Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pişi misses her kuzu şiş, part III


I wonder if my face is a little dark in this picture.  This is me, in my "garden" in our apartment in Çankaya.  We moved there after the first year, and after I had The Operation.

Yeah.  The Operation.  It seems Americans have another rather odd tradition: they make it so their animals can't reproduce themselves.  And that assures the human that their animal will live a long and healthy life.  Or some kind of crap like that.

Well, I didn't know that.  And neither did Hasan, which is why he was so surprised when the Big-Two-Legged-One asked for that.  It seems the Woman-Who-Wanted-To-Save-All-The-Cats-In-Ankara had convinced him that he should do The Operation to cats she was putting back out on the streets.  He kind of understood that, because those cats wouldn't have any more cats.

But here I was, a cat not going back out on the streets, and they still wanted the operation.

Niçin? (why?) Hasan asked, the first time this was requested.  

"It's how we do it," the Woman-Who-Wanted-To-Save-All-The-Cats-In-Ankara said. And she told him about how healthy it would make me.  She made it sound like it would transform me to some Angel.

He just did what they asked for, just like he did it to every other cat the Woman-Who-Wanted-To-Save-All-The-Cats-In-Ankara brought to him, before she put them back out on the streets.  The big difference between me and all those other cats was. . . .well, read on.  Let's just say: I wasn't put back on the streets, and well, some people realized how well Hasan was doing this Operation.

Two weeks later, the Big-Two-Legged One came and got me.  (Don't ask why it took Hasan two weeks to give me this operation. I try not to remember.)  Finally the Big-Two-Legged-One came and brought me in the taksi to my new house.  And there was another couch there!  It was pretty ugly, but I didn't care.  Here I am in one of the matching chairs, reading the Turkish Daily News with my friend the monkey, Hotchkiss.  There's a story about Hotchkiss.  Maybe I'll tell it later:

Like I said before, she made kuzu for me, and I got to sleep in a bed: what else could a cat ask for?  I decided that for the time being, living with her wasn't all that bad, and I just got to business partying in the really big, nearly empty apartment she was living in.  My favorite thing then, and even now, is playing football.  I love to kick balls all over the place until they go into little cracks and crevices, and then I just scream at them, until the BTLO comes and gets them out for me.

But then, one day it happened.  I didn't know it wasn't supposed to happen; after all it had happened before.  It was just natural, you know.  Part of being a girl cat: it was that feeling.  That feeling that I really wanted to go outside and find myself a boy cat.  Any boy cat.  Oh, it was so strong I thought I might even settle for a small boy dog.  So I stood in the middle of this big nearly empty apartment and howled.  All night long.  For a few nights.  Yelling really loud seemed to make it feel a little better.

We'd been getting along really well, but all of a sudden the Big-Two-Legged-One was not happy. 

Now I'll tell you something about the BTLO: she's not always on top of things, but fairly early, she realized that Turkish people are not really crazy about the idea of cats in their houses.  Her Turkish friends at work just kind of shook their heads when she told them about me.  None of them really wanted to meet me. So she figured that our neighbors might not be really happy to have me howling like that all night long in this apartment building.  So she called Hasan.  I guess he told her that sometimes this happens one more time after the Operation.

BTLO seemed to get even more angry after that.  She took me to another veterinarian, who stuck some long sharp thing into me -in return, I stuck a few claws in him.  He drew a little blood and so did I. 

But he did do something that made me stop wanting a boy cat.  For a couple months, at least.

Then it happened again, and this time it was much worse!  I knew how to solve the problem - just let me out!!!!  I knew there were cats outside; I'd seen them through the window.  I'd even be willing to come back in and keep her company, after I got it over with.

Instead, she took me back to Hasan's.

The bitch.  I was pissed.  No couches there.  I was back in the cage, back in a room full of dying animals.  The one thing I knew for sure was that I was really close to the streets I lived in for the first eight or nine months of my life.  And if I could get out, I could take care of this awful problem myself.  I knew there were plenty of boy cats out there that would help me.

It's true - if I could have gotten out there, I would have never come back.  I knew damned well by now that kuzu şiş picked out of the trash tasted almost as good as  kuzu şiş on a plate with a tomato and parsley garnish.  I would not make that mistake again.

But I never got out.  Hasan put me to sleep and did something else to me.  And I kept trying to wake up after that, but I couldn't.  I lay in that dirty dark cage and slept for days.  When I woke up, I just kept puking, for about four days.  And then I slept for nearly a week.

I don't really remember much of it, but I do remember that when I saw the BTLO again, I was really dirty and tired.  I would have taken her hand off, it I wasn't so tired.  I let her put me into that box and bring me back home.

Back home.  Yeah, I was back in the place where I could play and eat kuzu and hang out on the porch. She would be away in the day, but she'd come back at night and feed and play with me, and sometimes she brought some other Big-Two-Legged-Ones over.  She worked with a bunch of other people like her.  They'd come and visit me, and everyone loved playing with me!  And I thought it was pretty fun playing with them too.

When it happened the third time -- by now you should know that it was that feeling, that feeling that I just had to get out and find a boy cat -- well, when it happened again, even I wasn't happy.  Because it hurt so much.  I felt like I was dragging my tale-end behind me, and I kept just sleeping in my sand box, because I kept thinking I was going to pee.  And I really hated the idea of peeing in our house.

I couldn't even scream, it hurt so much.  I just cried, and cried, and the Big-Two-Legged-One looked like she would cry, too.

She didn't call Hasan.  She put me in that box, and took me to the other veterinarian, the one we'd met before, who gave me that shot.  I kept trying to figure out what she was thinking, but I couldn't feel any emotions off of her; she just got really cold, and she said something to this other doctor, and he got cold, too.  He touched me all over, and all I could do was yell and scratch.  I didn't really mean to, but I just hurt so much.

I really had the feeling that she wanted me gone, just completely gone.  He asked her to not make him do what she wanted him to do.   I kind of understood - remember, my ears were working just fine then - that he was trying to do something for me.  To save me.  He talked and talked (he spoke her language) and then finally gave the Big-Two-Legged-One a piece of paper.

And she took me back home.  She didn't talk to me.  I knew that she really thought she wouldn't bring me back home with her.  I heard her on the phone.  She was calling somebody at a University.  Somebody named Mustafa.  I didn't hear much else, because all I could do was cry, with the pain I was in.

People think animals don't have memories.  That is just crazy not true.  I'll never forget that pain.  I'll never forget that whole year.  And I'll never forget that doctor, though I don't remember his name.  He wasn't really tall, and his skin was kind of dark, and he wore a blue smock.  And he kept saying:

"Please don't ask me to do that.  She's a healthy cat.  Please don't ask me to do that.  I can send you to someone who can help you.  If it doesn't work, then come back to me, and we'll talk again."

It's true - she never had that conversation again, though he became one of my vets after the next part of this story happened.  And I'm just too tired to tell it tonight!  For now, let's just say: what happened after that changed my life, and made me very angry for a long time. 

I'll tell you more later.  But it'll be soon later!  Thanks for reading.  I've really wanted to tell my story for a long time. 

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