Our First Week With Fish The Cat, And That Time She Pooped Everywhere

Here’s a conversation I had with E the other night over a large glass of wine:

Me: Hey, remember when we didn’t have a cat?

E: No.

Me: Me neither.

It’s only been a week with Fish, but it feels like she’s been here forever. And I mean that in the best way possible. Here’s how the week has gone…

Fish and E

Day 1: A woman from the adoption center comes to our house to make sure it’s cat friendly. E and I nervously fidget while trying to hide all of that anti-cat propaganda we secretly have. After roughly three minutes have passed, we sign a contract saying that we’ll be taking Fish home, and she leaves. HOORAY! ALL IS GOOD IN THE WORLD!

We get the OK to pick up Fish that day, so I run to Petco to pick up a litterbox, litter, and a totally unnecessary amount of cat food, which prompts the checkout boy to ask, “How many cats do you have?” To which I’m forced to reply, “Just one.” Humiliating.

Then I head to the shelter to pick up Fish. When I walk in, I see this actress who I recognize from The Newsroom and more importantly, from that one time when she tweeted a topless photo of herself. Alison Pill apparently volunteers at the shelter… and she clapped when she heard that I was adopting Fish. Everyone loves Fish. Even nice actresses with Twitter accounts.

So, I take Fish out of her little cage, and ever so gently nudge her into the cat carrier that I also bought at Petco. She doesn’t like it, and basically spends most of the car ride home mewing about it. But IT’S OK! BECAUSE SHE’S COMING HOME! HOORAY!

That first day at our house, she didn’t nap. Or sleep. She ate a little, and mostly went from room to room, trying to sort out if there were other cats hiding somewhere. She was edgy, (and rightfully so), but she also sat with us, and purred a lot, to basically say, I’m terrified, but let’s be friends! She ended up sleeping on our bed that night too, which was pretty freaking adorable.

Pensive Fish

DAY 2: It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and we’re cooking up a lot of food. And Fish wants to help, or eat it all, or both, so we spend the day training her not to go on the kitchen table, or the kitchen countertops. She seems to be understanding that going on those places means we’ll pick her up and say, “No!” And she doesn’t like the word “No.”

Day 3: I go to work, and E is home with Fish. We’re both a bit concerned, because Fish’s eyes have been twitching every few minutes, to a point where it almost looks like her eyes are shaking. The woman from the adoption center tells us that this often happens in Siamese breeds and it could be nothing, OR it could be a tumor. Because I’m a pessimist, my mind immediately goes for the worst possible scenario, and I make an appointment for Fish to go to the vet later in the week. I spend a lot of the day googling Cat Shaky eyes. Nothing good comes of it.

When I get home from work, Fish is sitting in E’s lap and loving life. It’s pretty adorable. It occurs to me that if Fish does have a tumor, I might actually drain my savings to get her whatever treatment’s necessary. E and I have a talk about what we’ll do if it comes to that, and it kind of broke my heart to think about.

Day 4: Fish has now learned that if she doesn’t jump on the countertops, she gets a treat. So whenever we go into the kitchen, she follows and dutifully waits to be rewarded for her good behavior. Meaning that she equates the kitchen with treats. We figure out that Fish is possibly too smart for her own good, and we are possibly not smart enough.

Day 5: I have to go to work, and since E is working from home, he takes Fish to the vet. It’s a really stressful morning, because I assume we’re going to find out she has a tumor, and am basically preparing for that. I text him all throughout the visit, and he says that she hates the carrier, the vet, and him for bringing her there.

About an hour later, we find out that Fish doesn’t have a tumor. Her eyes are twitchy, like other Siamese cats. And we don’t have to worry about that. But she does need a rabies shot, as it’s the law. So E and Fish leave the vet with a rabies shot and a big case of flea medication. It is a good day.

Day 6: Fish is sick from her rabies shot. She won’t eat. She didn’t sleep in our room the night before. She has a fever, or what we assume is a fever, because her fur is oddly warm to the touch. She doesn’t leave her cat bed the whole day, and we both feel like terrible cat parents. Why did we take her to the vet?! Will she ever be the same?! WE ARE BAD PEOPLE.

Fish High

Day 7: The rabies shot wears off, and Fish has returned to her old self. She experiences catnip for the first time (see photo above), and stares off in some kind of drunken cat stupor for a solid hour.

Then we go out to dinner with friends and brag about what an amazing cat she is. We’re proud kitty parents, and it feels good to have kept her alive for a full week (minus a few hiccups).

When we come home, the place smells undeniably of cat poop. Just a big wave of it when we opened the door. Then we see brown cat paw prints that lead to Fish’s litterbox. Turns out, while we were out to dinner, Fish relieved herself, stepped in that relief, and proceeded to flaunt it all over the apartment.

So, needless to say, we’re getting rid of Fish.


Just kidding! We love her so much that we stayed up till 2 a.m. cleaning the poop floors, dumping out her litterbox, and airing the place out.

Day 8: We buy Fish new litter, because we’re convinced this Feline Pine mess isn’t cutting it. So far, no cat poop paws to be seen.

Big News: We’re Adopting A Cat (!)

For anyone who knows me, one of the first things you probably find out is that I love cats. I talk about them so often that people will often just say, “What kind of cat do you have?” To which I then have to embarrassingly respond, “I don’t have a cat… YET.”

E is also a cat lover. (Thank God, because that honestly would’ve been a deal breaker for me.) And we both wanted to wait to check out a cat to adopt until after the holidays and after I came back from Sundance. So, last weekend our lives slowed down, and we decided to head to Sante D’Or, a local shelter by our home.

I cannot tell you how massively unprepared I was for cat adoption day. We walked into the shelter, and there were roughly 40 cats that peered back at us, all looking for someone to take them home. And at Sante D’Or, there are some cats in cages, and other cats are just walking around, rubbing against your legs, swatting at your head from perches. No matter where you turn, there’s a new cat face to lock eyes with yours and try to burn into your soul. We did a lap around the place, and the first cat that E noticed — like, REALLY noticed — was Misty.

Misty The CatShe was sitting quietly in a chair, minding her own beautiful business, and E pointed to her. “What about that one?” he said. When I first saw Misty, I will fully admit that she looked like any other cat to me. She was pretty, but was she the one?

I decided to sit down next to her. And let me tell you, Misty knows how to work it. Within seconds, she was sitting on my lap, and within minutes, she was rubbing her kitty face against my human face, and basically saying, “YES, I’M THE ONE, OBVIOUSLY.”

The thing about Sante D’Or, is that you have to put in an application for adoption. It’s not like other shelters, where they’re handing you a cat to take home that day, and trying to shove another three in your bag. No, at Sante D’Or, they have a thorough process, and when someone puts in an application for a cat, they put a sign on their cage that reads, “Adoption Pending.” I asked E to go find Misty’s cage, so we could see how old she was, her history, and other details about her. I was not prepared for what E found, because when he pointed to Misty’s cage, there was one of those little signs: Adoption Pending.

We asked one of the volunteers if the sign was a mistake. It had to be a mistake. I literally couldn’t stand up from the chair, because Misty was now standing on my chest, rubbing her furry head all over me.

“Oh, Misty,” one of the volunteers looked at her, then at me, then at the sign on that cage. I thought I was going to start crying. E was quite certain I would. It took me a few minutes to be able to actually pick Misty up, and put her back on the chair, alone.

Once I was able to leave her, it took me a while to adjust to the idea of not getting her. But I tried really hard, because it was cat adoption day, and we really wanted to put in an application. We walked around again, this time really checking out those adoption pending signs and not getting too attached to anyone. The volunteers showed us other lap cats. There was Rosie, and Ophelia, for example. They were great, but they weren’t Misty. Eventually, they showed us an area we had somehow missed, which is when we saw Smash — an orange tabby cat with a tail as fluffy as a duster.

Smash was sweet, younger than Misty, and extremely playful. We played with him for a good twenty minutes, and felt like if we couldn’t get Misty, then we could certainly take home Smash and love him to pieces. There were other people eyeing Smash, saying his name as if the cat was already theirs. So we hurriedly picked up an application and began to fill it out. When we filled out the app, we listed Smash as the cat we wanted to adopt, but also added a note. “If Misty becomes available, we’d like to adopt her.”

We turned in the application, waved goodbye to Smash, (and I secretly waved goodbye to Misty), and then carried on with our Saturday, knowing we wouldn’t hear back on the application for a few days.

Cut to Tuesday of this week, and my phone rings. A woman named Sandy left me a message, saying that Misty was available again, as her adoption fell through, and Smash really needed to go to a home with other cats already there.

I emailed E, because in those few days I’d kept telling myself we were getting Smash, and all of a sudden Misty was an option again. I was confused and, to be honest, a little torn. But he reminded me of how much I loved Misty. Then I looked up her Petfinder profile to remind myself:

Misty was brought to the rescue with her three legged daughter, Osita. After a close call with some street thugs, she’s got a clean bill of health and is ready for a forever home.

I didn’t realize she’d been a teen mom! Or had a three-legged daughter! Or been a street thug! All of it kind of melted my heart, and reminded me of what made Misty so amazing in the first place. I called Sandy back, and we decided to move forward with Misty, the girl who first stole our hearts.

On Saturday, we’ll have what’s called a “home visit,” where Sandy will come to our house, without Misty, and make sure that what we have is a cat friendly environment. We’ve already bought cat toys, cat treats, a litterbox, and even a cat shaped mat where we’re going to put Misty’s food bowls. Tonight I plan to clean and sweep and make this place SHINE so that Sandy can give us her cat stamp of approval.

If all goes well, we could be given the OK to pick Misty up, and take her back home with us that very same day. I’m feeling extremely excited about the idea of having her here, but also really nervous that it won’t work out.

In any event, I will keep you all posted on our cat adoption, and hopefully the next Caturday update will involve our very own cat!