Two years ago, on one of the coldest weekends of the year, I was at a quilting retreat in rural Sauk County. One of the women, coming in from outside, mentioned that there was a friendly kitty outside. When I took my walk-around-and-get-the-kinks-out break, I went out to see it. It was friendly, indeed -- doing figure-eights around my legs. I picked it up -- skin and bones; its spine was like the pop beads of my youth, and I could put my finger into the joint of its hip socket. It was our first day there, and the only leftovers we had were from lunch: chicken artichoke casserole. I put some on a paper plate and took it out. The kitten ravenously devoured every morsel, including the artichokes. I picked it up again, and tucked it under my coat, where it nestled in and began to purr.
My daughter-in-law Claire was with me; I asked if she would be willing to drive me and the kitten to the vet, and she agreed. We were about an hour away, and it was a little after 4 PM on a Friday, so I called the vet, said I was bringing a rescue kitty in, and if I was a few minutes late, would they wait? They said yes.
Claire began the drive nervously, repeating, "That cat's going to bite you!" "No, it isn't," said I; it was curled on my lap purring like crazy. After about fifteen minutes, it went sound asleep. It was probably the first time in a long time it had been full and warm.
We got to the vet on the dot of 5 PM; I asked them to keep the cat over the weekend, have a vet check it over on Monday and test it for feline leukemia, then call me. Monday noon the vet called and said the test was negative, but the cat was starving (no kidding), had fleas and ear mites and, no doubt, worms, an infected eye and a broken tooth. Also that it was a female, about two years old, and had had kittens, which undoubtedly died because she was too thin to nurse them.
I asked the vet to deal with the fleas, the ear mites, the worms, the eye, and inoculate her against feline leukemia, and call me when I could pick her up. Then I called my husband, who was very happy having only one cat in the house. But he's also a gentle and compassionate man, and was surprisingly easy to persuade that we needed to give this kitty a good home. Here they are:
She has been a joy and the source of great entertainment -- a little clown. She's also very good with the grandkids, much more tolerant than the older cat.
Olivia has been wanting a kitty forever, so we decided that this would be her kitty that lives at Nana's house. They are quite a pair:
On these cold snowy days, I'm so glad to know this little cat is inside, warm, dry and with a full tummy.
a rescued kitty
a beautiful granddaughter
a loving husband