In August, my husband, Pat, started talking about an abandoned kitten that turned up at his work, a food manufacturing facility. As a manager, he was concerned about cat hair getting into the workplace because employees were feeding the starving feline during their breaks. She visited at night and was friendly, even purring and rubbing up against people. Clearly, she meant trouble. She had to go.
A plan to capture her began. The first time she was trapped in a cat carrier and taken home by a female employee, but that didn’t work out. She said that the kitten escaped and found its way back to work. Catching her the second time proved more difficult because she was smart and wary. Pat was determined though because time was running out. She’d be euthanized if someone didn’t take her. Somehow Pat managed to catch her with a box. This is how she came to live in our garage at the end of that month.
We already had two cats, an eight-year-old female, gray tabby and a three-year-old black and white male fur ball, not to mention our hyper chocolate lab. My experiences make me feel cautious about adding another cat because we’ve had litter box issues over the years with our various cats. We now had two that had no problems. I wanted to just leave the situation alone and not rock the boat. I thought we could find her a different home.
But Pat wouldn’t hear of it—this from the man who when we first got married didn’t even like cats. Our girls quickly fell in love with Mittens, who never once tried to run away. Her water bowl and food dish were full, and she soon learned to use her litter box.
If we were going to keep her, I insisted that Pat take her to the vet. Before he scheduled a visit, however, Mittens miscarried two kittens. Now, we were perplexed. Just how old was this kitten if she was having kittens. Obviously, she was older than we guessed.
At her first check-up to get her vaccinations and health assessment, the veterinarian assured us she was healthy, but couldn’t be spayed for another month due to the miscarriage. Her age is somewhere between eight months and a year. She is half the size of our other cats.
During her veterinary visit, Pat decided to have her checked for feline leukemia, a terrible disease that stole our very first kitty, Butterscotch Romeow. Thankfully, Pat considered this because it would have been devastating to bring Mittens into the house and then lose all three cats. Thankfully, Mittens tested negative.
I’ve always loved cats. Perhaps I’ve rubbed off onto my hubby; but whatever, it was thoughtful of him to think of us and to remember our beloved Butterscotch. Of course, he couldn’t forget that awful memory. I kept putting off the inevitable after his diagnoses. I became so distracted at work that friends convinced me to tell my boss what was going on. He gave me permission to leave early to go to the vet to let my pet go. It was difficult. Butterscotch was such a loving boy, one of the best kitties ever. I think he knew how hard it was and how much he was loved when we said goodbye. I brought him home in a box with a blanket and insisted that Pat bury him under his favorite tree. Pat, bless his heart, tried to bury him under his favorite tree, but I hadn’t considered the roots, and the tree was old. In frustration, Pat had to bury him in the blanket instead of the box. This was 22 years ago this fall.
In our 30 years together, we’ve had seven cats; Mittens makes eight. Bandit seems to be making friends with Mittens, but Belle isn’t quite sure she likes another family member. I sure hope they all get along and that there won’t be any litter issues.
Have you ever rescued an animal and brought it into your home?