Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gray Max

Greetings from Cupertino, from the house of my karate/jujitsu sensei. I used to get beaten up in the garage here. You may better know this family as the world-traveling Lee Family or as the family who decided to build a home themselves in the California gold country.

Long story why I'm here in the greater San Francisco megapolis. I'll be here until Wednesday.

But getting here wasn't easy.

Earlier today, back in Oregon, in my home office, just as I was closing up my computer and preparing to walk to the other side of the house to wait for a friend to pick me up and take me to the airport, the neighbor's cat showed up at the back door. He adores me - and I adore him. His real owner calls him Max, but I call him Gray Max. Gray Max was abandoned by someone and taken in by my schizophrenic probably-meth-addicted neighbor, along with three other cats and two dogs.

Gray Max is the most loving cat I've ever known - I don't feed him, so he's not expecting food ever - he just wants to be petted and talked to and held and talked to and talked to and talked to. He'll come lay on the back porch or my lap for hours listening to Stefan and I talk on warm evenings. On cold days, I've wrapped up and gone outside and let him snuggle on my lap for as long as I can stand the cold.

Thinking, "Oh, isn't that sweet, he's come to say goodbye," I open my back door in my office, pick him up, put him on my lap, and start telling him how much I love him and I'll miss him. And he's purring away and "making bread." And I'm reading something on my computer. And then I feel bare skin, so I look where my fingers are. And I notice that he has a GAPING  HOLE on his's side, about the size of a freaking' NICKEL.

Right then, the door bell rings - my ride to the airport is here! I put the cat down and run frantically through the house, open the door, tell my neighbor I'm so sorry, but I'm having an animal crisis, and she says, "Oh no, your dog?" And I reply, "No. A cat. And it's not mine."

I had bought a collapsible cat carrier a couple of months ago, because I was thinking of taking Gray Max in for his shots, but then never did. So we had to get this massive cat into that carrier, which took FOREVER, because of course he didn't want in it. He howled nonstop. We took the cat to my vet and they said they would probably do surgery on him after business hours and maybe keep him over the weekend.

In the time that she took me to the Sunset Max station and I road the train to the airport and went through TSA, surgery was completed.

The surgery was successful and the vet will keep him over the weekend. Stefan and the friend in question, who happens to be the wife of the preacher at the Methodist church that my scary neighbor and owner of Gray Max goes to, had to go over and tell her where her cat was. And, yes, I paid for it all. I know - I'm a TOTAL SUCKER.

But good news for Stefan, who doesn't like cats: I doubt Gray Max will EVER come to see me again.

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