Scenes From An SPCA

The blog editor's away, so cats will play on Unfair Park.

When I was growing up, my family had as many as 10 and as few as 5 cats at any given time. Usually, they found us, showing up on the back porch looking for kitty chow, a warm bed and a whole lotta petting. And the Grimes family has always been more than happy to oblige. We are cat people.

In fact, we are probably cat people before we are people people, something I feel a whole hell of a lot better about after standing in line for a half-hour this morning at the SPCA to get my little Siamese kitten, Sake, spayed. Dogs and cats just want to nuzzle and bark and meow and purr; people, on the other hand, want to ignore basic instructions and yell at helpless SPCA receptionists and call them "fatass" and "dumb bitch" in the presence of small children.

Let's back up. Here's the scene:

7:30 AM: ANDREA enters downtown Dallas SPCA carrying SAKE in kitty carrier per the instructions of the SPCA call center lady who said, repeatedly, to be sure to bring her in said carrier. SAKE is meowing and freaking hungry, having not eaten since 9:00 pm the night before, per the instructions of the aforementioned call center lady.

VARIOUS FOLK and their RAMBUNCTIOUS KIDS are lined up at reception with their ANXIOUS ANIMALS, numbering approximately 10 canines, mostly on leashes, and 10 cats, mostly in carriers, except SMALL BLACK KITTEN in the arms of CRACKED-OUT BLOND WOMAN, seated near window.

ANDREA obtains clipboard for sign-in and begins necessary scribblings as GREY-HAIRED MAN accompanying CRACKED-OUT BLOND WOMAN approaches reception desk.

GREY-HAIRED MAN: We don't have a [f'ing] cat carrier for our kitten, and you can let her go on through without it or I'm going to stand here in this line and argue with you all [g-damned] morning and hold up this [g-damned] line until I get this [f'ing] cat spayed like I'm supposed to do.

RECEPTIONIST: I'm sorry sir, the rules are that you need to have your cat in a carrier.

GREY-HAIRED MAN (yelling): I will hold up this [g-damned] line all [g-damned] day! You did not tell us to bring a carrier! That bitch on the phone did not tell us to bring a [g-damned] carrier!

DUDE IN LINE: Hey, chill out, man. You can get a carrier next door.

GREY-HAIRED MAN (still yelling): I want to talk to your manager! Right now! I don't have no [g-damned] carrier and you didn't tell me to bring no [g-damned] carrier!

RECEPTIONIST invites GREY-HAIRED MAN to step aside to wait on MANAGER, who appears at length, offering GREY-HAIRED MAN a cardboard carrier.

MANAGER: The carrier is for her safety. We don't want her to get eaten by a big dog.

CRACKED-OUT BLOND LADY: She ain't afraid of no big dog.

MANAGER: Well, it's for her safety.

CRACKED-OUT BLOND LADY: She don't need no carrier.

MANAGER: Ma'am, this is for her protection.

CRACKED-OUT BLOND LADY rolls eyes, stuffs SMALL BLACK KITTEN in carrier and sits in waiting area. Minutes pass.

CRACKED-OUT BLOND LADY (bouncing carrier violently in lap, presumably in an attempt to calm freaked-out SMALL BLACK KITTEN): How long do we have to wait on that fatass [b-tch] to come get this cat? She's freaking out in this [g-damned] carrier!

NURSE: Pardon?

CRACKED-OUT BLOND LADY: I said, 'How long do we have to wait on that [b-tch] to get this cat?'

NURSE: I'll take her.

Exuent CRACKED-OUT BLOND LADY and GREY-HAIRED MAN in giant, stinking huff.

ANDREA (to self): 8:05 am, and I need a drink. I wonder if Wilonsky still has that bottle of Maker's under his desk ... --Andrea Grimes


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