I am a pet parent.
There have been some strays at the zoo, and these strays had kittens this summer. The people in my section have been letting them be, for the most part, but more people are finding out about them and are not too happy about cats in the zoo. A few weeks ago there was a trapping party and they managed to get nine of the kittens. There were still one or two left, plus the mommy kitties. We caught one of the kittens last night.
So here's the situation. One intern took three of the kittens but can only keep two, at the most, so I said I would take the third one. Then we caught this other little kitten and they were saying the word "euthanasia" too often for me to be comfortable so I said "I'll take him."
He's now in a crate in my room. I'm calling him "he" but I don't know yet what he is, which is why he doesn't have a name.
The other kitten I'm going to be taking in has been called "grey kitty" but that has a lot to do with the fact that the girl taking care of her has been trying to not let it become hers. I had a dream about grey kitty last night, though, in which I was trying to find a name for her. I named her Cypress. I think it's a pretty cat name and it'll remind me of the South so I like it. Woo dream ideas! I'll get her in a few days when this much more scared kitten has had some time to adjust. Hopefully he does adjust. The other cats that need to be caught--the adults, mostly--we're trying to find a farm home for, so they can be barn cats. They've probably been living on their own too long to fully adjust to being around people but they would make great barn cats. And if this little guy we caught yesterday doesn't adjust to home life, I'll look for a barn cat life for him, too.
I'm telling myself I'm fostering these kittens. Until they can find more permanent homes. I know I'm not in the most stable part of my life right now, but I know that I can give them a reasonable amount of comfort for a few months if that's what it takes to find them homes. I'm telling myself this so that I won't feel completely terrible if I have to give them up.
In other zoo news, I hand-fed a babirusa--it's a pig--melon today and we became friends. The tigers got cow masks, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's the face skin of a cow. Boy did they love those. I can tell the tigers apart now, based on their facial stripes. And their tail stripes. I'm learning how to quickly cut a chicken in half for the leopards. Oh, and I hand-fed the elephants peanuts. They suction them out of your hand with their trunks, then roll their trunks and set them down in the curve of the trunk, then suction them back up and drop them in their mouths. Elephants are so cool. Also, they changed the rules and apparently I will not be allowed to go free contact with the elephants. So depressing. Oh well.
Kitten started to meow and approach the front of the crate but as soon as I moved got really quiet and retreated. This is going to be a process. But I always especially love the ones that need help.
Sometimes my career choice makes my heart sink when I think about how tough it's going to be to get a paying job, but at the same time, there is so much about it that really does make it worth it. Soul-satisfying type things.