spent time with the senior Rosenblums, or listened to protracted periods of my own nattering, you’ve probably encountered tales of Eleanor. Eleanor is the kitten I begged my parents to adopt shortly before I moved out of the house (it was an almost identical conversation to the one we had when I was five). Of course I abandoned the kitten, as reckless youth will, but she really only ever had eyes for my father and the dog, anyway, so it’s just as well she stayed there. (5000 points if you can get the literary cat for whom she is named–this is a hard one.)

As an adult, Eleanor’s central hobbies are sprinting around and killing stuff in the fields around the house. Apparently there is especially good stuff to kill in the wheat field over the road, for she is consistently tempted by it, despite the fast-moving automobiles and transport trucks that patrol that road. In 2005, she encountered one of those, shattering her tiny pelvis, but leaving her vital organs (heart, lungs, [negligible] brain) intact.

In case you don’t know, you can’t immobilize a cat’s pelvis in a cast. Instead, you must put the entire cat in a very small box so she can’t move. For six weeks. Poor cat. My poor parents: they put the box in their front foyer for six weeks. Unsightly and noisy (Eleanor was well enough to protest her confinement), they thought it too mean to put her in a more out-of-the-way spot. When they were nearby, they turned the box so she could see them. This cheered her only somewhat–it was a depressing six weeks, and on a visit I once found Ellie asleep facedown in her food bowl. Still she emerged intact, sprinting immediately away to go kill stuff.

Having learned, apparently, nothing. For yesterday she got run over by another car. This one hit her head, dislocating her tiny jaw, slashing up her face and (oh god) possibly destroying one eye. The worst part, if you are my folks, is that of course they weren’t around at the point of collision and Ellie was wandering around injured for some time. The driver apparently called animal control (this is a rural agency that deals with, well, animals) who sent out a man to catch and kill our cat!! The first my folks heard of the situation was when they noticed the guy in the driveway, crawling around under their car with a net. When my father enquired, he was told that someone had hit a white cat (Eleanor is mainly orange!) and she had to be caught and put down because there wasn’t “much left in her.”

Lovely. Ellie, of course, bolted (wouldn’t you?) and managed to hide out for over four hours until a neighbour found her in her garden and returned her in a laundry basket. This was late yesterday. Ellie is now in hospital, my parents hopeful, me as well.

What a dumbass cat! I mean, really, cars aren’t subtle, you can see and hear them coming. And she’s such a pretty kitty, and would be considerably less so with only one eye. Of course, I would be grateful if it were only that and nothing worse. Eleanor! I am thinking of you!

Groom’s still waiting at the alter

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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