Other Cool Things

A Gray Adventure

On September 2, 2017, I discovered a kitten under my front porch.

I could see the kitten through the deck boards, and I gently called out. “Kitty! Kitty! Here kitty!” Slowly, cautiously, the kitten came out from under the porch and jumped onto the deck.

“Hello!”

The kitten was very small. Maybe three months old? But the kitten looked VERY pregnant and with a huge distended belly. I carefully picked the kitten up, and was pleased (relieved) that the kitten seemed OK with this.

“Meow. Meow.”

I was not sure what this meant. But suspected that this might translate into: Feed me!

We went inside, with me wary that the kitten might suddenly freak out. I held on tight, but not too tight, all the while saying: “It’s OK. It’s OK. It’s OK,” in a calming tone. Reaching the kitchen, I opened a can of wet cat food, put the contents into a bowl, and placed this before the kitten.

Kitty scarfed this down.

I stood back…and smiled. An absurd level of happiness overtook me.

 

The first meal. The first image.

 

After lunch, we sat down on the sofa. Kitty was kinda OK with this but…alert. The huge ears seemed odd. Did kitty have some bat DNA?

 

I then put kitty back outside, figuring that kitty likely belonged to a neighbor and would scamper back home.

The next day though kitty was under the porch.

And the day after.

And the day after that.

Hummmm. Perhaps kitty was a stray? If so, this changed everything.

The huge belly concerned me, so I took kitty to the vet. He took one look and said: “That is a very bad case of worms.”

Oh.

Oh dear.

The idea that this brand new creature was being assaulted by something so, well, icky made me nauseous. And I knew what to do.

Kitty would, officially, be granted permanent resident status into RossLand. STAT!

Oh, and kitty was a she.

 

I had no idea if kitty knew what a litter box was. To avoid unpleasant surprises all over the house I placed kitty inside the bathroom, and put a litter box in the corner.

The next few weeks were…difficult. The vet had given kitty a de-worming shot and this manifested in — close your eyes — liquid potty. Sometimes kitty would potty in the litter box. Sometimes. This made opening the bathroom door each morning an act of apprehension. WHAT would I find? Sometimes kitty would have relieved herself on the bathroom counter. Or in the sink. Or tub. Or floor. Or the litter box!

Talking this over with my friend Patricia she just laughed. “You’ve never had children so you’ve no idea that dealing with babies is, essentially, spending a lot of time with shit.”

 

The weeks passed and in increments it became evident that kitty was figuring out what a litter box was meant for. Each morning as I entered the bathroom I encountered fewer and fewer surprises.

I could not, of course, leave kitty in the bathroom 24/7 so I took to bringing her into the office when I worked. I was hyper-alert to her, ah, moods, and would suddenly jump up from my chair, grab her, and race her to the litter box. Where she would, on occasion, explode. Once, she exploded before we made it to the litter box. Luckily, my shirt and pants were washable. And I recalled the remark by Patricia.

My life now revolved around poo.

 

A calm moment during the early weeks of ick.

 

And, relaxing on her bathroom perch.

 

On many occasions I would have to give kitty a partial bath as she would have had, well, you can imagine. During her first bath she FREAKED OUT but with each subsequent bath she ever-more resigned herself to the inevitable. And, I swear, she seemed grateful.

 

One morning, I apprehensively opened the bathroom door and discovered something which in a million years I would not, a few weeks previous, have ever thought to be excited about.

I discovered, and was greatly excited by…solid poo in the litter box.

Solidness!

Kitty was better!!!!!!!!

 

While her malady did prove vanquished her total understanding of what a litter box was proved…somewhat intermittent. Just when I would proclaim to Patricia that kitty had, at last, fully comprehended the essential importance of good litter box manners, kitty would, sigh, surprise me.

And more weeks ensued with my having to reaffirm to kitty, most seriously, that pooping on my desk was every bad indeed. Or peeing on my bed.

Patricia just laughed at these horror stories. “It’s just like with a baby! It’s all poo and pee!”

 

There was never a day when I recognized that the baby P&P era was over. But at some point is was over. Kitty stopped spending much of her day, and all her nights, in the bathroom. And kitty morphed into being named Gray. I had not intended this as her name but it just happened.

 

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Gray is now about eight months old. She has been fixed. She proved negative to feline AIDS and feline leukemia. She, praise the Lord, fully understand the dynamics of a litter box.

She is also very smart and I do love a smart kitty.

She is also a bit of a terror and loves to attack middle-aged Fine and Spot, my two indoor cats.

She is NOT a bed snuggler. And this has caused a huge disappointment for a adore cats which like to snuggle when I am in bed. My fabulous Gilda, who departed in 2016 after seventeen years, was a snuggler extraordinaire but Gray has made clear that she ain’t gonna be no replacement.

Sigh.

She also does not like being held.

Sigh.

Nor does she appreciate kisses (and is anything more wonderful than madly giving cat kisses?).

Sigh.

What Gray IS good at is being full of energy, silly, smart, and playful. She has taught ME how to play catch with crumpled Post-it notes. She also delights in hiding behind my office chair and then LEAPING out to attack my leg, fully then expecting me to reach down and pet her while “scolding” her. “Bad kitty! Bad!”

She wriggles on her back in pure delight, her tail wildly thrashing back/forth.

On nice days I let her outside to the fenced-in main yard, where I have many other felines. She races out, the races back, and then races back out through the tall grasses and plants. I smile at this routine.

 

On September 2, 2017, I discovered a kitten under my front porch.

I could see the kitten through the deck boards, and I gently called out. “Kitty! Kitty! Here kitty!” Slowly, cautiously, the kitten came out from under the porch and jumped onto the deck.

The kitten was seriously ill. And scared. And alone. But she allowed me to help her. And by this, she helped me.

The last sixteen months have been extraordinary painful. There is so much going on nationally that makes me want to scream. But what can I do? How can I fix this horror? An almost daily horror?

I don’t know.

This national pain though has been mitigated by something I could do. I could offer help to a tiny creature in need.

And while I cannot explain how I know this, I do know that the world is just a tiny bit better.

 

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10 Responses to A Gray Adventure

  1. Cats are amazing creatures! I love how each one of them have their own personality!!!! I don’t have human children, so I have fur children and they bless me everyday… some days are delightful and some days are frustrating, but I wouldn’t change a thing!… I may have picked up a second job to have the cash to fund my diabetic cat and my handsome almost 15 year old’s failing kidneys…. and it helped fund my trip to the Cross House too. 🙂

  2. Ahhh, Gray is a cute little girl. She sounds mischievous and fun loving. They sure make life interesting. One summer there were two kittens hanging around our yard. They were about four weeks old, they didn’t even have fur yet, still had down. We heard from a neighbor that the mother was hit by a car. At the end of the summer, we took in Gizmo and our neighbor took his brother. He is now 15 years old and so lovable.

  3. This synopsis of the story of Gray put a smile on my face and I love the last photo you shared. It’s quite obvious she is a very special kitty. I’m happy for you!

  4. As being a crazy cat person myself, I feel with you and every new story about fabulous Grey makes me smile- so she is not only affecting you 🙂

  5. In a world that is trying to divide us the only thing we can do is take better care of each other.
    And be thankful for every blessing that comes our way.

    Especially in the form of little gray kitties ❤️

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