Zoey, Part 9: Mutant Inbreed?!?

It seemed too good to be true… Zoey was back in my arms, and her original human parents had just surrendered her to me. The sweet baby was MINE, really mine!!!

But, wait. What’s that Jake just said? She isn’t actually a baby?

“She’s actually well over a year old, almost two,” he said. “She’s already had at least one litter of kittens.” He lowered his voice as if he were passing on classified information: “She was an inbred barn cat we got from our friends.”

Hold up: inbred??? Shouldn’t she have two heads, half a tail, and be walking into walls, then? There was nothing abnormal about Zoey’s appearance or behavior. And as for her age… could she really be an adult? She only weighed 5.1 pounds when I took her to the vet. Her limbs were skinny and spindly, like the legs of a fawn. Her eyes were so large, she reminded me of a Ty “Beanie Boo” stuffed animal. (See example below.)

 

beanie boo purple
A Ty Beanie Boo

 

Also, Zoey’s behavior was definitely kitten-like: spastic, jumping up on everything, no inhibitions, no fear, and no manners whatsoever. And the vet John and I had taken her to when she was injured had guesstimated her age to be about five months.

I tried to believe Jake. Why would he lie? (Clarissa said nothing to back up nor to refute his claims. Just stood there mutely.) The idea of a cat that would remain eternally kitten-sized was very charming. (THINK about it! Wouldn’t you love to have a mini kitty???)

One thing I knew Jake wasn’t fibbing about was the fact that Zoey had been vaccinated; he gave me the paperwork from the vet’s that said Zoey (well, Macie Mae at the time) was inoculated and due for her next shots in August of 2018.

I would just have to wait and see if Zoey ever got any bigger. And I’d have to watch her tummy for signs of life, literally, in case she was pregnant. (“If she is, the SPCA would probably take the litter,” John told me.)

What lay ahead for my little, might-be-a-mutant Zoey?

I’d just have to wait and see…

 

Zoey Bug
“Who you callin’ a mutant?”

 

Author’s note: Zoey has continued to flourish… and GROW! She has been spayed and is at this very moment, purring in my lap and kneading my arm as I type.

Stay tuned to My Life With Cats for updates on Zoey, my other cats, Jinx and Milo, and the stories of two more special kitties: Snowflake and Moo.

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Zoey, Part 7: “Give Her Back to Us!”

I thought of pretending I wasn’t home, because I knew why my neighbors were pounding at my door. But I knew I’d have to face them eventually. So I mustered up as much courage as possible and stepped onto the front stoop.

“So, you think it’s okay to take someone else’s cat?” Jake was belligerent.

I measured my words carefully. Another neighbor had told me a few days before that the kitten “really doesn’t belong to anyone anymore,” indicating that Jake and Clarissa had abandoned her. I believed the neighbor, since I saw Zoey outside all the time. I’d tried to catch Jake and Clarissa to ask them if it was still their kitten, but they were never around. Now it had come to this: a confrontation.

“She was hurt,” I said. “I had to get her to the vet. I haven’t seen you around. I didn’t think you wanted her anymore.”

“We’re around. We just don’t come out of out apartment a lot.” Jake was doing all the talking, while Clarissa hung back and played with her phone.

escher effect
Composite sketch of “Jake and Clarissa”

 

“She’s too little to be outside all the time,” I said, trying not to sound argumentative. “She could get hit by a car or mauled by a dog.” I immediately wondered whether I should have included that last part, recalling that the couple owned a pair of pit bulls. (Which, unlike the kitten, they kept in the house.)

“You can’t control a cat if it wants to go outside,” Jake scoffed.

“Yeah.” Clarissa finally spoke up. “Whenever I open the door, she scoots right past my legs before I can stop her.”

“Can I keep her while she heals, at least?” I was losing this argument and losing hope.

“No!”

“Well… if I give her back, will YOU keep her indoors until she gets better?”

“No! She’s going right back outdoors, where she wants to be.” Joe stomped away. “I’m gonna call the law!”

“Wait!” I cried. “I’ll go get her.”

This shut them up.

With the heaviest of hearts, I went upstairs, where Zoey was resting on the bed, unaware of the drama that was transpiring one floor below.

 

fuzzy wuzzy kitty
How can such a tiny kitty cause so much commotion?

 

I scooped up the tiny kitten and brought her outside, where Jake and Clarissa were waiting. I knew they were right. Even though I disagreed with the way they were raising the cat, it was their animal. Just because I’d gotten Zoey veterinary care didn’t give me any legal rights to her.

I held my breath as I handed the kitty over to Jake, wondering what would happen next…

To be continued.

Zoey, Part Three: the Transformation

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.

 

feeding time for zoey
Nom, nom, nom!

 

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….