|There's the fable about a frog that fell into a
bucket of cream: If he'd done nothing, he would have
drowned. Instead, he kept trying to leap out of the
bucket, and he churned the cream into butter. Finally, he
had a chunk of butter to sit on as if it were a raft. He
did not drown because he did not give up.
On February 24, 1996, there was a four-month-old kitten starving to death in Loudon Co., VA, miles from any house. She likely had been abandoned weeks before. She weighed two pounds. It was cold, and there was snow on the ground. Her emaciated body was crawling with fleas that had sucked life from her over the winter. Her ears were so filled with ear mite dirt that there was no pink part of the ear visible. Internal parasites were eating off her as she was starving to death. The pads of her paws were cut from the walking she had done. She didn't have a name. She didn't have a person. She didn't have another animal to be with. She didn't have a place to sleep at night. But she did not curl up and die.
Her luck changed that Saturday afternoon when some men and teenage boys came to the woods to shoot paint balls at each other and pretend they were warriors. When they cooked hot dogs for lunch, she joined them. She was so hungry she ate the hot dog buns they offered. Some of the men said, "Ignore the cat; it's not our problem." A few said, "It's wild and may be dangerous." Some said, "We'll take it to the animal shelter; let them handle it." One teenage boy said, "If it gets to a shelter, they'll kill it; I'm taking it home." No one knew whether it was a boy kitten or a girl kitten, but the teenager wrapped her in his football sweatshirt and took her home.
And that's how the kitten who refused to curl up and die entered my life. She now has people, and another animal, and a place to sleep at night, and a name: Sneezers. At night she sleeps on a velvet chair or on a comforter in bed with a teenage girl. On nice days she holds court on a patio and watches the world go by from a high perch. She rewards her people with little dead mice left on a welcome mat at the kitchen door. Like the frog in the fable, she didn't die because she didn't give up.
to your cat: