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A cat is there when you call her – if she doesn’t have something better to do.

— Bill Adler

Stanley’s Ads

The Negotiated Condition: To Keep the Scottish Fold Or Not

That first day of life for the kitten that was to become Stanley, the Scottish Fold, started out rough. 

Once he and I arrived home from PetsMart with the newborn formula kit I knew was being started later than recommended we were met with a disapproving Don.

We negotiated as I prepared the formula.  The deal was that I could keep him long enough to get him eating on his own, then I would find him a good home.

Consequently, I did take care of this kitten and played with him, but I didn’t cuddle him.  Or name him.  I didn’t want to get attached.  

Just after I found Stanley, I had returned to school, a Cal State University, to add Public Administration to my registered nursing degree with the intention of concurrently gaining a master’s in healthcare administration.  It was also my goal to maintain the highest grade point average I could.  I worked full time for a county department in middle management and went to classes in the evenings several times a week. 

At first, I asked Jerri, the woman who had all the stray cats across the street to watch Stanley when I was at class.  Stanley was a couple weeks old by then, she was well experienced with cats, and was willing to watch him for a few hours in the evenings, so off he went three evenings a week.  Well, after the first week of being babysat, Stanley was at the veterinarian’s office suffering from a respiratory condition and he had rectal bleeding.  He was pretty aggressive with the veterinarian, biting at him, but we chocked it up to a different environment and let it go at that.  After all, he was so cute being so tiny and obviously a Scottish Fold. 

Stanley’s eyes opened after about a week of age.  He was almost ten days old.  After about three weeks old, it was evident that this tiny black and white kitten was a Scottish Fold.  His ears were not standing upright, instead, they were staying flat.

By the time we got home I had ointment for his bleeding and antibiotics for the respiratory condition.  After talking with Don, it was decided the kitten would be staying with one of us.  I thanked Jerri for her time and Stanley sent her a lovely, personalized thank you note.  

And that was the beginning of Don’s attachment to the little kitten which would drastically change the course of all of our lives.  And not being cuddled much for the first three weeks of his life explains why Stanley may not be as affectionate as a Scottish Fold might normally be, but in his own way, he is affectionate.  We may be more a reflection of each other than we might like to admit.

Up to May 25, 2002

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