Monday, February 02, 2009


I got the call this morning! I'm moving to Fox Creek! It's a town of about 2200, so it's even smaller than Inuvik. However, it's within driving distance to some larger towns, and is only three hours away from Edmonton.

I'll be leaving on Friday, most likely. Tomorrow, the packing will begin. For now, I'm just trying to absorb the news and mentally prepare myself.

My dear kitty will have to stay at my parents' these five months. I'll be moving in with my friend M, and she's not really a pet person, and the condo is not supposed to have pets anyway.

I had to take Duncan to the vet this morning, and am still riddled with bad-pet-owner guilt. I've always prided myself on taking excellent care of my cat, buying her the premium food at the specialty shop, ordering her a fancy litter box all the way from Winnipeg, making sure her shots are up to date, buying her new toys all the time, coddling her (mostly against her will), etc....

However, her dew claw on her left paw had grown into her paw pad, and I just noticed it last night. I had always trimmed her claws every two to three weeks, but that dew claw had been giving me trouble for a while now. It was hard to get at, and every time I examined it, I would note that it was curved but still really dull, and would just leave it. Little did I know that it could grow into her pad like that....

So, I had to cab it to the vet at noon because the car was in the shop. Several hundred dollars later, Duncan came back wide-eyed and even less trustful of me than before. She had always been a skittish, quiet cat, but she is now really really quiet -- giving me the silent treatment no doubt. I have to administer antibiotics orally every twelve hours starting tomorrow. My dad will have to finish off the rest of the doses once I leave for Fox Creek on Friday.

I'm excited about this new job, this new adventure, but I'm also feeling very very quiet.

* For those of you who don't know the story, my female cat's name is Duncan, yes. She was a newborn kitten when she was found on the street in Inuvik in July 2005 by someone, and I had adopted her in September of that year. The person who rescued her had sworn that she was a boy-cat, and her kids had named her "Dunkin," as in "Dunkin' Donuts." I took her to the vet about a month after I had her, and was shocked that my baby boy-cat was actually a girl. I had tried to change her name to Morley (after a character on a CBC radio show, "The Vinyl Cafe"), but by then, she had already grown into "Duncan." Three and a half years later, "Duncan" sounds to me like a girl's name, and I will never look at boys or men named "Duncan" the same again.


  1. Congratulations on your new teaching position!!!!

    Last Fall, I discovered to my horror, that my 100 pound dog's dewclaw had grown into the side of her leg and abcessed. I cut it, removing (like a splinter) the quarter of an inch that was grown into the leg, and applied antibiotic ointment. She healed just fine in no time once the nail was cut and ingrown portion removed. But, I felt mighty guilty that I hadn't noticed that dew claw had grown so much...that it had had time to actually grow into her leg. It's easy to miss.

    I had to laugh at your perceived need to explain Duncan's name. I had a female cat named Jacob (and I KNEW she was a female when I named her!) and a female dog named Jonathan (also knew her gender before naming her). I always figured animals are game for ANY name! I named both pets after qualities I associated with each those names rather than which gender they are most commonly associated with. And it never felt odd to me to address them as Jacob and Jonathan!

  2. Oh, when you said "northern Alberta" I thought you meant La Crete or something like that. Fox Creek is pretty central. There is everything you need in Whitecourt which is about 87 km away (not that I know that road by heart or anything...)

    Congratulations on the new job.

  3. Congratulations on your new job...very exciting!