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Page 31
The Rockaway Times
Cat Scratch Fever
A few weeks ago in this
column I mentioned that I
learned that one of our four
cats, Nibbles (who was in-
troduced to our home last
year by our oldest daugh-
ter, Amy, who promised at
the time that she was only
"babysitting" the feline for
two or three days until her
friend returned home from
a trip) was pregnant. Up un-
til that time I thought the cat
was simply obese as she had
been devouring her food not
unlike participants in the
July 4th hot dog eating con-
test at Nathan's in Coney Is-
land. Once I knew "Nibbles"
was a mother to be, I made
an appointment to have her
examined by the vet over
at the Animal Hospital of
the Rockaways on Saturday
morning, August 20 at 10:30
a.m. As far as Grace and the
girls were concerned, Dad
was just being a "good guy,"
taking the soon to be mom-
my cat to the doctor to make
sure everything was okay. In
fact, the only reason I want-
ed the cat examined at the
vet was to have an ultra-
sound done so I would know
well in advance of their
births just how many kittens
I would have to quickly ar-
range adoptions for!
The Friday before the vet's
appointment I sat both girls
down and laid down the law!
Once born, none of the kittens
were to be given names be-
cause I did not want anyone
becoming too attached to any
of them. Additionally, they
were both to immediately
start discussing the possibili-
ty of adoption with all of their
friends, co-workers, neigh-
bors and even strangers, be-
cause eight cats in the house
is simply too much and I did
not want to become known as
the "old geezer cat person" of
West 12th Road.
everything" and whoever
"they" are - they are right!
The following morning I was
up early to make sure I had
everything in place to trans-
port Nibbles to the vet but
around 6 a.m. I heard a yowl
coming from the first floor
bathroom. Upon investiga-
tion I found Nibbles lying in
the shower delivering the first
of her litter. I quickly cleaned
up the shower area and
placed a clean set of towels
on the floor along with food
and water and set up a tem-
porary litter box for the new
mom. Not knowing what to
do next I simply sat down on
the toilet seat and waited un-
til about 8:45 a.m. when she
dropped a second kitten. At
9 a.m. I called the vets office
and explained that I would
have to cancel my pending
10:30 a.m. appointment as
nature had already taken its
course regarding Nibbles
pregnancy. In hindsight I
must have sounded like an
expectant father because
the staff laughingly assured
me everything would be fine
and urged me to calm down
and let "mommy do all the
work." Armed with that bit
of sage medical advice I sat
back down on the toilet and
supervised (okay, simply
watched) the birthing pro-
cess until 11:15 a.m. when
yet another kitten made its
way into this world and the
4th, and thankfully final, kit-
ten was born at noon.
Today, almost two weeks
later, the first floor bathroom
is still off limits and our zoo
population is now at eight
cats, one dog who thinks he
is human, two turtles (one of
whom thinks it is her mission
in life to separate my fingers
from my hand), one bearded
dragon with a back problem
and one elderly guinea pig
with cataracts. (Is "guinea"
pig an ethnic slur?) Lest I
forget, there are also three
white rats that have been
missing in action for over a
year now. God knows where
they are! In addition, we
have the cremated remains
of two dogs, two cats and
a rabbit sitting upstairs on
the fireplace. I keep telling
Grace when I move on all I
want is a simple cremation
and then pack me in with
our recently departed pit
By the way, if any of the
readers of this column out
there (or any members of
your lovely, caring, animal
friendly families) would care
to adopt any of our recent
flurry of kittens...or a dog...
or a couple of turtles...or a
lizard...or how about a long
in the tooth guinea pig with
bad eyesight, let me know be-
cause they are going fast and
we do deliver! Keep in mind
that should the three white
rats ever surface, they are fair
game for relocation also.
Who do I think I am kid-
ding? Truth be told, they are
not going fast, in fact they are
not going at all! The bad news
is that when I mention this to
anyone they simply stare in-
credulously at me as if I am
off my "meds" and then laugh
and walk away… quickly! The
good news is that the staff at
the Animal Hospital of the
Rockaways tells me they may
name a treatment room after
Gotta go, I have to conduct
a Google search on feline
chastity belts and I also know
it's gonna be happy hour
somewhere real soon!
Broad Channel, why would
anyone want to live anywhere
Parks to theRescue
A Parks Department employee
went out of his way to help some-
one last week. On Friday, Sep-
tember 2, Brian Walters reached
out toParksworkerGeorgeKinley
after his son’s Kindle e-reader fell
through the cracks of the board-
walk steps by Caracas on Beach
106thStreet.Thedevicewas inac-
cessible, so Walters stopped Kin-
leywhowas ridingby onhis quad
andasked if he coulddoanything
to help his distraught child. Ivy
Sirota Farrell, who witnessed the
incident, said, “I did not expect
much. As the general opinion is
not a fondone of Parks personnel
due to personal experience and
witnessed improprieties. Greg-
ory Kinley, was about to change
Farrell says that instead of
brushing the incident off, Kin-
ley stayed and helped solve the
issue. “Gregory took the time
to help resolve the dilemma of
my friend. He didn’t have to. He
could have just said, ‘There’s
nothing I can do’ andwent on his
way. He chose to stay. He chose
to help. His kindness, patience
and resourcefulness resulted in
theKindlebeing recovered. Hap-
py son, grateful and very relieved
father,” Farrell said. Way to go,
Parks worker George Kinley with Brian Walters.