I thought about getting a collar for the kitten. She was so tiny, though, would I be able to find one that would fit around her miniscule neck? An adult collar would look like hula hoop on her!
As I gently stroked her fur while she ate, I thought it felt like there already was something around her neck. But not a collar; to my fingers, it felt more like a thin rope or a thick, coarse string. It was early in the morning, still dark outside, so I told myself I’d get a closer look later in the day, after I got home from my radio shift.
When I next encountered the baby kitty, I got the shock of my life. What I’d thought was a rope collar around her neck was actually multiple scratch wounds, all scabbed over. Worse than that, the kitten had a huge, raw wound on the front of her neck! A large patch of fur was gone, exposing the pink skin underneath. And right in the middle of her throat was a deep, round hole! It was red with blood, as if it had occurred recently. A claw from another cat? It looked a little too big to be that. More like a puncture wound, perhaps from a dog’s tooth.
I was horrified, even though the little cat kept on eating and acting as if everything was normal. I couldn’t let her stay outside like that, and risk the wound getting infected. Or have her get attacked by the same animal. The next time could be fatal! So I brought her inside and kept her away from my cats, Jinx and Milo.
But, as luck would have it, it was a Saturday. Were any vets even open on the weekend? And how was I going to get her there, considering I don’t have a car?
Then I had an idea… one with just the tiniest glimmer of hope.
One day, I was surprised to see the Deejling waiting outside on the sidewalk when I was walking home from work. And even more astounded when the little one followed at my heels down the long driveway that led to my front door! How cute, I thought. It’s following me like a puppy dog!
I fed the baby kitty on the front stoop, as usual. From the house, my two adult cats beheld the sight with jealousy from their perch by the living room window.
It wasn’t long before the kitten trusted me enough to pick her up. I was able get a peek under its tail. The Deejling was a She! I’d have to think of a new name for her.
One morning, the little kitty tried to follow me to work. Picture this: it’s 4AM, still pitch black outside. I’m trying to walk the half-mile to the radio station, and this spunky, wee kitty chased me for a whole city block. I picked the cat up and carried her back to my yard. This scenario played itself out three times. I realized that the stubborn kitty was not giving up. What should I do? Should I carry her to work with me? What would she do in the studio for six hours? What about a litter box? I couldn’t leave her in the house with my two cats, who might hurt the defenseless kitten. Ultimately, I outwitted her by giving her a little more food. As soon as she started eating, I bolted!
I was very flattered by the kitten’s sudden infatuation with me. I thought about her often during my air shift. Was she a stray? Should I try to tame her and take her in? Would I be premature in coming up with a name for her? I didn’t want to get too attached, only to find she belonged to somebody.
Little did I know that I’d be forced to make some important decisions sooner than expected….
First of all, let me apologize for not updating my blog in such a long time. Jinx and Milo are fine.
And, there is a new arrival to our household. Her name is Zoey.
Zoey’s arrival is such a complicated story, I’ve decided to serialize it. Ready for Part 1?
Zoey, Part One
I first noticed the little kitten because it looked so much like my late cat, Deej. If not for that fact, I might not have paid as much attention, only because there are so many cats wandering my neighborhood. It’s hard to keep track of which ones are stray or feral, and which ones are cats with owners who let them go outside. But the first time I spotted this tiny kitten, it literally stopped me in my tracks. It was in a parking lot near my house. When I tried to get close to her, she darted away into the bushes.
At first I would only see the tiny cat in the wee hours… on my way home from a 4AM laundromat trip, or walking to my part-time job around the same time. That sweet little face, the spindly legs, white body, and the dark markings… all so much like Deej as a baby! I even started thinking of the animal as The Deejling… a reincarnation, somehow? A supernatural spawn??
Of course, that wasn’t the case. This kitty’s resemblance to my poor, beloved Deej was just a coincidence…
If you enjoyed my blog entry entitled “The Stray Cat That Wasn’t,” I hope you’ll also like this follow-up about Snowy, the Neighbor Cat.
Snowy is an indoor-outdoor cat who enjoys roaming the neighborhood, begging for food. He knows I always have a treat for him, so this is a common sight when I open my front door:
However, my two cats disapprove of this fluffy little intruder encroaching upon their territory. Look at the expression on Milo’s face when he hears Snowy meowing outside:
And Jinx doesn’t like him much better.
Well, one particular cold and windy day, I saw Snowy had gotten locked outside (his humans weren’t home). Not wanting him to catch a cold, I let him in and kept him indoors for most of the day. My cats rudely avoided him, other than the occasional warning “Hissss!”
Meanwhile, Snowy had fun exploring the kitchen.
After tuckering himself out, Snowy curled up in a bowl atop the refrigerator and snoozed the day away.
Meanwhile, Jinx kept looking at me like this:
So, when I heard Snowy’s Dad come home, I carried the kitty next door and returned him to his rightful owner. I was disappointed that Jinx and Milo didn’t want to make friends with Snowy. Socializing cats is not an easy task. So now, whenever I see THIS: