Seymourrocks in Fort Worth
(Fort Worth, TX, USA)
I just adopted two kittens last October on the day I was scheduled to go into the hospital for what I thought was to be a few days. It turned out to be eleven. I had already made arrangements for my friend Jett to take care of my dog Sasha that I have had for eleven years now and is just the best dog I could have ever hoped to own. Her mother was a chow/collie mix and her sire was a full blood chocolate lab.
As I was walking out the door to leave I heard some faint meows coming from the bushes to the left of my front porch. I thought oh no this can't be good. I investigated and found two tiny half starved kittens and thought I don't need this right now as sick as I am. I don't have the time to take care of them right now. They couldn't have been more than five weeks old and it looked like their teeth had just come in and they were barely able to eat solid food.
Sasha is a house dog that weighs about 80 lbs in the fall when she has put on weight for the winter and she guards the house when I am gone. My neighbors say that she turns into dogzilla when she is there alone and I am quite certain she would eat a son of a biscuit eater plum up that she knows doesn't belong there.
Again the question comes to mind, what am I going to do with these little cats. Sasha will probably kill them if I put them in the house. One thing was for certain though. These kittens wouldn't last long without their mother. I believe that she was the feral cat that I had been seeing in my yard when I got home from work very early in the morning. I saw her with a litter the year before. I just left them alone because they keep the rodent population that comes off the grain cars down. Anyone that lives near the tracks knows what I am talking about. I was going to trap her but I thought no. She is doing me a favor so why not live and let live. She disappeared about the time the kittens showed up and I haven't seen her since.
I had to do something because these timid little cats came up to me asking for help. The little male cat came up first and when his little sister saw it was safe followed suite and they both let me pick them up. Something very unusual for feral kittens. I suppose they were just too young and had not yet developed a fear of humans or they were simply starving to death and had no choice.
I Put Sasha back outside and made a place for the kittens in my bathroom and gave them some soft non-canned dog food and some water. They scarfed it down in no time flat and it seemed like they drank water for better than five minutes.
It brought back fond memories of my female Main Coon cat I had for over 10 years. She was something special. I lived in an apartment and the new management kicked me out because I would not get rid of her. They never believed me when I told them she doesn't pee on the carpet or get on the counters or the table even when I would leave food out. I know because I dusted the table and counters lightly with flour and never found one paw print. She never clawed my furniture and kept dogs out of the pool area that I lived in. Her name was Pricilla Pussley.
They ate crow when they came in with all their electronic gizmos and couldn't find a bit of damage "that all cats do to apartments." I can still see the managers face when I said to her, guess you don't get to keep my first and last month's deposit that would have gone toward your bonus huh?
I made sure that the kittens would not be able to get out of the bathroom and I let Sasha back in the house and left for the hospital. I called Jett and told him what I had done and asked if he would take care of them too for a few days until I got out of the hospital and I would find them a home when I got back home. I talked with him about three or four days later and asked how things were going with Sasha and if the cats were any trouble. He told me that they were no trouble at all. I asked how they were holding up being trapped in a small bathroom and he told me that they had gotten out because Sasha pulled the blanket out from under the door. I was horrified because I just knew that Sasha had killed them. Jett quickly told me that he had witnessed the darndest thing he had ever seen in his life.
Sasha had adopted the kittens and was licking them and keeping them clean and mothering them. He said that when he went to feed them Sasha wouldn't take her eyes off him the whole time he was handling them. She was doing everything but nursing them. Well needless to say when I got home almost two weeks later I decided to keep them so that they could pick up the job their mother left off. I now have a couple of mousers that made their first kill two nights ago. They tag teamed a big rat that got in through the furnace floor and took care of business. I heard a big ruckus as they wore him down and the most horrible squeal. My two little once-to-be-victims are now the conquerors living the dignity of cats.
It has been so much fun along with a lot of work raising them and watching them play together. I built them a 6 foot tall five story kitty condo covered with carpet that they just love. I am not absolutely certain but I think the Tom is a Bengal cat. He fits the description and personality to a T. He is one very handsome cat. God threw away the paintbrush when he finished this little guy's pelt. For him life is one big day of fun. He loves to take off running full blast and pounce on his favorite mouse toys, leap into the air and somersault into great ecstasy. I gave him the name Rocket Crocket. Sidewinder would have fit as well because of the way he speeds up and homes in on his unsuspecting target, usually his sister, and collides in mid air. I used to worry that he would hurt her because of how ruff they play together but she eggs it on and gives as good as she gets!
The little female is a cat all her own. She is a very sweet cat but she wants to give and receive affection when she wants. It has taken a while to learn her signals but she will let you know when she wants to lay in your lap and when she wants down. She will also let you know when she wants to be picked up and when to put her back on the floor. She carries herself with such dignity and grace. The name that fits her is Queeny Smooch.
Perhaps someone can tell me a little more about her breed and will recognize her temperament. It has taken me a while to remember how cats think and I have made a few mistakes in understanding cat speak but I think I will get there and build a good rapport with my two new furry friends.
Dogs are easy to understand and train because they can communicate dog speak much easier and have less need to be heard and understood than a cat.
A dog looks for its place in the pack and is happy to assume the role. I tend to think of a well trained dog as the butler of the house. A cat on the other hand is far more sensitive and has a more complex system of cat speak and a need for respect in the animal world more so than the other domestic animals. The world he knows from instinct no longer exists and this proud hunter must depend on someone else to do for him what he once was able to do for himself. What makes him superior is that he is a cat and unlike most other animals that are not so self aware he still knows that he is a cat and what a cat should be.
I know that I probably sound nuts to a lot of people but experience has taught me that understanding goes a long way. A cat can do nothing but be a cat and a dog can only be a dog and a bird a bird and so on. One need not commit the anthropomorphic fallacy to communicate with and to love their pets.
I am open to pointers and suggestions from any of you cat whisperers out there. Also I would sure like to know if my kitten is truly a Bengal. He certainly is attaching himself to me more and more with each passing day. He always lays at my feet holding them with his paws when he is tired of play and wants me near. His sister also continues to win my heart because I know she means it when she gives her affection.
They have found a home with me and I can't see letting them go. After all they are earning their keep now and Sasha has accepted them as well. Around me she acts indifferent but I know that it is only a show and she plays with them when I am away. This old man has found many a good friend in my day. I am just glad that I have had some exceptional furry ones along the way.
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