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A loony old lady brought in a sick kitten that couldn’t have been but five weeks of age.

It was infested with maggots–its internal organs exposed.

The veterinarian strongly advised the woman to have the animal euthanized. She refused.

I tearfully rinsed the maggots from its abdomen as it howled in pain. I told the vet that if I had more courage I would strangle it or break its neck. There was nothing the vet could do…legally anyway. The psycho woman took the kitten home. I called animal control and told them about the situation and gave them her home address. I don’t know what happened after that. I am sure it died, but I don’t know how long it lingered in torment before the end.

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This was an aging, ailing medium-sized mixed breed.  The oddball-white-woman-of-suburbia owner would drag Scarlett into the other vet clinic where I worked on Saturdays, this one in Yuppyville. She’d be brought in on a blanket because she could not walk. Her condition was irreversible. She continuously soiled herself because she could not control anything beyond the middle of her spine. She looked miserable and in pain. And her loving, devoted owner would bring her in regularly for acupuncture.

Yes, acupuncture.

The pitiful thing should have been euthanized. I expressed my opinion to the other technicians, but this dog was like this crazy woman’s child and so…well..you know…her life dragged on until the bitter end.

Lady was a German Shepherd Dog.

This one was so bad that her owners had to give her a sedative before her veterinary visits. And they didn’t care.

I had to toss the owners a muzzle as they waited in the parking lot so they could muzzle her before she entered the clinic. And her owners didn’t care.

She particularly hated me. If I even looked at her, she barked viciously and lunged. Once restrained for veterinary care, she’d growl and foam at the mouth and thrash about. And her owners didn’t care.

She had a history of aggression and biting.

And her owners didn’t care.

Well, one day they brought the old bitch to be euthanized for health-related reasons. And I certainly did care. I volunteered to assist the veterinarian. How could I not?

There was a sense of satisfaction in knowing that this nasty animal could no longer terrorize any other living creature.

I worked at a veterinary clinic for a few years. It was a good experience.

But I remember some awful dogs by name. One that comes to mind every once in a while was “Dave.” I hated Dave. He was a medium-sized black Lab mix who had been adopted from the shelter. He was an asshole. Any time you had to do anything, like cut his nails or examine him, he had to wear a muzzle.

Well, his owner was helping me lift him on the examining table one day, and he wasn’t wearing a muzzle (owners generally don’t like them). And the damn thing snapped around and chomped on his owner’s hand. And I don’t mean a little warning nip or an automatic reaction to pain. I mean he aggressively sunk his tooth in so hard that she had a hole in her hand and it started gushing blood.

As I scrambled around gathering medical supplies, she proceeded to excuse Dave’s behavior. Would she have done the same if he had bitten me? I think so.

Had he been my dog I would have euthanized him on the spot. “Sorry, Sparky, but I would have thrown my husband out of the house for less.”

This is my abortion kitty. He would have died on March 31, 2010 of asphyxiation alongside his two brothers within his mother’s discarded uterus at the bottom of a surgery room trash can.

I removed him and his brothers, revived them, bottle fed them, and chose to keep one–his name is Bagheera.

My last kitty’s name was Bagheera and he was all black too.

He died at the age of nine in a flower bed on my mother’s farm. So I suppose I wanted a new one.

I probably contributed to the overpopulation of cats that day. But my conscience would not let me let those kittens die. Contrary to the impression some of my earlier posts may have given, I don’t believe in culling healthy baby animals. If they must die, it should be for a good reason such as to feed hungry children.

When the kittens were 3 months old, a young woman adopted one. The other brother ran off/died/was stolen.

Bagheera is a smart cat. He also has all of his kitty instincts and then some. The only clue to his odd infancy is when he sometimes kneads my son’s fluffy blanket while suckling on a corner of it. And he pees like a girl (probably because he was neutered at 6 months of age).

He climbs trees. He hunts. He avoids cars. He knows how to manage dogs and abusive children. He once took a pellet to the shoulder for sitting on the roof of a neighbor’s car. It is still floating around subcutaneously and is now located on the left side of his rib cage.

Although I refuse to adopt mixed breed dogs, I will only adopt mongrel cats. I have no desire to spend gobs of money on an animal I have to keep locked in the house for fears that it will jump the fence and die/be injured/contract a disease/be stolen/etc.

Besides, I hate litter boxes. By 4 months of age Bagheera was going to the bathroom outside, so I tossed the litter box in the garbage.

He plays games with the dogs, tormenting and teasing them as he sits on top of the fence, twitching his tail. Although my brother’s useless pain-in-the-ass Pug will jump up and down barking endlessly, my Boxer bitch will lie crouched in the grass, pretending not to pay attention.

The cat also pretends to ignore the dogs. And when the Pug gives up to go hyperventilate on the deck, that is when Bagheera leaps off to race across the yard. And the Boxer gives chase.

If the cat senses that the dog will catch him, and she usually does, he stops and sits and stares at her. And she sniffs him, gives a goading bark, and then goes off to do her own thing…like digging pits in front of the shed.