Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The throwaway kitten

We have lived in this neighborhood for 27 years. During those years, especially the early years, there have been a number of animals, mostly cats or kittens, that have been abandoned here or have found their way here after being abandoned. I came to think of them as throwaway kittens, a prime example of humanity's inhumanity. They were animals that had been betrayed and abandoned by the humans who should have cared for them.

We did our best to care for them and adopted many of them. When our children were growing up, hardly a spring or summer went by without them bringing another throwaway kitten home. The last of those adoptees finally died last year at the age of 16.

Four years ago, we adopted Beau and Bella who had been rescued by our younger daughter along with one of her friends when they turned up, abandoned, near that friend's house. Since then, we have not had the occasion - or the necessity - of adopting another animal. Until last week.

Last Tuesday, as I was getting ready to go to an appointment, my husband told me he had seen a kitten in our driveway earlier. As I pulled out of the driveway, I noticed that there was a kitten-shaped lump lying under the front end of his pickup. When I came back, more than an hour later, the lump was still there, so I went to investigate.

The lump was a tiny gray tabby kitten. It looked to be not more than five or six weeks old. There were no siblings, no mother anywhere in sight. It appeared to be all on its on. I'm sure it didn't get there by itself. No doubt it had had human help.

When I picked it up, I could feel that it was just skin and bones and very limp. I brought it inside and opened a can of cat food, unsure of whether or not it would be able to eat. I needn't have worried. The kitten fell on the food and, small as it was, devoured a good portion of it. Over the next couple of days, eating, drinking, and sleeping comprised its major activities.

After spending some time with him, my husband announced that the kitten had told him his name was Bertie. That made it official: He's been named, so that means he's been adopted. Beau and Bella are not amused.

By the weekend, Bertie was taking more of an interest in his surroundings, and my daughters, who were both excited at having a new "brother," came to meet him. My younger daughter weighed him on the food scale and found that he weighed 12.03 ounces. My older daughter took several pictures with her phone to record the event of their meeting.


And here's Bertie, sitting on the coffee table in our den on Sunday and wondering what all the fuss is about. Another throwaway kitten who has found a home with us.
This should never happen, of course. Please, if you have cats - or dogs - have them spayed or neutered. And if you have cats, in particular, keep them indoors. Cats who are allowed to roam can do inestimable damage to wildlife and they themselves are vulnerable to attack by dogs, other cats, coyotes (in some areas) or humans and their automobiles. The safest place for a cat is inside where he can entertain his humans and be cherished by them. The world does not need any more throwaway kittens.

8 comments:

  1. Awww. It's a good thing you've done. And Bertie is very cute :)

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    1. He is cute and very affectionate. He's a sweet addition to our family.

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  2. He is adorable, Dorothy! It's such a pity people do that; they think the animal is cute, bring it home and don't think about what having an animal at home entails until they get bored or tired of it and throw it away. Good thing there are people like you still around to give them a proper place.

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    1. It's just so irresponsible and it breaks my heart for all of those animals who don't find people to adopt.

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  3. Bertie is just about the cutest little thing ever (in my completely unbiased opinion.) He certainly picked the right family to adopt!

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    1. Which makes him a very smart cookie, right?

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  4. Bless you for taking in Bertie. I definitely knew where to hang out!

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