If you’ve ever had sedation of any kind, you’re familiar with the warnings they usually include in discharge instructions: don’t drink, drive, operate heavy machinery, avoid signing legal documents, and the unwritten but generally understood warning, don’t shop online. Here’s one more to add that you might not have thought of.

My procedure went fine and the boyfriend got us settled in the car for the ride home.

Me: You know what’s on this side of town?
Him: What?
Me: The Humane Society!
Him: Uh-huh. That’s great.
Me: We should stop by! Just to visit. We’re never on this side of town.
Him: Nope.
Me: No, really. We don’t have to take one, just look.
Him: I don’t think it’s a good idea. You’re going to find one you want.
Me: Well, if I do and you say no we won’t get one. Okay?
Him: If we go, I’m staying in the car.
Me: Okay!So we arrive at the Humane Society and he stays in the car while I go meet me some cats. Just to say hi. I tell the lady about my older male kitty at home who I think needs a friend (all true) and asked for her advice. She thought he might be more open to accepting an adult female cat. She brought in an orange kitty that didn’t seem very interested in people. Then she brought in Pippi, a lovely, female, 2.5 year old black cat. Did I mention my male cat was also black?

Pippi was sweet as she could be. Rubbed all over me, appreciative of my pets, and considerably perky, playful, and affectionate. So I called the bf in the car.

Me: Wanna come in and meet this super cute female kitty?
Him: Nope.
Me: No, really – she’s 2.5 years old and would be a great companion for Suzuki. Come see what you think.
Him: (deliberate pause, then…) Fine.

He comes into the greeting room and Pippi welcomes him excitedly. Of course he loved her and we took her home with us to meet her new family. Our small dog loves all beings so introducing her to him was easy. We took time introducing the cats and slowly allowed she and Suzuki to get to know each other.We gave her a new name: Princess Peppercorn, and within days we learn quite a bit about our new little Princess. First of all, she eats cords. Chews right threw them. Went through two laptop cords and a phone charger within weeks. Then we got smart about wrapping cords (this is what we use – it’s way cheaper to buy this than any cord wrap designed to target pet owners – they’re ridiculously expensive).

She also eats paper. Any paper you leave around will be chewed into confetti. Bills, checks, she finds them all equally entertaining. Since I always have papers around, the bf has no sympathy for me and says I should get used to putting them away. That’s all fine and good until she goes for one of his magazines or books. Then it’s annoying.

And most interestingly, turns out she’s a complete maniac, bites and scratches you for no reason, drawing blood as often as possible, turning on you before there’s any hope you’ll escape an attack without physical damage of some kind.

She’s 6 now, and honestly hasn’t gotten any better. She loves us, in her own twisted, violent way. And she’s extremely lucky we are strong believers in responsible pet ownership, so she’ll be with us…sigh…forever. But the lesson is clear and an important one to pass along: the next time you or a loved one has a medical procedure, heed our warning and stay away from the shelters.

A Cautionary Tale About Post-op Decision-Making

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