Last night Cilantro, the lickiest kitten in the South, was….
About time, I’d say. Now that the seal is broken, maybe the other three will find their forever homes too. Fingers crossed!
Last week, the shelter manager sent out an email to the usual suspects, asking if anyone wanted to take a bottle baby. Since I haven’t had a bottle baby since (I think) the Bookworms, which was the Spring of 2010, I offered to take her. I was all set to bring her home, but then the people who’d found her had fallen in love with her, and decided to keep her.
I was like “Wah! MY baby!”, but really I couldn’t complain because that meant that baby has a home!
On Sunday, we were watching TV when Fred paused the show and said “I think your cell phone is ringing.” It was, indeed, but by the time I got to my phone, the voicemail had kicked in. A moment later, I had an email from the shelter manager with the subject, Want a bottle baby? Of course I did. I got the woman’s number, and Fred called to see when we could get our hands on this kitten.
We left the house almost immediately and set off to meet them in the McDonald’s parking lot in a town about 20 minutes away. Fred said that the woman said the kitten was “really, really tiny.” He also said that she sounded really relieved that we were taking the kitten, because they’re dog people.
We met them in the parking lot of McDonald’s – they were waiting for us – and she handed the kitten, who was wrapped in a warm towel (which had been warmed in the dryer) over to me, then signed the release form. The entire time, she was thanking us effusively for taking the kitten, and how the kitten had been so cold when they found her. I got into the car with the kitten and Fred got the bottle of kitten formula out of the back seat, and I put the nipple of the bottle in the kitten’s mouth. She looked up at me with startled eyes, and she wouldn’t latch on, but she drank every drop of formula I squeezed into her mouth. Once she was full, I burped her, and then I opened the towel to get a good look at her.
“Huh,” I said. “I thought their ears were more rounded than that at this age.” I opened her mouth gently (she had a cut under her lower lip) and looked at her teeth. I looked at her eyes. “This,” I said. “Is not a bottle baby. I think she’s got to be at least 5 weeks old.” No wonder she’d looked so startled when I tried to bottle feed her!
She sat quietly on my lap the entire drive home, and when we got home we set up a cage for her in the guest bedroom. Then I popped open a can of kitten food and put it on a plate, and she gobbled it down. Then she climbed into the cat bed and fell asleep.
A few hours later, I was scooping litter boxes when the phone rang. Fred answered it, and when I got downstairs, I said “Who was that?”, then realized he was still on the phone.
To back up for a moment, when we were getting the kitten, I’d given the people who’d turned her over to us, our home phone number and my email address in case more from the litter showed up. (If this were a movie, now-Robyn would build a time machine and go back in time in a futile effort to stop then-Robyn from handing out her number.) As it turned out, the kitten we’d gotten had been part of a litter of two, whose mother had given birth to them under a trailer. A neighbor of the people who turned kitten #1 over to us got our number from them, and wanted us to take kitten #2.
Which of course we were willing to do – obviously we’d want the two kittens to be together!
Fred could tell that the woman was driving while she was talking, and he said “Can you bring the kitten to us?”
Which is when she told him that no, she was too busy to drive to our house and bring us the kitten. She wanted us to come to her to get the kitten. She told him three more times how busy she was.
I mean, of course, WE weren’t busy at all. We were in fact just sitting around waiting for someone to do us the favor of allowing us to come get a kitten from them. OUR LUCKY DAY.
After the woman told Fred how very busy and important she was, he asked if she could at least meet us part of the way between where she lived and where we lived. They set it up so that we’d meet at the same McDonald’s we’d met the people who’d given us kitten #1, and off we went.
(No, of course we weren’t making rude and judgmental and profanity-laden comments about self-important “busy” people our entire drive there, why do you ask?)
Fred told me the woman had said that she “would” keep the kitten except that her daughter had allergies and THEN not two minutes later said “I just want to get rid of it” (“it” being the kitten). Well. I hope you weren’t trying to swear Sunday afternoon, because we were using up all the profanities.
We got to McDonald’s, and then had to wait, though admittedly we didn’t have to wait long. When the truck we were looking for pulled into the parking lot, I got out of the car. The back window rolled down, and a 6 or 7 year old kid held the kitten out to me. In one hand. No towel, no blanket, no BOX, just the kitten. Hanging out the window. In the rain. Fred came over with the carrier and got the kitten, then put it into the car while I handed the release form over to the woman.
She filled it out and I got the apologetic “Oh, I’m so sorry I can’t keep it, but my daughter has allergies and -” and I took the form and walked away because I had what I needed and I didn’t think I needed to stand around in the rain and be best friends with her. Fred stood and talked with her a minute longer because he’s polite like that (I’m usually very polite but y’KNOW…), and then we were on our way. She, I noticed, pulled into the drive-thru.
“I note she’s not too busy to go to the McDonald’s drive-thru,” I said uncharitably.
Fred did ask her if she had any idea where the momma cat had gone, and she said she didn’t. He also asked if she was sure there were only two kittens, and she seemed to be pretty sure, so that’s good at least.
When we got home, I weighed kitten #2, and found that she was only 13 ounces. She had all the same teeth #1 had, though, so maybe she’s the runt. Or malnourished. Or who knows? We put the two of them together and gave them a plate of food, and they hoovered it up and then curled up together.
We’d been calling kitten #1 “she” because the people we got her from told us it was a girl, but when Fred did a check later that evening, he told me that #1 was a boy and he thought #2 was also a boy but he wasn’t even close to sure about #2. I took a look yesterday morning and I thought #2 was a girl, but then I looked at pictures online and I thought maybe a boy and then I gave up and decided to ask them to sex the kittens at the vet. (Turned out, #1 was a boy and #2 was a girl.)
I dropped them off at the vet yesterday morning, then headed into Huntsville to go to Sam’s. I assumed the kittens would be there most of the day (they didn’t have an appointment, they were just working them in among the other appointments), but I was just about done at Sam’s when my cell phone rang and they were calling to let me know I could pick them up.
These poor kittens are loaded down with every parasite you can imagine, which did not surprise me at all. They’re on medication, and I’m hoping that in a few days they’ll be feeling better and will feel like doing more than just laying around sleeping. They’re a mess, but let me tell you – I love them already. (I know, you’re shocked!)
Meet Charlie and Patty Peppers.
Bolitar/ Buster, perhaps?
Only time will tell whether he has the Buster sass.
PS: The Peppers Gang is off for spaying and neutering in a bit. Wish them luck!
2010: They were distinctly underwhelmed.
2009: When a kitten falls asleep on you, it’s bad luck to wake them up.
2008: No entry.
2007: Wherein Stinkerbelle becomes a permanent resident.
2006: No entry.
2005: Good thing for him he’s so cute.