If you'd asked me a year ago if I were ever going to move to one of the redneckiest states in the nation, I would have given you the evil eye. However, after having visited the lovely city of Austin, its suburbs, and also having roadtripped to San Antonio, I'm making one of the craziest moves of my life. I blame my boyfriend, Mark, who has enticed me to join him there. Despite my lovely Brooklyn, and all the seductions of the city that never sleeps, he didn't want to come here. And, well, my roots are barely planted, so as a writer, why not wander?
After the initial shock of friends and family wears off, they've been asking a lot of questions. How will you get there? Are you living together? Are you living TOGETHER together? How will you get around? What about your job? And, finally: What about your cats?
As you all know, I have two special cats. On the left, Telemachus, my 16lb+ Maine Coon with a heart of gold and the will to snuggle. On the right, Mocha, the small but plump (about 10lbs, where she should be 6 or 7) Siamese that was abandoned by several owners before finding her way to me and peeing on my carpets and kitchen counter. More on that later. These animals are family and of course are making the trip with me to the Lone Star State. Most likely by plane. Because of Mocha's nervous habit of urinating-at-will, the plane ride is a huge concern. I brought her to the vet on Saturday to find out that, well, she needs kitty Prozac.
I shit you not, the vet gave her antibiotics in case of an infection, but assured me that her pee problems are most likely the result of anxiety. Given her abandonment issues and past on the harsh streets of the Boston 'burbs, I can't say I blame the poor girl. But cat Prozac? I thought this was the sort of thing that only ridiculous celebrities and crazy show dog breeders would recommend, not a nice, friendly neighborhood veterinarian. Mocha has run up a nice list of veterinary bills for me already - her former owner ditched her with me when she moved out of my current apartment. At the time Mocha had ear mites which lead to her scratching her ear so hard she gave herself a hematoma that required surgery. She also needed to be dewormed and demited.
So why, after all this, are Mark and I adopting another cat? No, wait for it:
a three-legged calico kitten whom Mark has insisted upon naming
She's precious! Just look at that face! She apparently suffered some nerve damage to one of her front legs before she was rescued from the streets of Austin and had to have that leg amputated.
I'm a veterinarian's dream.
So, in Austin, I will have three cats, a new house, and a new job. Which, of course, all ties into this post. I want to be a veterinarian. Sort of.
Whenever I take the cats to the vet I wish I'd had the brains to stick to biology and the stomach to do veterinary school. I know I couldn't handle a lot of the things vets do - invasive surgeries, euthanasia, etc. But, why not get a job at a veterinary office? Yes, right now I have a fairly successful publishing career under way. I am looking at a ton of publishing venues from University presses to Austin-based magazines. But if the price is right, so is a change of pace. And, hey, I bet I'd get a good deal on veterinary services for the animals, seeing as I have several sickies to take care of.
Given the fact that I have no experience in animal clinics or shelters, this is just another pipe dream. But, I can volunteer. With any luck Mark will keep me from bringing home every stray animal I encounter, and I can help some orphan cats and pups stay healthy and happy. And, with that in mind, I have two hungry cats waiting for me to finish this up so I can cuddle and feed them. Cat Lady Out.