Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's A Dogs, Er, Cat's Life!

Waking up at 3am I looked at the temperature...... 7 degrees, then it dropped to 6 degrees and I thought I was never going to be able to move again. Lord help us. 6 degrees is so terrifyingly cold.

Both cats got up with me and started to go outside but had second thoughts. I almost had second thoughts and went back to bed.

I have had two cats for years. I can't even remember when I got these two but it has to be 5 or 6 or years ago.

"Wally" aka "Go Away" is my best ( feline) buddy.

One morning, years ago, I walked into Wal-Mart at 7am to buy a winter coat for my grand-daughter. As I walked into the garden center I heard a faint "meow." A few minutes later Pappy cashed me out and again I heard a faint "meow" but this slightly more frantic.
I asked Pappy where the crying was coming from, and he told me that kittens had been born in the corner of the garden center minutes before I arrived, and proceeded to show me where the cats were.

There was not a cat in sight. The mother cat had moved everyone. But one. And he was a new born jet black kitten, still covered in afterbirth, right in the middle of the concrete aisle. I swooped him up, stuck him in my coat pocket and ran back into the store to buy some cat milk re-placer and an eye dropper.

As I walked back out of the garden center with newly purchased winter coats and kitten in my pocket those who had previously worked with me kept shaking their heads saying,"He's going to die... you are carrying around a dead kitten."

When I got to work my boss shook his head and said, "That kitten can't live..he's too young, he's going to die." I shoved him back into my pocket determined that he was going to live.

I was working three jobs at that time, and that kitten went everywhere with me, curled up in my coat pocket. I kept him in my pocket when I went shopping, and it got so bad that store employees would ask me to empty my pockets to make sure they didn't have a cat in the store.

It made no difference whether I was horseback, or ground schooling.. that kitten was safe in my coat pocket.

He grew and grew healthy. He graduated from my pocket to a cat bed in the truck, he opened his eyes and started to move around, then he became a pest crawling around the truck and sitting on the dashboard as we drove down the road.

Pappy's wife had watched him grow, as many in Ruidoso had. And one day she asked me if I wanted a "pal" for him. Another kitten. So I went to Pappy's Cafe in Ruidoso Downs and Marlene gave me a gorgeous Siamese colored kitten who turned out to be a Maine Coon. My boss immediately named him "Bandit."

But Wally remained special to me, even though he now stayed at home with Bandit.

Even today I can't walk down the road without Wally following behind me like a loyal dog. If I go into my bosses Wally follows me. Before my boss sold the arena and corrals my black cat would follow me while I led the horses to the arena, fed the horses with me and played around me as I cleaned corrals.
He just stays as close to me as he possibly can, and when I start to shiver he comes over and tries to warm me. He is so funny.

This past week my boss shook his head and said, "I can't believe that he lived and I can't believe he's so big." Shortly after I got him I heard, rightly or wrongly, that the mother cat and her kittens had been found, trapped and euthanized.

Not being able to find them was a sincere regret. But I sure have never regretted raising one little black kitten from birth...

Almost two weeks ago someone from the Humane Society approached my truck as I was leaving TR's store and asked me if I would take a hound who badly needed a home. It saddens me to have to say no. It's hard for me to say no. I don't understand human beings who can turn away a helpless animal when they give such joy & dedication.

It's painful to see animals abandoned, but in this economy it seems that those who can't speak for themselves are the first to feel the impact. Two days ago a friend of my family found 2 very young puppies abandoned outside of the Allsups store. My son-in-law named them *Frazier & *Foreman and they are unwanted no more.

I have no idea where the video was taken but it is hilarious.

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats. ~Albert Schweitzer