Monday, January 22, 2007


So I was coming home from work on Friday, thinking about Kipsey and Ned and the others. I pulled up to the house at dusk, yakking on the cell phone, and spotted something skittering along the neighbor's sidewalk. I believe I may have said something along the lines of "What the hell is that?" I recognize most of the feral cats in the neighborhood and hadn't seen this one before. It looked almost like a lumpy Persian.

Meet Butterfly:

I stalked it for a good long time, hypersensitive to the fact that our one-way street felt like the Indy speedway all of a sudden. I eventually cornered it in a fenced-off gangway and was finally able to pick it up and bring it in the house. Pomeranians, IMHO, do not belong wandering freely outside EVER, let alone in 30 degree weather.

I am, according to my friend Megan, a stray magnet. Whenever I see a stray, especially a purebred, I get so frazzled I can't see straight. For me, it's the equivalent of witnessing a toddler wandering down the median of I-55. It does no good to say to an owner, "Oh yes, I saw your missing dog about a week ago, wandering down the alley and eating garbage. I don't know where he is now though."

I'll temporarily spare you all from my patented rant about responsible pet ownership, and how we have genetically engineered these purebred dogs to be a certain way, and how we then are not prepared for the particularities of their breeds, and then ... basically, people don't have the right to get upset when their doberman gets big, or their bloodhound drools, or their dachshund digs. I don't even own a dog, btw. I don't have the lifestyle for it.

LB rolls his eyes whenever I start ranting on such things and generally acts like he's living with some sort of crazed cat woman.* I know the truth though. He owned a cat when I first met him: Frances, a tabby whom he had rescued as a kitten from the middle of a busy street. Not knowing that I had already said no, six years ago he told an animal rights group we would take in a new mamma cat and her eight babies. We still have the two unadoptable ones from that litter. Two years ago, he was sitting in the garden and a stray cockatiel actually landed on his shoulder. He's a good guy, and he doesn't have the personality for a foster parent because he gets too attached.

On Friday, he heard me pull up to the house and when I didn't come inside for 15 minutes or so, came outside to check on me. His first words were, "What do you want me to do?" When I finally got the dog inside and was apologizing profusely to him for upending our weekend plans with this unexpected arrival, he kept saying, "Don't worry about it. It'll be fine. We'll figure it out, as long as it takes." Our last stray was a German Short-Haired Pointer, who stayed almost 2 weeks before his owners found us.

I was not looking forward to spending my Friday night in the bathroom with this dog and my Saturday putting up fliers. I had an out-of-town gig planned, 2 parties to go to, a knitting date, a dance to attend, whatever. But this little dog was really cold, and really afraid, and really, really tiny--6.5 lbs. actually. My smallest cat is over twice its size. I fed it some all-meat baby food which it wolfed down, and then it stood on its little bird feet and put its tiny front paws on my shin and finally looked up into my face.

I was able to make a few fliers on Friday night, and then started calling the shelters, groomers, and local vets on Saturday morning to see if there was a missing Pom somewhere. No luck.

I took the dog to the vet on Grand and Shenandoah to sex her (couldn't see though all that fur), weigh her, and scan for a microchip. The wand chirped as it passed over her tiny neck. She'd been chipped at Yorkshire Animal Hospital to a rescue group. The vet took my number and said they'd call me back.

When I got home, I put the dog into LB's lap to tease him a bit. He claims to be a working dog kind of a guy, and would rather have a mutt than a purebred. He claims that there's not much point in dogs that are small enough to fit into a purse. I've been informed that a pug dog is a relationship deal-breaker. He was rolling his eyes and grumbling and threatening to get up, all the while rubbing the dog's ear. She fell asleep in his arms.

Trixie's Angels was the rescue group and they came out to pick her up and told me her name, Butterfly. They're going to decide if the person who adopted her is worthy of having her back.

That's really all I know about her or am ever likely to know. I do know she's old, has a tumor on her lip, has no teeth, doesn't like her tail brushed, is afraid of cats, is very passive, likes to look out the window, and has poops the size of a peanut shell.

I also know that with all that fur, she'd look pretty silly in a knitted dog sweater. I hope the rest of her life is uneventful.

Don't tell anyone about LB's secret sweetness.

*which I sooooo am not, in spite of having four. Cat women have cat knickknacks. I reject cat knickknacks wholeheartedly. You will also never ever hear me refer to my cats as "furkids." I'd hack up a hairball before that word would ever come out of my mouth.

1 comment:

Lucinda said...

We met a Pomeranian on our street when we arrived home today also, but the one my daughter & I saw was connected by a lease to a very responsible pet owner.

You did a good deed & I'm sure Butterfly appreciates it even if she can't tell you.