Smitten With Kittens

“Watch out when you get in your car; there’s a kitten under it” said my stepfather back in July. He’s 87 and his eyesight isn’t the greatest, so I was a bit skeptical.

“Are you sure it wasn’t a groundhog?”

“No, it was definitely a cat of some sort”.

So of course I had to go out and look.

Nope. Definitely not a groundhog.

In fact, there were two kittens, who appeared to be quite scrawny and motherless. I estimated they were about eight weeks old. I waited around and kept checking, but never saw the mother. They looked so tiny. And so HUNGRY.

I’ve always favored dogs, and have had several thus far. I liked other people’s cats, but never was keen on having my own. Besides, I’m allergic to them (I’m allergic to dogs too, but…). I’d been really missing having a dog around, but with elderly folks unstable on their feet and prone to hospital visits, etc., having a dog wasn’t really feasible.

So these two kittens appeared, and what did I do? I fed them, of course. I went out and found kitten food and little tiny bowls, and started feeding them several times a day. They remained outside, and I would come out and play with them. I went all in and even bought cat toys.

Then Mama showed up three days later, and came right up to me and rubbed her face all over my hand and legs. It’s as if she was thanking me for feeding her kittens. So I found adult cat food and started feeding her too. Of course.

The Whole Fam Damily

I asked around the neighborhood to see if anyone was missing a cat. Nope. I checked lost and found sites, the humane society, everyone I could think of. I also checked to see if the local shelters were taking cats and kittens. Nope. Nobody had lost a cat, and nobody wanted any either. You couldn’t give them away. My guess is someone dumped them.

So what to do? Not feeding them seemed cruel. It’s possible they would have survived on their own, I guess, but I wasn’t prepared for the possibility that they would starve to death. So I continued to feed them.

They started as strictly outside cats, then indoors at night, then they became indoor full time. The longer they’ve been here and the more I invested in spaying and neutering, the more I felt I wanted to protect them. Indoor cats live 10-15 years on average. Outdoor cats only about 2-5. While we live in a rural area, it can still be dangerous. There are coyotes and other predators out there, not to mention cars that zoom along our road at high speed.

And so that’s how I’ve ended up with three cats.

Mooji

Mooji is a sweet little female, with “thumbs” on her front paws. It’s called polydactyly, and while not truly rare, it’s relatively uncommon. Apparently Hemmingway favored and had many polydactyl cats. “Mooji” is the Chinese word for thumbs. She is my morning alarm clock and comes up to me purring and kneading early in the morning. She also loves to snuggle in my lap in the afternoon. While she was the first to approach me and let herself be petted, these days she’s more shy, until it’s snuggle time on her terms.

Being a snuggle bunny
Mowgli

Mowgli is the male kitten, who was more wild and standoffish at first. His fur is a bit longer, and he has more of a wild look. Initially I could only pet him while he was eating, but then after a five day trip, I returned to a cat that would come up to me and seek affection. Now he’s quite affectionate, and loves to come up and pounce on my lap, and then walk back and forth purring and rubbing until he flops down. He is quite the climber and daredevil, much like human teenage boys are.

King Cat: I want to get him a small blonde doll….
Mama Bear: “If I fits, I sits”

Mama Bear is mellow and as attention seeking as a dog, although she’s usually not one to sit on your lap. She tends to favor Mowgli, and still plays with him as if she’s still a kitten. She nearly is, as she’s only about a year old. A teenage mother, so to speak. She remains appreciative and loyal, and loves to watch for birds out the window.

A rare lap moment

So I’ve been having fun playing with the cats. They’ve gone from being barely over a pound to 6-7 pounds in the last four months, and their personalities are becoming more obvious day by day. While I certainly wasn’t looking for any pets, they arrived at just the right time, and have graciously agreed to allow me to be their human minion. I don’t know how having them will work with travel plans, but I’ll figure it out eventually.

Be well and peaceful, dear readers. And even if you’re not into cats, may you know the warmth and joy that comes from having one (or more) on your lap.

Author: mettatsunami

In 2009 I was working full time in medicine, and living a life that was alienated from what I truly valued. While volunteering with a local hospice, I began to wonder: "What would I do differently if I had six months to live?". This began the impetus to change direction. While it has been a case of two steps forward, one step back in many ways, there has still been slow movement in the direction of a more authentic life. Since the pivotal decision to change direction, I have been a Buddhist nun, returned to lay life, changed Buddhist schools, returned to medicine part time, and then full time, quit again, traveled extensively, trained in yoga, spent time in several Buddhist monasteries, and am in the process of how to live according with Buddhist and yogic practice and values, and how to streamline this life into something worthwhile. In the Theravadan Buddhist practice, one of the daily reflections is "Has my practice born fruit with freedom or insight, so that at the end of my life, I need not feel ashamed when questioned by my spiritual companions?". That is my practice. My goal in this blog is to share the journey along the way.

16 thoughts on “Smitten With Kittens”

  1. Yay! Your blog message didn’t go to my junk!!! Love that you are loving your babies. We love all of ours even though yesterday and the day before, Sophie the dog shat all over the dog room and the 2dogs stepped all over in it, yesterday Winter the cat puked all over Sydney’s floor and one of the new kittens puked all over our throw rug. I mean, are you kidding me?

    Haha!

    How you doing?

    Love,

    Gina

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think a kitty PFD, harness, and a leash would be essential, but with all that, I’m not sure how happy the cat would be. I saw someone with their cat on a kayak in a commercial for a calming collar. That might be another essential as well. My dogs were always on the larger side, in which having them in the cockpit would interfere with paddling. At least one wouldn’t have that problem with a cat.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. aw that’s so sweet! my first cat turned up like that too with the same trajectory — hung around a while, then just a bit of food (first scraps, then proper cat food), then indoors at night, then indoors all the time…. They look wonderful companions

    Liked by 1 person

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