The Cat That Gave Me Rabies. (Well, Almost.)

I’ve always been an animal lover. I’ve never known life without one (except the three animal-less college years, the fourth of which I owned two fish that died less than six months after purchase). My family has owned horses, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats, birds, skunks, ducks, raccoons, hamsters, and I think one time we rescued a goose? Anyway, rescuing animals is all I’ve ever known. We never paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to own a purebred, we always just happened to be the family that couldn’t turn down a stray. For example, Faircat. We found her at the fairgrounds, and she smelled like skunk. She had a tag, so we called her owners. We found her there a couple days later, with no more collar. So we adopted her, and she lived a long healthy life with the Corley family. The point is, I was raised to be compassionate towards animals.

The other day at the golf course where I work, I was driving around hole five when I saw a ball of fur. Not sure if it was alive or not, I called my boss to see what to do. She didn’t answer. I then approached the curled up ball to see if I should move its body off the middle of the fairway. I moved my fingers to make a noise, and it got up, bit my outstretched hand due to my quick approach, and meowed. A lot. I then called my mom to see what to do next. With my luck, the kitten probably had rabies, so I told my boss, who told a cat lady, who told animal control, who told my boss I needed worker’s comp, etc. It was a long day of tetanus shots and phone calls. The kitten was taken to the animal shelter, where (I found out shortly “it” was a “she”) she still sits in quarantine until Friday.

Do you know what they do to an animal to check it for rabies if it shows signs in quarantine? If you have a heart at all, you probably don’t want to read this article. It sucks, for lack of a better phrase. We don’t have any other means of concluding if an animal has rabies or not, until it drops dead after showing all signs. Now, if the cat showed no signs of rabies, I had two options. When an animal is in quarantine for biting, it cannot be adopted out to another person. The only option is euthanization. Unless you’re the one it bit. If so, you can adopt. Adopt or euthanize? Hmm, like there’s really a choice here.

So I talked to my boyfriend. We had always wanted a kitten. Preferably black with blue eyes and a male. Which we would name Lil Wayne and call him Weezy F. Baby. However, plans have changed a bit. Our little rescue is dark and light gray, with long hair. She’s not quite an adult, but not considered a kitten either. “Young adult” was the term they used. She’s malnourished, so we will have to feed her quite a bit for a while. To sum it up, she’s a detour in our path of life, but one that will still bring us happiness. I’m truly looking forward to moving into our new townhouse (November 10th!) and living with her. For the time being, my boyfriend’s dad and step-mom will be cat-sitting until we get on our feet.

I pick her up on Friday. She could be wild, crazy, mean, etc. Or, she could just be a lost sweet baby kitten looking for a home. Either way, I know I made the right decision. Saving a life, no matter how you do it, is something worth while. We are going to name her Lacey, after the lead singer in Brand New. Check em out, they kind of rock. Just sayin.