Monday, September 01, 2008

crazy cat people

another kitty

I've got such a backlog of blog entries taking up space in my brain (not paying rent, but I''m not committed enough to evict them) that I never got around to mentioning here (I don't think?) about the kitten I brought home for my girl on the Saturday before Memorial Day. If you know my girl, you know that she loves cats. Our old lumpy, furry feline, Cozy, came into our family (as an already grown and predictable cat) because the girl, when she was still just two years old, couldn't stop talking about getting a cat. But that was seven years ago and within the last several months, my girl started wishing audibly for "a little black kitten with green eyes to call me own" (insert your own fake Irish brogue). I flirted with the idea around the time of her 9th birthday, in January, but decided it wasn't the right time (I wasn't so sold on the idea myself). But once Spring inched into Summer, I knew there wouldn't be a better time, so I responded to a craigslist post and half an hour later (whisper out loud that you might want a kitten and they practically fall from the sky) we had a tiny (so tiny!) little Ozma. Named by the girl as a nod to one of her favorite book series, that little kitten is nearly full grown now. It's true what they say about kittens! They turn into cats, and fast! She was fuzzy when she was little but's so sleek now, like a panther; her green eyes turned yellower and yellower. And with two of them (and a dog, to boot, maybe don't get me started on the dog, we're at odds, and I feel no guilt at all because you know what? we've had her for eleven years and most marriages these days don't last so long) I thought we were at capacity. Full. Finished. The end.

But let's say it's a quarter til six on a Tuesday morning and your phone rings. You answer groggily, waking up from a weird dream about an overful animal shelter (no joke!) and hear, on the other end, your husband. And he doesn't know what to do. About the kitten he's holding. That he just pulled out of the engine compartment of his car. Because when he stopped for a red light, he heard mewing.

You tell him to bring it here. What else? And when he arrives back, at dawn, a few minutes later, you get a towel and some water and set the pitiful little animal up in the garage with the side door open (maybe it will go home?).

But pitiful, bony animals with fleas and weepy eyes, dull hair and lethargy don't have a home.

I posted adds on craigslist and no one answered (surprise!). We asked around and the neighbors didn't know anything. We left, as a overhanging question mark, the option of taking him to a shelter. We didn't need another cat! We just went, after nearly seven years, from one to two. Isn't that enough? But the shelters are so full! And we're such softies. It's true.

It's amazing what a little kindess and good food will do. And in a few days, the pitiful animal perked up and became a very normal little kitten, a sweet gray and white boy about (oh, I'm guessing here) ten weeks old. What we mistook for sickness was probably just hunger and today he's just as playful as any kitten. Just as playful but, oh, so much sweeter. Probably the sweetest little cat I've ever known.

The husband, who feels a particular bond from pulling him out from around a hot engine and burning up his own hand in the process, took to calling the little guy Tom Kitten. But I decided (with really no vote, sometiemes I just pound my gravel and say something is so) to call him Binx. Binx Bolling, but who can be so formal with a cat? The husband feels a special kinship from being the rescuer (no doubt the kitten would have died had he not been pulled out right then) but I felt a bond from first from being the namer (but, then, I'm a namer of all things and enjoy the process quite a lot, be it a kid or a cat or a car) and, later, because he really is sweeter than any cat I've yet to know.

He's in my lap as I type, filled-out and clear-eyed, fur clean and soft, whiskers starting to regrow (they were all singed off in the car), purring contentedly. The love-iest kitty of all lovey cats. It's been two weeks now since he's been here.

I think he's staying.


Linda said...

We found a kitten once that was a hysterical matted mud grey mess. I was about to take him to the pound, but my mom saw him and her heart went out to him. She took him home, cleaned him up. Imagine our surprise when he turned out to be a stunningly beautiful Himalayan. They've had him now about eight years.

I've also experienced that bonding that happens in saving someone. Once in the dead of winter my husband found a litter of newborn kittens that a feral cat had birthed in our garage. All of them were dead, except one that was stuck between the cushions of an old chair and barely alive. We called the vet for advice and they said the mother cat probably wouldn't come back and told us how to feed it, but neglected to tell us to stimulate it to poop, which ultimately resulted in its demise. But meanwhile, I brought the cat in (despite allergies) and kept it warm by holding it next to my skin in the sleeve of my sweater. This tiny thing, with eyes that hadn't even opened yet, purred and purred and purred, and over the next day I became totally bonded to it and was heartbroken when it died.

midgettroyani said...

So, were you sitting outside to type, cause I thought it wasn't going to be coming inside the house, etc....

When I got the litter and brought them home, D said he didn't want them in our bedroom, on our stuff. He was grouchy. He stayed to study and I left to party. About 4 hours later I came home and he was in the bedroom, all snuggled up w/ them in the bed w/ him.

You toughies.

Angelina said...

Binx is so completely sweet it's like he's made of love. The due is so cute I could just squeeze him like crazy!!