Tag Archives: cats

Why Cats are Cool (A List)

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  1. They are the perfect foot warmers.
  2. They purr.
  3. They don’t require constant attention.
  4. They bury their poop.
  5. They are amused by little things, like red dots of light and boxes.
  6. They make funny faces.
  7. They are dignified, except when they’re not, and then they’re hilarious.
  8. They are self-cleaning.
  9. They are perpetually curious.
  10. All of them are different.
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Goodbyes

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My cat is dying.

She’s a beautiful cobby-shaped black and white longhair of undetermined breed with gem-like green eyes. We found her wandering outside our church, skinny and bedraggled. We brought her food, but she wanted to be petted more than she wanted to eat. When a raccoon ate all the food we brought her, we decided to take her home. She’s been home for sixteen years.

Her name is Spot. I named her Spot because I was six. Also, she has a black spot on her tiny pink nose.

She is the best cuddle buddy. She always knows when I’m sick or sad, and whenever I’m either of those she’s right next to me, in my lap, or curled up on my chest, her deep, rumbling purr vibrating through my bones and shaking all the broken pieces back into place.

In cat years, she’s 80 years old, but she still plays with bits of string or catnip mice like a kitten. She has a habit of finding a toy, putting it in her mouth, standing in the most resonant place in the house, and howling to get our attention. It’s annoying, but iconic.

Spot is the queen of the roost. The other cats are bigger than her and much younger than her, but Spot only has to look at them archly to have them back down and behave. Occasionally, our middle cat Dot will get in a violent mood and need to be extracted from underneath a piece of furniture. Once she had wedged herself under my nightstand and wasn’t at all eager to be pulled out. Dot’s a big cat and very strong—Spot is small and frail. But when Dot angrily latched onto my hand, Spot attacked Dot in my defense and made her let go. Spot is not the kind of cat to attack anyone or anything, but she would not stand for anyone hurting me.

She misses me. I know people joke about how cats don’t care when their humans are gone, but Spot always very distressed when she sees me packing a suitcase. But when she sees me unpacking a suitcase or bringing in boxes of dorm accoutrements, she’s all purrs and affectionate rubs around the ankles. 

Spot loves to watch the outdoors. While she never wanted to return—she bristles at the sound of loud trucks and dogs barking, indicating she’s had nasty encounters with both—she loves wide windows. She loves car rides and watching the world whiz by. She loves basking in pools of sunlight. She loves watching birds and squirrels and falling snowflakes.

But more than anything else, she loves to curl up with me and be scratched between the ears.

We found out she has thyroid cancer about a year ago. Last week we noticed a sore in her mouth, and when the vet examined her and did some tests, he found out the cancer had spread to her mouth. She has 38 days left to live.

The things is—she knows it. She knows she’s sick. She knows she’s dying. Dot knows it too—despite their occasional tussles, Dot idolizes her—and stays with her all the time.

Spot spends even more time looking out of windows—even late at night when there’s nothing to see. She wants to spend all her time with me. Right now she’s curled into a ball next to me on the couch. She’ll leave her usual resting places and seek me out, patting me on the arm to be petted, purring wildly. And she gets agitated whenever she sees me cry.

“Don’t do that. Don’t be silly, human. Just pet me. It will be okay.”

I hate to see her hurt. And she does hurt. She’s learned how to ask for pain medicine. It hurts her to eat, so she doesn’t eat much, and she didn’t eat much before this started. I don’t want her to hurt, but there’s nothing I can do about it but do what she wants—pet her, brush her, hug her, and let her wake me up in the morning.

She’ll probably go while I’m in Croatia. I’d like to think that she wants it that way. 

Drowsy

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Those who don’t think sleepiness is contagious need to spend time in a room with a sleeping cat.

Cats don’t really sleep. They doze. They are one bump in the night away from full defense mode. If you watch a cat while it sleeps, it will inevitably be watching you back, even if you are only a part of its dreams.

Cats are not solids, but liquids. They melt into puddles of purring fur. They pour themselves into drawers and shoeboxes and cabinets. They dissolve in sunlight, turning their tummies to the light as though their bellies were covered in solar panels that kept them alive.

Every cat has a drowsy expression. Their eyes close a little when they are at ease in a situation–a facial expression most mistake for snobbery or anger. This heavy-lidded gaze actually indicates that the cat is relaxed. It is contemplating a nap, or possibly the nature of the universe. What cats think about will always remain a mystery. They hide their thoughts behind that neutral gaze.

A cat in such a state–either pre-sleep or deep into a REM cycle–is the picture of contentment. And believe it or not, if you watch sleeping cat long enough, especially if you watch it sleeping in a pool of sunlight on a warm afternoon, you’ll find yourself yawning, stret hing, and wishing you too were a cat so you’d have an excuse to sleep all day.

The Simple Joys of Cat-Lady-Hood

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There are three cats in our house; one per person. The youngest furry bundle of joy belongs to my father, who found her injured in the middle of the road two Augusts ago. The middle cat, a shaggy but adorable behemoth who thinks she’s a dog, adheres to my mother. And the oldest, a fluffy, arthritic faded beauty who purrs like a motorboat, is mine.

Cats aren’t dogs. I shouldn’t have to say this, but so many people expect cats to behave like dogs that I feel I should make this clarification. You see, it is possible to own a dog. They submit to that kind of treatment fairly well; in fact, they seem to enjoy being under a human’s control. Cats are made of sterner stuff, and will rarely consent to answer to anyone but themselves. Hence their whole mode of expression and communication is entirely different from that of a dog. Did I say superior? No. Just different.

Cats are, for the most part, quiet creatures. This is perhaps why they are the favorite companion of introverts, people who are often judged by the same ruthless criticism that cats are subjected to. Most people mistake quietness for shyness, shyness for aloofness, and aloofness for snobbery.

Cats prefer to keep to themselves and run on their own schedules. They do not enjoy performing, and are difficult to bribe into doing something they really don’t want to do. Cats are more prone to hold grudges than dogs, which seem to have memories as short as their attention spans and forget abuses far too readily. This is largely because a cat’s sense of self-preservation is much higher than that of a dog’s. Cats remember how individuals treat them, and, much like humans, treat each person according to the individual’s kindness or perceived lack thereof. Dogs, by some genetic quirk that prohibits them from seeing the treachery of human nature, will submit themselves to all kinds of abuses before either being killed or snapping and ripping a person’s throat out. Dogs trust when they have no reason to trust. Cats are, by nature, skeptical and untrusting. This is perhaps why people prefer dogs to cats. No one wants a pet that reminds them of themselves.

Granted, that was a paragraph of sweeping generalizations based more on one girl’s observations rather than proven fact. As far as the longstanding debate as to whether dogs are better than cats or vice versa, the best answer is “to each his own.” It’s a preference, not a religion. Although, because the two animals are so different in nature, it is safe to say that a person’s preference either way says a great deal about what kind of person he is, and it takes a very special sort of person to have room in his heart to accept both creatures for what they are.

Regardless as to whether one’s preference is dog, cat, parakeet, or capuchin monkey, there is an undeniable delight in owning or being owned by a pet.

My cat, like most octogenarians, spends most of her time sleeping. The location of her favorite napping place depends on her mood and how she’s feeling. The location will usually change every month or so. For a while, it was my parent’s closet. During the summer, it’s my mother’s chair in the front room by the picture window. Since November, her favorite place has been my bed, preferably while I’m in it. The minute she’s let in the house in the morning, she makes a dash for my door, where she will stare forlornly at the doorknob and meow until someone lets her in. This morning, my mother let her in my room, and she promptly made her way to wherever my face was, purring loudly. Then, in a tactical move uncharacteristic of my rather standoffish feline, the cat curled up in a ball on top of my chest, settling into a contented nap. Not only was I no longer obligated to get up, but I now had every reason to fall back asleep to the purring lullaby sung by my cat.

Back in the summer, when I had my wisdom teeth taken out (a painful ordeal that didn’t stop being painful until this month), the middle cat made her shaggy self at home on the couch where I had to camp for several days. She always seems to know when someone isn’t feeling well, and is the go-to nap cat for whoever has the sniffles. She is the family clown, who has not only the funniest facial expressions but will also talk back to you (by “talk,” I mean “chirpingly meow”) if you talk to her. She is the sociable cat, and she is the most likely to come downstairs when people are visiting and welcome them, and has been known to sit and watch movies with the people invited over for movie nights.

When I was sick over the weekend, the youngest of our feline trio—who normally avoids me for reasons inexplicable—seemed to know that something was wrong with me, and spent hours curled on top of my feet while I slept. Since my feet were warm, the rest of me was warm as well, and I felt much better with the cat keeping me company.

And that, in short, is why I love my cats.

Why I Do Not Like Dogs

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This is something I normally try to be hush-hush about, simply because I know it is such a controversial subject.  I’ve seen people get more worked up about this subject than they have about Democrat vs. Republican. And I know I may lose readers by saying this, but I really just don’t like dogs.

I get several different reactions from people when I tell them this. Sometimes I get a diatribe about how awesome dogs are and how mentally scrambled I must be not to like them. Others give me a pitying look like I just told them I have an incurable disease. Usually I get a blank stare accompanied by a little backward head-jerk that plainly says they think I’m somewhere between an axe-murderer and someone who takes candy from small children.

I think I can honestly say that I am none of those things. I strive to be an open-minded individual who accepts all of God’s creatures and shares the planet willingly with them. I have a healthy mind, and I have never stolen candy from small children and the thought of even hurting a log with an axe gives me the willies.

I just don’t like dogs.

To be fair, I have never owned a dog. Many of my relatives and friends have, however, and my experiences with them have been mostly negative. Note that I do not try to provoke dogs, nor do I encourage them to be friendly with me. But I have had my arm mauled by a dog, been chased up a tree by a dog who proceeded to gnaw my foot, have been scratched by over-eager dogs, and have read way too many articles about “friendly” house dogs who snapped at no provocation and killed the family’s toddler. I babysat a dog who took it upon himself to bark from 10:00 pm until 2:00 am without stop. My sleep was disturbed at my friend’s house by a stray dog which started barking at nothing and continued to bark at nothing for the next hour and a half. The Rambler family lawn is littered by the dung of other people’s mutts. When we first moved in to the house we live in now, the neighbor’s dog would stand in the middle of our yard and bark at us when we appeared in the windows, since apparently we had wandered into his territory. This same dog also dug through our trash, creating a royal mess that we had to clean up later. I’m fairly certain that this was done out of spite, but of course I have no way to prove that.

For these, and for many other reasons, I prefer to avoid dogs.

At this point, my dog-loving conversation partner will say, “But there are so many nice dogs.” Yes, I will acknowledge that there are some nice dogs. I can name several of whom I am particularly fond. My cousin’s dog, Reagan, for example, as well as my neighbor’s lumbering retriever, Cal. My aunt once owned a sweet-tempered schnauzer named Nick who I miss very much. Like I said, I am open-minded. I realize that not all dogs are created equal, and that there are many dogs which are exceptions to the rule. Service dogs, for example, as well as police dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs and seeing-eye dogs, are exceptional animals that the world could not do without.

But as a general rule, I just don’t like dogs. I am not malicious towards dogs, unlike those who dislike cats and use that as a justification to strap rockets to their tails. I will not go out of my way to harm a dog, and when I see one dead by the side of the road I do not rejoice but am very sad—it’s not the poor dog’s fault that its owners didn’t love it enough to keep it behind a fence.

That said, the fact remains: I do not, nor is it likely that I will ever like dogs. Think of me what you will, but I cannot be converted to Dogism.

For further information, read up on T.S. Eliot.

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Photo credit: Not Mine. I’m not that amazing as a painter.

D’Aaww: The Cuteness Factor

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that anything, repeat anything, is cute as a baby.

Any female (and many well-adjusted males) will tell you that baby animals are too cute for words. A lot of animals that are just downright ugly as adults will be adorable as babies. Baby sloths, for instance. Piglets. Chihuahua puppies.

Why is this? Why is it that all things miniature are so incredibly adorable? Why do women flock to babies, even if they have never met the parents before? Why are we smitten by kittens? Why do we want to hug a baby lion or tiger or bear when we know it will grow into something fearsome?

Perhaps God deliberately made baby things cute to protect them. Goodness knows that being cute is the greatest defense. A lot of men I know will hate and abuse cats but will never go so far as to hurt a kitten. They’ll kick dogs but won’t lift a finger against a puppy. Any three-year-old knows how to get out of trouble just by batting their big brown eyes and playing the innocent card. Cute kids will still flaunt their powers if they’re still cute once they reach teenagerhood.

To illustrate further: we sigh at the news report of a murdered adult. But we cry inside when we hear of the murder of a child.

My father found my cat, then a kitten, Jennyanydots, cowering in the middle of the road. He stopped two lanes of traffic to get out of the car and grab her. The woman in the car behind him leapt out and offered him a towel to wrap her up with. Had she been full grown, my father still would have stopped, but he wouldn’t have gotten out of the car, since an adult cat was more likely to have a disease. And I doubt the people in the lane next to him would have stopped at all. The woman behind him would’ve only gotten mad at the inconvenience of having someone in front of her stop to avoid hitting a stupid stray cat. But a cute baby kitten? No problem.

You see? Cuteness saves.

I could talk forever about the many facets of cuteness and how it pertains to today’s society. But I’ll save that for another day, another post, another essay on the nature of cuteness.

Find a Box and Fill It

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There must be some unspoken natural law that dictates that if there is an open box, a cat will be irresistibly drawn to occupy it.

Cats have an endearing habit of being able to curl up in any space, no matter how small. In fact, the smaller the space, the more likely the cat is to occupy it. Perhaps this is because cats are naturally curious creatures that seek out new and unexpected places to sleep.

For example, my cats have slept comfortably under beds, in the bottoms of closets, on top of folded towels in the linen closet, underneath cabinets, behind sofa pillows. My theory is that the more enclosed the space is, the safer they feel, so they gravitate towards tiny hidey-holes.

Yes, this tendency is adorable. I don’t know how many pictures I have of Dot or Jenney as kittens curled up inside (otherwise empty) trashcans and laundry baskets. But come the Christmas season, the felines’ desire to be boxed in has its disadvantages. Try wrapping a gift when Kitty tries climbing in the box for a little snooze. Or when she decides to take a siesta in the box that you keep all of the ribbons in. Or playing with all the ribbons in the ribbon box.

Thankfully, any cat can be easily distracted by a wadded-up piece of tissue paper.

Cats in Trees Doth Not a Merry Christmas Make

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Perhaps everyone has a latent fear that there is a creature in the Christmas tree. A fear fostered by years of watching a certain Christmas TV special in which a squirrel comes flying out of the tree, or from hundred more who have discovered bugs, birds, and rodents in the boughs of their yuletide evergreen.

The most infamous image, however, is that of a cat climbing to the top of the tree. It’s the number one fear of most cat owners, I think—will the cats climb the Christmas tree? Play the ornaments to death? Electrocute herself on a strand of lights?

With three cats in the house, this is a significant fear for the Rambler family. We’ve never had a cat who actually climbed the tree—though we did have one who liked to steal the bulbs from the strands of lights.

But this year we have Jennyanydots. You see, Jenny, when she’s good, is very, very good. but when she is bad…you can probably fill in the rest.

So we took every precaution we possibly could. We used our broadest tree stand. We anchored the tree to the wall with hooks and fishing line. Only once we were sure the tree was a secure as could be did we release the beastie from her room.

She ambled over to the tree, took an exploratory sniff, batted at a low-lying branch—and sashayed out of the room.

People wonder why I like cats. I tell them it’s because they rarely do what you expect them to.

Wild Thang

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From the beginning, we at the Rambler household have known that Jennyanydots, our newly-acquired kitten, was a little unusual. I’ve mentioned her bravery (you try being dumped into the middle of the road, have your mouth busted open, and yet manage to stay calm while complete strangers cart you from vet to vet) and her insatiable curiosity (well, maybe that’s normal for a cat) and her sweetness (give her all the toys in the world, and she’ll still prefer cuddling over playtime. Don’t give me any of that ‘all cats are snobby and aloof” trash. It just isn’t true). But the bigger she gets, the more we’re noticing just how very odd she is.

She has black lips, nose, and feet. Not the fur, mind you. The skin. Also, she’s a short hair, but she simply doesn’t shed, and short haired cats are notorious for shedding hair the way two-month old Christmas trees shed needles. And her fur’s texture lacks the somewhat spiky quality of most shorthairs—rather, she feels more like a rabbit. Her fur is so thick that we can’t find her skin when we try to give her flea meds. She has nearly perfectly symmetrical striping, and her ears have little tufts of fur at the tips.  Overall, she just didn’t seem to be completely…domestic.

I’d hold her up to my face and ask her in mock-seriousness, “Was your daddy a Bobcat?”

As all Ramblers are endowed with a natural, in-born desire to research, my mother went to the interwebs for answers.

Lo and behold, our cat is a Bengal.

And what is a Bengal? It is a breed of cat that has its roots in the wild—some distant cousin of the Asian leopard-cat, and known for its size, playfulness, and distinctive, spotty coloration. Every picture we find looks like it could be a picture of our Jenny. It seems that we’ve acquired a purebred—for free.

Bengals are leash-trainable. I have this almost overwhelming desire to teach the cat how to walk on a leash, just so I can take her for a spin around the block and watch the Labradors drool and stare in dumb confusion.

My father, paranoid as he is, is now concerned that the Powers-That-Be will swoop in and demand the return of this rather valuable kitten. It seems that there is a Bengal breeder in the Anytown area that may be missing a kitten.

“So what are you going to do?” asked my mom.

“We’ll put out a sign,” Dad replied. “‘Found: One Bengal Kitten. Email for pictures.”’

“Yeah, right,” I said. “Like you’re actually going to put up a sign.”

“Sure I will,” he replied. “Right up on our front deck. Behind the storm door.”

No worries, folks. Jenny, our wild thing, is here to stay.

Unfunny

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Tonight, the well is dry. My risibility is at a low at the moment. I’m feeling a lot of things. Tired, philosophical, hungry, a little bit cold, bemused by the eager-puppy way my freshman roommate is cleaning the blind—I feel all of these things, but “funny” ain’t one of them.

Odd. Typically the tired-er I am, the funnier I get. Any of my good friends can tell you that. Of course, they won’t, since I haven’t really given them any good reason to blackmail me, and a lot of our *cough* more raucous moments probably shouldn’t be repeated, since they’d confuse and/or scar anyone who listened. But tonight I can’t summon the Humor Muse. She’s off getting a pedicure, apparently, getting her godly little toenails painted pink.

I could talk about society induction tonight, where I ran out in the gym and almost led the freshmen out the door where the guys were supposed to exit. I could also tell about my graceful recovery where I tried to make it appear as if I had meant to do that. But that’s not interesting.

I could talk about my and my roommates’ long discussion about how to put on a pair of pants, but there’s a sort of silent understanding that weird room discussions don’t get posted on the internet. Period. Especially if you happen to have any part of that discussion on film.

I could talk about how my preacher-in-training friend looks suspiciously like a member of the mafia and all the adventures that’s gotten him into, but I’m afraid I might wake up with a horse head in my bunk, and, really, who wants to clean up that mind of mess?

I could talk about the kitten, but I haven’t been home in a week, and I’ve talked about that little devil too much already. The naming poll is still open, by the by, so those of you who haven’t voted could go ahead and do that.

I could talk about how I thought that my shampoo was discoloring my washcloths, towels, pajamas and pillow case, but it turned out to be the face wash. But all that would become is another rant about the repressive demands upon women to maintain a certain beauty standard and how most people’s concept of “good looks”  is only an elaborate farce devised by the beauty industry to siphon our pockets. And who wants a rant on a Sunday?

So I’m sorry, dearest readers. The Rambler can’t muster the funniness tonight. Go vote on a cat name—if we don’t come up with something fast, the kitten will start just answering to “No-name Kitty.”

So…

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It’s official. We’re keeping the kitten. But we don’t know what to call her. Readers, I need your help. Here are some names we’ve come up with. Pick one that you think fits, or leave an alternative name in the comments.

The Kitten

She is brave, comical, sweet, and so laid back her DNA is about to unwind. She’d rather be cuddled than anything else, but she still knows how to play and keep people entertained. She’s smart and trainable, and seems to love her humans very much.

Dear readers, I’m counting on you. What should we call the kitten?

Distracted

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Do you have any idea how difficult it is to produce a sparklingly clever, outrageously funny blog post when you’re trying to keep a laoiavona vaoigehnkvsaas;dfwc kitten off the keyboard? Let me tell you, it’s not exactly aiviruyw87623af;a tiddlywinks. Especially when she’s being so confoundedly cute that you don’t want to take your eyes off her, fearful you should miss something adorable.

Despite our introduction of things ping pong balls and toy mice to her life, so far her plaything of choice is her tail, which she has yet to realize is actually attached to her behind. Her favorite place to be is on the back of my neck, but she’ll settle for my lap in a pinch. “No” is a new word, but she’s starting to figure out that a finger snap means she should stop doing whatever she’s doing, such as nibbling on my thumb when she gets hungry. She’s the first kitten I’ve met of this size who would rather sit in my lap and be petted than play (read: get into trouble). I keep putting her back on the floor so she can explore and play, but she’ll sit at my feet and mew until I pick her up and put her back on my lap, where she is now contentedly asleep. I have a feeling she wasn’t used to much love wherever she was before my dad found her.

She got a bath last night. Didn’t put up a fuss at all, aside from a few squeaky mews at the beginning. I didn’t know so much dirt could come off of so small a kitten. She seems much happier now that she’s clean.

We have kept her presence (mostly) a secret from Spot and Dot. The have both smelled her presence, both on my clothes and from under my bathroom door. Spot seems indifferent, but Dot is terrified and won’t even go upstairs anymore. Dot reacts to new things the way a democrat reacts to a scandal—a lot of growling followed by utter denial. Especially if the new thing sounds and smells like competition. We had thought that Spot would have the biggest problem with the kitten, but so far, so good.

Her purr is about 10 times her size, and her meow is half. Her ears take up most of her head, and when she lets them droop, she looks like a fuzzy version of Yoda. She’s developed a habit of standing between my feet while I brush my teeth, especially if I happen to have a long skirt on that she can get lost in. Whenever she sees her reflection, she thinks it’s another kitten and wants to play. Maybe, just maybe, she misses all of the brothers and sisters that she left behind.

No, she doesn’t have a name. We just call her “Kitten,” “Fluffball,” “Fuzzbucket,” or “Troublemaker.” If we name her, she’ll have to stay. Yeah. No way we’re going to let ourselves get attached. No siree. Not at all.

The Princess, the Puppy…and the Pauper

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I told you I’d be talking about cats a lot.

The Rambler family has never been one for buying cats at pet stores. We rescue cats. Not in the formal sense, where you go to an adoption agency and shell out $60 and sign a forest worth of papers. No way, not us. We don’t go and choose a cat…we let the cat choose us.

I remember with fondness the day I got my first kitten. It was near my sixth birthday, and my parents had told me that I could go to the animal shelter and pick out a puppy. I had been pestering them for months about getting a dog, and finally the day had arrived that I would pick out a puppy to take home. (Those of you who know me well will find the fact I desperately wanted a dog quite laughable. Bear in mind that I was five and didn’t know any better.)

On my way to the back to see the puppies, I saw a calico kitten in a cage. It was painfully small, and it barely moved. I stood before the cage, mesmerized, until mother shepherded me towards a batch of squirming, boisterous pug puppies and put one in my arms. The thing frightened me; it was so jumpy and loud, and its claws hurt my arms. Holding it for a moment, I tried to feel enchanted and fall in love with it, or at least one of them. But my mind kept going back to that cage with the kitten. I put down the puppy and wandered back to the kitten’s cage.

They opened the cage for me. I held it, stroked it, smelled its clean fur. It was love at first hug. She was the most adorable cat in the world, and I wanted her.

Mother called Father before filling out the papers.

“What did she pick?” he asked innocently. He was expecting an answer like “pug” or “poodle” or “mutt.” Little did he know.

“Well…” Mother trailed off, looking at me questioningly, then down at the bundle of fluff in my arms. She told me later that the cat I had dubbed “Cutie” was the ugliest cat she’d ever seen. “It’s a kitten.”

“A what?

“You heard me. We looked at the puppies…but she loves this kitten.”

Cutie (later renamed “Q.T.” by my father, who took a while to finally see her inner beauty) was four weeks old, not even off her mum’s milk, and had already been spayed, causing permanent damage to her insides. I couldn’t see it at the time, but Q.T. was a very sick kitten. But we took her home, and, unbeknownst to me, my father spent hours at home feeding the barely-alive cat with an eyedropper, praying for my sake that she would live.

She did. And she was grateful. So were we—she was the sweetest cat the world ever knew. I never once heard her growl or hiss. Had we not taken her home, she would have died, alone, in a cold shelter cage.

Spot was abandoned at our church with nothing but a flea collar to her name. We’d bring her food, but all she wanted was to be held and petted. She eventually found her way into our hearts and into our home. But that’s a story for another time. Again, without us, she would have died.

Dot was intentional. We meant to meet up with her owners and take her home with us. Q.T. had died, and Spot was lonely, so we got her a kitten who has given her high blood pressure ever since. We later found out that the rest of Dot’s litter was either lost or eaten by dogs. Dot was lucky to find someone to take care of her.

Then there was yesterday…

My dad was driving back from the gas station when he found this little one in the middle of the road:

 

The Pauper

He slammed on the breaks and leapt from the car, scooping it up. It was too shell-shocked to run away. The woman in the car behind him rushed out and offered him a clean rag that she “so happened” to have in the truck of her car. Dad put the kitten in the back seat and drove home. The rest of the afternoon was spent running back and forth from the emergency animal clinic.

Somehow its chin had become detached from its jaw and its mouth was oozing blood. We think that it was dumped on the road and landed on its chin. Aside from the bleeding lip, it seemed perfectly healthy. It never uttered a sound, too frightened and confused to even mew.

You need to understand that there’s a lot of trauma at the Rambler household right now, and for some reason only explainable in the mind of God, we needed to save this kitten or break down completely.

We took it to a shelter. They told us it couldn’t be treated until Monday, and even then there was no guarantee that they’d keep it alive if she wasn’t reparable. But we learned that the kitten was about 5 weeks old and girl. (“Oh, a girl!” my daddy interjected.) Off we drove to the emergency clinic, where the wonderful veterinarian told us that she was perfectly healthy save for the chin, which could be easily repaired since the wound was fresh. What’s more, he more than halved the exam fee since we had been “good Samaritans” and only charged us a dollar for the surgery. The most we spent was on anesthesia, her antibiotics, and her de-worming drugs. She is now dozing comfortably in my bathroom on the same rag we’ve carted her around in all day.

Does she have a name? Not technically. If you name it, you get attached to it, and we’re not sure if we can handle three cats. But it’s powerful hard not to get attached when the little thing looks up at you with adoring blue-green eyes and snuggles deeper into the crook of your elbow, purring madly.

I’m not sure why anyone would throw a kitten into the road. I’m not sure why it was my dad who found her. I’m not sure why even though this is a horrible time for us to be worrying about a kitten we have one sleeping in the upstairs bathroom. There’s a lot I can’t explain. But I know for sure that God’s timing is always perfect, and that, for whatever reason, God decided that we needed a kitten, and that that kitten needed us.