Trouble comes in all size packages.
I could see trouble coming.
It all began several days ago when I went out on the porch to fetch the jar of sun tea I left out there to brew. Two young ladies of about 10 years of age were riding their bicycles past the house. One of them had a kitten of a few months of age cradled in her left arm as she rode. “Are you Tyree’s grandma?'” the other asked. I am very proud to be able to answer yes to this question whenever I am recognized.
That’s when the trouble began. The other young lady proceeded to tell me the sad story of how she found this “poor” kitten in her back yard and she had been trying to find a home for it. I asked if it was a boy or a girl and she replied “Girl”. Having 3 adult male cats; 2 of them 6 years old and 1 of them 4 years old, I really didn’t want another cat….especially a female. I’m over the “caring for newborns” stage of my life (Unless it’s a grand baby!). Then the young lady told me she was moving and had a male neutered cat with all his shots and they weren’t going to be able to take it with them….I didn’t want to break her heart but I really don’t need a 4th cat.
Over the years I have taken in my share of strays, from alligators to teenagers to sailors, and perhaps a portion of someone else’s. First it was my ex-husband bringing home first a puppy, then friends. Then it was my husband bringing home single sailors. Then my children brought home strays or pets they had earned cleaning out fish tanks at the pet store….and finally my grand children. It was as if I had “S.P.C.A.” stamped on my forehead. I can’t even recall all of their names anymore. People just seamed to know that I would take in any strays if I could.
Yesterday, my middle son and I went out to eat at Arby’s. The younger son had the car, so we walked as we so often do. As we were leaving the restaurant, we could see this large black cloud coming in from the west and we just knew we were about to get rained on. I stopped anyway at the fabric store to see about some fusible web for my T-shirt quilt I am going to make. As we were leaving the store, it started to sprinkle, but the drops were few and far between….until we got a few blocks closer to home. The trees along the side of the street sheltered us from getting totally soaked, and the rain soon let up as we turned down our street.
Then it happened.
The two of us became three….the third being the small black and white kitten from the day before, crying as it ran first ahead…then waiting for us to catch up. It followed us right up the steps where it introduced itself to our male tom cat, Smokey. Normally, Smokey is the first to chase any stray cats from “His” porch, but instead, he checked out this kitten and finding no reason to harm it, lay back down….This spells trouble….
The kitten would not come close enough for us to pick up and soon started back down the street. One of the little girls from the day before had already spotted the kitten, and us trying to coax it to come closer. Before I knew what was happening, I was holding this little bundle. It was a male. He was in sad shape…His fur was filthy and he smelled as if he’d been living in the sewer….but his little “motor” made him feel as if he were shivering.
The rest is history….My heart melted and I took the little stranger inside. I gave him a flea bath and he didn’t even make a big fuss about it. I wrapped him in a thick towel and gently dried him off. Then released him to investigate. My Shih-Tzu checked him out…..My other gray cat Bandit definitely does not approve, as he hissed and spat at the intruder. And Satan my black cat, who had adopted a previous litter of kittens (even though he is a neutered male) seamed to say, “I can live with it.” Before long, after cleaning himself and investigating a little, he found a warm spot on the couch to lay down and dry the rest of the way. Before I knew it, he was curled up in a ball sleeping on the back of the chaise lounge near where I sat on the computer.
The true test was yet to come, as I was waiting for my younger son to come home so I could go grocery shopping….Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of white dash by….”What the…..?” I told him that Smokey had brought him in. “Smokey, you have got to stop bringing home strays”, he said and went on packing for his visit south with his friend…NO fighting…..On his way out the door, he said “It’s either ‘The Kid’ or ‘J-Rock’ .” The kitten has been named…..this means it’s not leaving…..
Even my 2 big “mean” pit bulls were curious. They were instrumental in Satan adopting his previous litter as they somehow managed to find 4 kittens and bring them inside on their porch. Daisy, the female, cried to see the kitten; then showered it with kisses.
And the bigger problem, he’s adopted me. Do you know how hard it is to ignore a little “motor” when it’s sitting on your shoulder as you try to sleep? Or curled up in the crook between your arm and your torso? Or how about when it’s sleeping on your pillow above your head with one paw gently on your face?
This morning, bright and early at 6:30 a.m., I was awaken by the soft pink nose of a gentle, purring kitten. He sits on my lap as I try to type; demanding my attention. And he even tries to type, or plays with the string on my reading glasses.
Playful, smart, demanding…with an endless motor….He seams to be saying, “Thanks for loving me”.
Hugs and Love to all!
P.S…..Does anyone know how to shut the motor off????