Friday, September 19, 2008

Nine Years and Counting

Nine years ago today, we brought six little kittens in from under our back porch. We found them a few days before, and kept a close eye out as their mother went back and forth taking care of them. Then, she disappeared. We jumped in, pulled the little guys out and brought them in. (We figured they were about 2.5 - 3 weeks old.) What followed is sometimes a blur in my memory: warming goat's milk for feedings every 4 hours, helping them use the bathroom (didn't know they couldn't do this on their own that young), nearly crying when they stood up on wobbly little legs for the first time, trying to wean them off the bottles, etc. It's like everything you deal with the first few years raising kids crammed weeks.

We'd only planned on keeping one of the kittens, but I talked Chris into two. Then one turned a bit scrawny and sickly looking, almost unadoptable, so we kept him. (Fooled us. Major is now 18 pounds of cat.) When they were about 3 months old, we took the other three (Face, Buster and Rusty) to the local shelter. Two days later, we got a phone call from the shelter saying they couldn't handle Face, that she was vicious. (Hissed when they tried to take her out of the cage.) They were talking about putting her to sleep. We told them not to touch her and immediately went to pick her up. When I opened the cage, she walked right out into my arms. (She's a Tortie, and I'm told they have bad attitudes. Maybe she was just living up to that.)

Blondie used to be my little athlete. He would run around the house, jump all over things. He still likes to run around sometimes, but not quite like he used to, so he's put on a few pounds of course. We named him Blondie because we couldn't think of anything else. He didn't stand out like the others as a kitten; was quiet and just liked to play on his own. If we'd been thinking, we would have named him Lambert after an old cartoon we like. Alas, we weren't thinking and he was stuck with a girl's name.

Eddie was the first one named. The day we brought them in, she looked like Eddie Munster. She was a cutie, but ended up being the one who worried us the most. At one point, she lost all her fur except the bit on her face. (Will have to find and post a photo of that.) When it finally grew back, she ended up being the only long-haired cat in the lot. She's also the only living thing in this house who is at her ideal weight. What an oddball.

This is Major, the big baby. He likes to go to sleep while sucking on the tip of his tail. There was a time when the other kittens would be running around playing, and he would sit on Chris' lap meowing over and over again, so we decided he was a major pain...Major. (We found out later on that he has a detached retina and that could be what the problem was. That's a pretty painful thing when that happens.) One day I'll post one of his "skinny" pictures. What a difference.

This is Her Majesty, the ever elegant, Face. Not her best picture, but the only one I can find right now. We thought she was a boy since she was the biggest in the litter at the time. (Yes, Torties are girls, but she wasn't showing Tortie colors then.) Face and Major used to be twins. The only way we could tell them apart was by the red on her nose. We named her Face Man after the guy on A-Team. Then, the red filled in all over and we found out she was a girl. She already knew her name, so we just called her Face. She is Blondie's best friend.
And here they all are. Eddie does not like the others around her when she's sacked out, or most other times actually. She would have been a good "only cat" for someone I guess. It's rare to have all four of them in the same photo, but I managed it this time, barely. (Note the difference in Face and Major. Like I said, they used to be twins.)


Vicki Lane said...

Awww -- they're all so pretty!

Susan M. Bell said...
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Susan M. Bell said...

Thanks. I think so too, but I am a bit biased. :-)