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Friday, November 17, 2006

Cool for cats

I couldn't think of anything particularly clever to title this post, so I picked the first thing that popped into my head: the title of a favorite Squeeze song , "Cool For Cats". It's a catchy tune and if you've heard it, you'll know what I mean.

But it is really cool to have the cats back home. In spite of near gale-force winds the day I went down to get them, the ferry crossing was pretty smooth sailing. Ironically, the ferry was completely chock full of American and Canadian tourists, and the man at the bar mistook me for one of them, but of course he can't be faulted for that. I was so tempted to say something along the lines of, "Don't hassle me - I'm local, buddy" but I humored him and anyways it doesn't really matter.

The quarantine facility, Canterbury Quarantine Services, was tip-top and the cats couldn't have had a better place to spend their first 30 days here in New Zealand. They shared a decent-sized room, the back wall of which was fine chicken wire, and it opened onto a scenic paddock wherein they got to watch horses galavant about every day. The staff at the place were brilliant and it was obvious how much attention they gave to my cats, especially because the whole time my cats were there, the facility was packed full of other pets coming to NZ to live.

One of the things I was worrying about on the trip back up to Wellington, aside from how the ferry crossing would be, was how the cats would do in the car for a five hour drive, followed by a three hour wait for the ferry to arrive. Well, they are veteran travelers now, as unlike back in the States where they'd howl and carry on with just a five minute trip in the car, they were very quiet and calm for the entire drive up! I guess all of those plane rides and car trips just to get here served as good experiences after all.

I had a new cat condo waiting for them in the flat, freshly assembled the night before I left. But what do the little ingrates do? They camp out around the BASE of it, and they have yet to deign to even climb up it. The top of the condo even affords a killer view of the surrounding yards and even the sheep and horses in the distance up on the hill but nooooooo.

It's all right though, I find it hard to be mad at them, considering what they went through the past five months. I'm just happy to have them back, and they recognized me immediately and are a bit more clingy than usual. Guess they're making up for lost time.

One concern is Miranda, though, the calico. She's quite a bit thinner than before, and even underweight. Her right hip is very painful to her now and she seems to have full-blown arthritis. She suffered an injury there as a kitten, including a fracture of her right hind leg that I fixed. But I think it's time for some x-rays and I've started her on pain relievers and glucosamines for her arthritis. I'm going to give her the weekend off before carting her up to the clinic, as I think she's probably had enough 'vetting' to last her a while. Still, got to find out what that hip looks like on x-rays. She's in good spirits, though, and is eating fine so hopefully I can do some good for her.

As a final note, something great happened in the whole "Things Come Full Circle Department". My cats represented the last part of my transition to moving over here to New Zealand from the USA. I've now got all of my stuff I came with or shipped over, my mail's all forwarded (more's the pity there, it's mostly bills natch), I've got my own place and some new furniture, a flash car (haha), and now my pets are here. As a sort of welcome symbol of not only the entire move-over being complete but also of the next phase in my journey, I received a letter in the mail from Immigration New Zealand. No, it's not an order to have me deported, but it's an invitation to apply for residence under their Skilled Migrant category. Since my occupation remains in demand here, and now that I've got a bona fide job ("I'm the damn paterfamilias!"), I can apply for residency and take this road to citizenship.

That would be so nice to have, because then I'd be able to come and go as I pleased, for life, without having to worry about those gorram visas! I'd still be a U. S. citizen, of course, and even were it not difficult to give up, I would never relinquish that. But the freedom to live and work here or at home without pesky visa arrangements is truly one of my greater goals in coming over here so please wish me luck with that.

Here are some proper pictures of my three cats:





Blogger Sarah said...

Your cats are so CUTE! Glad you've been reunited finally. :) I'm sure they'll learn to appreciate the wonders of the cat condo once they settle in a bit. ;)

2:00 AM  
Blogger Beechball * said...

I am so happy they made it home safe and sound, yay for Brandon getting his pets! My cats used to freak every time they went in the car, so we stopped trying - but then we got them shaved and had to drive them half hour away, they actually did "okay" okay howling a bit. The shaving went unbelievably well (no fuss at ALL) and then we took them home nice and quiet - it was THEN that the trouble started. One cat comeplete didn't recognize the other and continued to hiss, growl and try to fight the other one for days. They're okay now but man did that ever suck! Anywho I gott run but again, I'm really happy things are all settled for you finally! Congrats!

2:24 AM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Sarah - Great to hear from you! Yes they are cute little 'ratbags' aren't they? You know, just after I posted last night, Buddy was seen lying on the middle shelf of the condo! They're quick learners ;)

Lyndsay - That's so funny that your cats didn't mind being shaved down or driven for half an hour, but then waited until they got home to let all hell break loose. Typical felines! Thanks for the nice words :)

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Kasey said...

Hello my dearest friend, all the way in New Freakin Zeland! Glad to hear the kitties made it safely to you! It's been awhile since I've heard from you....I got that lovely poem you sent me VIA myspace...made me cry....you have such a heart it's unbeleiveable!

Holla at Cha Girl!

3:49 PM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Hello Kasey! It's so great to hear from you, and thanks for commenting here - glad you found it. Didn't mean to make you cry with the poem but I'm glad you liked it all the same. I miss you very much and I will do better about staying in touch. Love,

"Your Boy"

6:05 PM  
Blogger Beechball * said...

I have a myspace, what's yours? Mines www.myspace/beechball.com, I think... :P Add me up and I'll do the same!

8:45 AM  

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