hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interviewing Cats, Part VI

I return from grocery tasks with a blue litter box.  There were no other colors, but I hope it doesn't matter.  Not clear to me whether cats even see color.  When I get back to the pet store, Ed is already there, having managed another round with the cat, and now conducting the 'adoption' business.  He has persuaded Maya to get the Shelter (it turns out to be the same one that we went to the previous week) to fax their forms to her, have us fill them out, and then she will fax them back to the shelter.  And then we will pay the fee and take the cat home.

We are filling out the forms--an odd lot of questions, I think--when Maya returns with the information that the Shelter does not allow the pet store to take the fee that goes to the Shelter for the cat.  The Shelter says we must drive there and pay the fee in person.

What could possibly be the reason for such a demand?  Do they not trust the pet store?  (They trust it with the cat but not with the money for the cat?)  I don't get it; Ed doesn't get it.  But more to the point, the car has about 4 tablespoons of gas and I'm not buying gas in Canada for $7/gallon when I can buy it a few blocks away in the U.S. for $4/gallon.  More critically, I've got a meeting in a half-hour and by the time the meeting is over, the Shelter will be closed.

Me, I just defer to the irrational demands of the world most of the time, but Ed is more inclined to believe that humans can be persuaded by reason.  He urges Maya to call the Shelter so he can talk to them and offer them some reasonable alternatives.  They are not, however, in the business of being persuaded of anything.  And now, one of those perky young women at the desk tells him, there are others who have asked to adopt this cat.  (Ahhhh, it is to be a contest?  Is it Let's Make a Deal?  Or is it Lotto?  Why does Maya not know this?)  And somehow, this feeds, in Shelter-hive mind, into why we have to drive back there to pay the fee.  Even Ed gives up.  He will drive there the following day with the fee and he will then pick up the cat at the pet store on his way back home.

Meanwhile, we complete the forms.  Beyond the obvious questions, there is a strange series of question about returning the cat.  Under what circumstances would we return the cat, they want to know, and offer us the following choices: vomiting, scratching, biting, sleeping, allergies, etc.  (I don't have the form before me so I am doing my best to remember the specific words.)  We address these questions seriously.  'Well," I say to Ed, "if the cat is vomiting all the time, and it doesn't have some illness that can be treated, then I'd return it as having been misrepresented as a normal/healthy cat."  He circles vomiting.  "Biting," I remember.  "We don't want a biting cat, so if they don't tell me the cat bites and it takes to biting constantly, then the cat has been misrepresented to me, so I would return it."  He adds a comment to the allergies section, noting that I have had occasions of allergy with cats, but it is not my usual experience.  Nevertheless, if  I developed an asthmatic reaction to the cat, I would have to return it.

As a final question about returning the cat, we are invited to consider any other possible circumstances in which we would return the cat.  "Well," I say, "If we both die, then we'd have to return the cat."  Ed writes it down.  And the final question on the page asks for a reference, presumably someone who would recommend us as a cat owner.  We put down the name of one of our cat consultants who will be known to the Shelter people.  We assume they will know her phone number as we do not have it with us.

Maya goes away to fax this response to the Shelter, and we go home with our blue litter box, taking the time to bid the cat a fond adieu before parting, and promising Maya that we will be back tomorrow.  When we get home, we call the cat consultant whose name we had used for a reference to tell her what had transpired, and awaited the morrow.

(The end of Interviewing Cats, Part VI)

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