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Adopting a stray in a pandemic

On November 10th, 2020, we saw and heard what sounded like a cat in heat.

She was so small; not a kitten, but teenage-like and emaciated. We could feel her ribs under the fur. 

It took a few days for her to accept us as friends. We then coaxed her into our house eventually, but she wanted none of it and only tried to get out, so we allowed her to escape. We kept feeding her some cat treats we had from our previous cat. She stuck around, and finally, we got our previous cat’s outdoor house ready, which is heated and has good insulation, and she agreed to move in. We also posted on the internet to see if we could find her previous owner, but to no avail. That is when we decided she had adopted us and gave her the name Indigo, or Indy for short. She was quite vocal most of the time when with us, and quite guttural as a matter of fact leading us to think our lady was a male looking for a mate. 

Once we got to know each other better and she would allow us to pet and handle her I realized he was a she, but there was no name change required as she was still black as coal without any markings. A few weeks later in December, as we all settled in, it was decided we would get her spayed if she wasn’t already. Now, this was quite the endeavour as we were after all in the middle of a pandemic. We couldn’t just walk into a clinic and request spaying on the spot. After several calls to local clinics, we discovered to our dismay we were talking hundreds of dollars and most were not taking in new patients for a look-see whether she was fixed or not and not only that we were talking of months before she could even be seen by a professional veterinarian. So after many phone calls to the three clinics that would see her, we settled on the SPCA clinic in Prince George. It was the most affordable, but with the lengthiest waiting list. We had her booked in for March 2nd, more than a few months away. 

Well then, we were crossing our fingers that our outdoor cat would not get in heat and have every moggie or tomcat in our neighbourhood calling on her for her affection and romping around. After three stressful months of COVID and worries of unintentional cat pregnancy, finally, March came around and we took her in for the exam. The procedure was interesting; no contact with other clients at the clinic, a specific drop off time in ten-minute intervals (and don’t miss it cause then you are looking at three more months of waiting till the next opening in their schedule), no entering the premises, contactless drop-off and pick up at a specified time. I didn’t dare ask what would happen if we were late for pick-up time – would the cat go into limbo until the next pickup time? 

Anyway, to our surprise the clinic called back and announced that she was previously spayed but she had not been chipped. Now, who would go through the trouble of spaying a cat and not bother to tattoo or chip her for future rescue? So getting her chipped and vaccinated we were told we could get her earlier than agreed at a reduced fare. Our $300 bill turned into a $163 visit and all involved were quite happy – except Indigo, with her tummy fur shaved off and a round trip in a tiny carrier. 

Once home all was forgiven. Out to her house she went, food aplenty – she had after all been fasting since the night before. But Indigo is in for a rude awakening now, as the vet said she is slightly overweight. A reduction in her diet is in order – hopefully, she will forgive me for that too.

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