Saturday, January 21, 2017

How Was Your Summer, Part 5

This story begins in May. My friend, Becky, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, came home one night during a rain storm. She parked and started to run into her house, but was stopped in her tracks by the most pitiful meow she's ever heard. Investigating, she found a kitten in the culvert near her house, trying to stay up out of the water. Angry that someone would dump a kitten in the first place and then double angry they would do that during heavy rains, she fished it out of the culvert and took it to her neighbor next door. This lady is, unfortunately, a cat hoarder. The woman was very dismissive and told Becky to leave the kitten, with food, in a cat carrier on her font porch. "Momma cat will come looking for it."

Becky checked in but it was clear that, after 2 days a) momma cat wasn't coming and b) the woman wasn't feeding the kitten. Outraged, Becky took it and the carrier into her spare bathroom. She gave it a warm towel and immediately ran to the pet store for food and litter.

When she got her settled in the bathroom, she posted the above photo on her Facebook page.

The poor thing was terrified.

It wouldn't eat and it clearly didn't want to have anything to do with Becky. She is allergic to cats, as is her husband, Jon. They have 3 rescue dogs and the dogs were going nuts over the smell of a cat in the house. She knew she needed to get this kitten socialized to have any chance of finding it a home.

It finally ate the day after it was brought into the bathroom. She came home and checked on it and the food was gone. She had used the litter box, too. But this whole idea of a human was not something she was excited about, particularly, as this human smelled like a dog. Becky persevered and, by day 6, she was coming out of the carrier when Becky was around, to eat.

There was initial interest in the kitten. People who know Becky know she is going to do right by an animal. She kept the carrier clean and she made sure there was fresh food and water daily. The big thing was socializing the kitten to humans. One of the dogs barged into the room and the kitten fled under a shelf unit.

It took 30 minutes to get her out.

Eventually, the kitten warmed up to Becky and to Jon, but he's much more allergic to cats than Becky is and he could only be with the kitten to play for 30 minutes once a day.

She was an inquisitive ball of fluff, friendly and active and clearly fond of exploring and of Becky. The first home fell through. A second one came forward, but it, too, fell through. Becky started calling humane societies and shelters in the Richmond area. There are no-kill shelters but they were at capacity with kittens and a friend told her not to take the kitten to the Richmond Animal Shelter. They may advertise as no-kill, but they will probably put the kitten down because they have no space. How could anyone resist such a face?

I thought about it. I did what I could from Illinois; reposting and offering to bring the kitten back to Illinois if someone was interested. Finally, a colleague of Becky's saw the post, showed her son who fell in love with this gal. She was going to have a "furr-ever" home.

Or so we thought.

Beverage:  Belhaven Oatmeal Stout


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