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Animal Tales

“The coldest depth of Hell is reserved for people who abandon kittens.” ~Robert Heinlein

My kitten rescuing history begins with the lovely (and sadly departed, but only after 13 excellent years) Hero here:

A neighbor who lived across a very busy street from me found her while walking her dog. She was keeping her on her back porch though since her dog did not appreciate the intrusion. I was home from work one day, and heard the evil Bluejays (that full story some other time) carrying on about something. I looked out my window and saw the little fluff creeping down the neighbor’s driveway.

What was I going to do, really? She was in terrible shape, though the nice lady had already taken her to the vet. She just needed love and food and not be wandering around streets anymore. Like I could resist that.

The second kitten was found on a rainy, cold night somewhere in Lower Tennessee. I was driving home from a business trip and stopped to fill up the gas tank. As I headed back to the car, I heard the Biggest Miaow Ever. Standing in a puddle, shrieking her lungs out, was the Monkey cat:

She curled up in the crook of my left arm and slept there the entire 2 hour drive home. I found little muddy paw prints all over my jacket the next morning. She’s the craziest cat we have (the 70lb dog is frightened of her), with the Loudest Voice Evar, but she just wants to be loved. And don’t we all.

My rescuing efforts took a bit of a hiatus, we actually went and got this one on purpose:

That’s Thunder, getting on 13 years old now, but still climbing doorjambs.

Transporting three cats on an 800 mile migration to Florida is Not Fun, let me tell you.


Kitten rescuing remained on hiatus until the year we moved into our current house. I stepped outside to join the Husband on the front porch for some reason, and heard the mewing. She’d been next door, begging to get in apparently, and receiving only the token bowl of milk…which you other cat rescuers out there will recognize as the “but that’s ALL we’re going to do” move. She purred and purred when I picked her up, but really, FOUR cats? It was just too much. Then I noticed that someone had closed her tail in their door, splitting it quite badly. Well that settled that. The injury was bad enough that infection would do her in at some point, so we schlepped her off to the vet.

The vet’s son, a newly minted Dr of animal matters, had the first handling of her, amputated about half her tail and then bandaged up the rest. When we took her back in, we discovered this bastion of veterinary knowledge had TAPED the sodding bandage to the baby kitty’s remaining tail, and the removal process is something I still get the cold shakes just thinking about. When it was done, I was in tears, and the kitten made a beeline straight for me, snuggling up against my stomach. There was of course no thought of NOT keeping her at that point. She was christened Zoe, and is officially My Cat…the one that brings me all sorts of kid toys, dead frogs, nommed-on lizards, basically anything she can pick up in her mouth. She eventually had to have almost all of the rest of her tail removed and now is affectionately known as “Stump Ass.”

I had no idea about Kitten Rescue #2 until Husband came in the house with a spitting ball of fur in his hat. Likely a feral, it had gotten separated from its mother and wandered the streets yowling. We gave her an immediate bath, which you can see she enjoyed thoroughly (not):

And ensconced her in the bathtub for a few days until she learned we knew all the best ear-scritchy spots. Her name is Deadly Little Miho:

And there is no longer anything “little” about her.

So there we were, with FIVE cats. Then Hero took ill and had to be sent to Kitty Nirvana (where the fields are planted with catnip and the lizards move realllly slowly), and we had only four. Then the Girlchild took it into her head that we needed a “ginger” cat (that’s orange to us U.S. folk), since we already had black, gray, black/white and calico. Trying to sell her on the calico already including the ginger color didn’t quite fly.

You know how it is with kids, you can sometimes put certain things off forever. We’d done so for a while with the ginger cat issue, but then something clicked in the Husband…I still don’t know what it was…and he suddently became resigned to the notion. Resignation that looked suspiciously like gleeful anticipation.

Yeah, he really just wanted a kitten, I think. So we found Oliver on Freecycle, and for the last two weeks have been settling into a nice routine. He’s a playful monster, teething like mad and using our hands as chewtoys. The other cats are getting there in the acceptance department, Crazy Large Miho even deigning to chase him up and down the hallway last night, Thunder NOT killing him when he jumped on his head, etc.

And then we went outside again last night. And heard the mewing from down the street…

So, if the seventh circle of hell is reserved for kitten abandoners, you can call us Hell’s Angels then, as this little ball of fluff makes the third kitten we’ve rescued since living in this neighborhood (3 years-ish).

This is Dora, and last night we found her underneath a neighbor’s car, crying her little heart out. They had put out the token bowl of milk, and that was really just intolerable. I am not made to ignore the pleas of animals, particularly kittehs, and thank fortune I have a very understanding husband. He has performed two of the last three cat rescues himself…and I suppose he gets credit for this one, as well, since he was the one crawling under the very pointy sago palm to retrieve the little bit.

She’s bittier than mister Oliver, maybe 6 weeks old. Ratty fur, ear mites, fleas, and seriously worn down little claws. Speaking of Oliver, he could not be More Pissed Off if we had shaved him. He didn’t just spit at the little one, he told her, in wildcat decibel-level yowling, that he seriously did not appreciate her glomming his food and litter box. She just blinked and purred at him, of course.

He’ll come around. Soon, I hope.