2018-09-14 / Commentary

Kitty Cat Conundrums

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

We have a cat.

We didn’t go looking for a cat, but this particular kitty was apparently looking for its humans and it found us. It chose us, as we cat people like to say.

It was a morning like any other morning, when I walked onto the porch and Marty, my husband, told me we had a kitten in the yard. I immediately went looking for it and there it was…a sweet little orange tabby kitten about eight-weeks old.


But…this kitty wasn’t a tame cat…it was skittish and shy and extremely wary of me, Marty, and especially our adult female cats, Molly and Scrappy. And Molly and Scrappy didn’t exactly roll out the welcome wagon either…in fact, even though our dog Charlie loved the kitten, the girls were downright MEAN to this baby.

In order to feed the kitten, I had to get the big girls in the house or they would chase her off. Scrappy actually jumped on her twice and that’s probably what made her decide to trust me. Marty kept telling me we had to find a home for the kitten or our cats would hurt it. He told me the kitty would never be tame because of our girls attacking it, but once I pulled Scrappy off it and yelled at her to leave it alone, the kitten seemed to warm up to me.

It began to trust me in spite of what my husband thought. I just knew I could tame this little fella or girl if I had the chance. Marty wasn’t thrilled at first about the prospect of adding to our already well rounded family but…I knew he’d learn to love the cat, too. I just had to gentle it and let it love me.

Our “courtship” began with me being able to touch its head with one finger for maybe a second while it ate. It then moved on after a few days to the point I could rub its head instead of a quick touch.

Once the kitten realized I was protecting it from Scrappy and Molly, it really became affectionate. I would stay up at night and let it in the porch to sleep and play with me. It wouldn’t let me pick it up but it began to enjoy and then demand petting and scratching. It even would rub up against my legs looking for a pat.

I fell in love with it. I knew I had to get it to the vet and I had to figure out its gender. That’s no easy feat with kittens because unlike dogs, their…um... “parts” are not evident for the first few weeks of their lives. Many of my friends had told me MOST orange Tabbies were male so I wasn’t so worried about kittens…until I Googled how to tell the difference between male and female kittens. Thankfully, they even had a graph so I knew what to look for.

Of course the kitten… who by now was named a nice androgynous “Copper” due to its red hair…was not at ALL in favor of any human picking it up and checking out its “southern exposure” area. And of course, my eyesight being what it’s not, a lot of things needed to come together for me to be able to pick this kitty up, turn it upside down and check to see which Google graph it matched without ending up in the ER from excessive cat scratches and bites!

And so it began…I petted it. I scratched its head. I rubbed its belly while surreptitiously trying to sneak a peek at its privates. It was having none of it. The minute I got close to “the promised land” that kitten would do escaping gymnastics that would shame the finest Cirque de Soliel acrobats!

I finally got a towel and wrapped the cat in it, and while it was all bundled up with its claws by its side and its teeth in the towel, I looked.

I realized I would be needing my reading glasses to be certain of my findings which led me to the larger realization I was in a predicament because I couldn’t let go of either end of the cat to grab my readers without the cat getting away. And I couldn’t be completely sure of its gender until I looked to see which Google graph the cat’s anatomy matched. And it was roughly 5 a.m. in the morning when I took this on, so Marty was at work and there was no one to call.

Finally, after the cat seemed to calm down and even began purring, I grabbed my readers with one hand while holding the towel in place with my elbow. I got the readers on halfway and lopsided but enough over one eye to be able to make a clear assessment and…it was a SHE!

The following few days were a whirlwind of vet calls, appointments and then nursing sweet Copper back to her old self after she had her first vet visit and was spayed.

Now, as I write this, she’s on the back porch cuddling with my husband. You may remember, he was the one who said that I’d never tame her.

Never doubt the bond between two red headed females…of any species.

I’m Just Saying…

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