Molly feels better, and apparently has forgiven me for taking her to the vet. She draped herself across my leg while I was watching a movie. (I do have two legs. I moved the other one for the picture.) Molly thinks she's pretty special because she gets a teaspoon of Fancy Feast twice a day. I started out giving her pills the way I did when she was a baby and needed something, but it upset her to be restrained. So I tried poking the pill into a bite of canned cat food, and that did the trick. In fact, I'm pretty sure she knows what I'm doing because I can pick up the envelope that has her pills in it and she starts hollering. Smart kitty.
Molly came to us a couple of years ago. F volunteered at a cat shelter in town, going about 3 times a week through the summer, and performing tasks such as changing food and water and litter, doing laundry and vacuuming, and assessing the cats in her assigned cages for the sorts of illnesses and things that can happen to cats in a shelter. I told her when she started that she wouldn't be bringing any cats home. We had two cats, and that was enough. Love them while they're there, I told her. Ha ha.
Toward the end of the summer, F started talking about a kitten named Molly. I pretended I didn't hear. One Saturday when she was ready to come home she called me and asked if I would come and "look at" Molly. After I hung up the phone I told R that F wanted me to "look at" Molly. He looked over at the tomcat and said, "Your life is about to change."
Well, I thought Molly was one of the ugliest scraggly excuses for a kitten that I had ever seen, but F kept saying, "Isn't she beautiful? Isn't she adorable?" and finally I said, "You want her, don't you?" So that was that.
The day after we brought Molly home F came to me and said, "I think Molly has ringworm." She showed me some spots that felt scabby and had hair missing. I e-mailed the shelter and asked if I could bring her by and they could tell me if it was ringworm. I know what ringworm looks like on people, and that wasn't it. The shelter director called me at work to say that she had looked at the other kittens that had been in the cage with Molly and that they had ringworm, so that was probably it. She told me to go to the store and get some Monistat cream - "You know what that is?" I did. Three times a day for 28 days, and keep her away from the other cats.
F and I went to Target, and when we found the Monistat cream we discovered that it said FOR VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION all over the box. F said, "I guess you have to carry that so that people can see it." I looked around and didn't see anybody on our aisle, so I held the box over my head with one hand and pointed to it with the other and mock-shouted, "It's for the cat, people! For the cat!" F turned bright red and pulled my hand down. (It's gratifying when you can horrify a teenager - I think I've mentioned that before.) But then she started giggling as she thought people would wonder how we knew the cat ... well, anyway.
So we got home, and F said she didn't want Molly sleeping in the bed with her because she didn't want ringworm. I said, "You took her away from her brothers and sisters, and all the other cats at the shelter, and she'll be shut away from our cats while you're at school during the day. You can't leave this baby shut up by herself all day and all night." But I couldn't make F expose herself to ringworm either, could I? I'd be a bad mother if I did that. So guess who slept in F's bed for a month, with a ringworm-infested kitten, (while F slept on the daybed in the other room,) and showered and washed her hair with Nizoral every morning. Sigh. At least neither I nor anyone else got ringworm.
F also told me she thought Molly had conjunctivitis (pinkeye). When I took her to the vet for her first checkup, the Saturday after we took her home, the vet said that the Monistat cream would clear up the ringworm and that apart from that she looked fine. I said, "My daughter says she has conjunctivitis." The vet looked again and said, "Oh, yeah," and came up with some ointment to squeeze into her eye - and let me tell you what a treat THAT was.
The thing the vet couldn't help with was that Molly was separated from her mother too early. She and her sibs were left on the doorstep of the shelter at about 3 weeks of age and had to be fostered on a mama cat until they were old enough to wean. The shelter people did the best they could for her but she really missed her mommy. So she had this horrifying habit of burying her face in my neck in the middle of the night and trying to nurse. The vet said this could be a lifelong habit. But fortunately, all she does now is kind of press her forehead against me and purr.
So she's settled in with us now. She gets along very well with Bonnie, our 4-year-old Himalayan mix. They run through the house together with their ears back and they lick each other. She slaps the 15-year-old tomcat and he just rolls his eyes, so to speak. And I guess R and I can stand her. F still thinks she's the most wonderful cat she's ever seen. Whatever.