What was scurrying along the ground in front of me? I jumped. I thought it was a rat and almost screamed! I took another look and, to my astonishment, saw a tiny grey kitty. I couldn’t see the mother or if there were any other litter mates.
I scooped the tiny little thing up in one hand. It was a little girl, an itty bitty kitty with attitude! I think she was about three weeks old. She hissed and spit at me a couple of times, settled into the crook of my arm, purred and went to sleep. Neighbors, including several men, reached out to touch her but quickly jumped back when she spit. I was the only one she tolerated.
I tried for the next couple of days to get her to stay in the garage, but no luck. She kept finding a hole in the wall big enough to get through. Leaving her to the mercy of her environment was not an option, so she joined my household of two other cats and a golden retriever. Her name is Persephone, Percy for short.
I transported Percy between two households as I got ready to move. She hated the long rides in my car and exhausted herself with loud cries and reaching all four legs through the grill of the cat carrier. A neighbor heard her cries at night and thought she was a tropical bird. I fed her half and half with an eye dropper. My daughter and I laughed and laughed when she ‘nursed’ because her ears wiggled constantly through each feeding. She trained to a litter box immediately and soon began to eat wet and dry cat food. She became domesticated in no time flat!
A few months later, a cat I had seen occasionally jumped up on my window sill. She wasn’t alone. She had brought Percy’s two litter mates that, up until that moment, I had no idea even existed! Apparently, she had been elected by the momma cat as their guardian and had chosen to deliver them into my care. They were both a pale silver grey, just like Percy. One had a white bib and thus the name, Bib. It was obviously the runt of the litter. We named the other one Tab.
Fairly quickly, both feral kitties developed severe allergies to everything in bloom. I sprinkled their food and milk with colloidal silver (nature’s antibiotic) and hoped for the best. At about three months of age, neither one would allow me to touch them…only to feed and care for them. There were several times when I thought they would die because they had such a hard time breathing. Their eyes ran, they sneezed and coughed, and one kitty developed a terrible rattling in her chest.
The good news was that they seemed to be making a complete recovery. No more runny eyes or sneezing or little sides heaving with the effort of breathing. They played and slept together in a cat carrier padded with towels. The bad news – Tab took a turn for the worse one night of heavy rains and we found her in the morning, passed on to a life free from sickness and pain. I think she left her bed during the night and drowned in the storm, too weak to climb back into her bed. Tears still come to my eyes when I think of her tilting her head and blinking her eyes to show she knew how much she was loved.
Bib flourished and began to grow. She came up to me for food, sniffing my arm and fingers, but was too timid to be stroked. One evening, I looked out to see blood dripping down over one of her eyes. I couldn’t believe it. One minute she was fine and the next minute she was terribly injured. I hadn’t heard any cat fights and had no idea what had happened.
My daughter and I were able to trap Bib to take her to the only vet in our rural area. Trapping her was an intricate adventure of sealing her into a cat carrier, transferring her in the rigid carrier into a soft side carrier, getting her to move into the second carrier, and then carefully separating the two containers while keeping Bibs inside. The vet filled her eye with antibiotics, stitched it up and, surprise, neutered ‘her.’ Our Percy had a brother, not a sister!
Bib is still in treatment – he may or may not be able to see out of the injured eye. We have to get up at 5 am to catch him for his weekly trips to the vet. His stitches come out next week. Like his sister, he has a wonderful personality. Like a little boy, he eats and plays as if there were no tomorrow! He’s a champion tree climber and plays with the other feral cats that abound in our area. Although he is still a wild kitty, we love him. We like to think that Tab is up in kitty heaven smiling down on Bib.