Of Kitties, Exhaustion, and Medical Errors

So I posted this on Facebook, but figured I should post it here too so the family can see it.  :)

As some of you might know, I've been working to adopt a cat through a classmate, and had very few qualifiers about the kind of cat I wanted. Basically, I wanted it to be old, and I wanted it to be black, as those are two traits that can make it more difficult for a cat to be adopted out.

However, when I went on the website of the place I planned to adopt from, a sweet old marmalade girl caught my eye. And that was okay—she fit 1 out of 2 of my criteria, and I didn't see any cats in the list that looked older. So, I gladly settled on Libby, who was not only adorable but apparently very cuddly. I didn't intend to meet her first—it would take a plane flight to get her to me, and I just decided to fly by the seat of my pants.

Plot Twist 1: Libby is a boy. The shelter only discovered this after doing a physical exam before sending him to me.

Oh, well, that was fine—I really didn't care what sex of cat I got. HE was still old and adorable. I was a humanitarian and deserved ALL the pats on the back.Yesterday, Libby was taken on his flight to Colorado, and I bounced around my room setting up his brand-new litter box, toys, and kitty nest.

Plot Twist 2: His plane was delayed. I would now be required to stay up past 10 pm (Gasp, the humanity!)

Still, I was so darn pumped that that wouldn't be a problem, right? Heh--I practically had to brace my eyelids with my fingers to stay awake. But there was NO way I was missing Mandy's call that she was here with Libby.

Finally, at about midnight-thirty, they arrived. I rushed out of the apartment, completely disregarding the need for pants instead of bike shorts, and went to get my cat. As I walked back to my door holding his carrier, I noticed a weird noise and paused in the quietly falling snow. The silly cat was purring already. I nearly melted right there. I was going to give this old man the best retirement home he could dream of.

Getting him inside, I let him out in my bedroom and he darted out into the space, excited to explore. He was a healthy old man, I gathered. No moss growing on this one. This seemed totally normal at 1 am.

As he dashed around, I quickly glanced at his paperwork, glad to see he'd had some vaccines and testing done, and that he was healthy. He was healthy and...not neutered. Wait...He was healthy, not neutered, and...

Plot Twist 3: 13 WEEKS OLD.I looked at him, and gave a slap-happy giggle. I had adopted a tiny, marmalade kitten. Not an old, black cat.

And then he sat on my chest and purred and nuzzled me, and it turned out he was exactly what I had wanted.

For my veterinary colleagues, you might take note of the application of our Clinical Science tenets in real life. I not only fell into the trap of premature closure (failing to gather all the data because dangit, he LOOKED old!), but also made the mistake of trusting in an illusory transactive memory system (I thought Mandy knew I was after an old fellow, and she thought I knew he was a kitten).

It is not every day that these mistakes will land you with a surprise kitten. Don't follow in my footsteps expecting such a warm, cuddly, and chirpy outcome.

Also, I know this was a doofus mistake. I was just so darn excited.

Purr, poke, purr, poke. He definitely needs his nails trimmed.
He doesn't like me AT ALL.
Ok, maybe for real now.  KITTEN IN A HAT!