Monday, January 5, 2009

Our Foundlings

At the end of June, my husband found an abandoned kitten at work. Since we are animal lovers, he brought it home. It was only three weeks old, and very tiny. But it had a huge voice. We took it to the vet and it was determined to be healthy and a female. I had to bottle-feed her several times a day for a couple of weeks (this also entailed burping and stimulating elimination). We named her Taji - which means 'silver and yellow' in Japanese. Her eyes eventually turned into a beautiful pale aqua. A week or so later, he found two more kittens. A co-worker took one, and he brought the other home. She was so thin and frail, you could feel every bone in her tiny body. She felt as weightless as a little bird in your hand. She was only about half the size of the first kitten. We named her Max. At the time we had a bit of gender confusion, which was cleared up during her first visit to the vet. Max is a brown tabby with amber gold eyes and she has a heart shape on her right flank. Both are now spayed and micro-chipped. They are active, healthy, fun-loving kittens - practically inseparable. Our oldest cat, Ling, ignores them unless they invade her space. If they get too close, she snarls at them and quickly runs away. The younger cat, Bella, now plays with them and they chase one another up and down the hall and all throughout the house. At night, the three youngest pile up on the bed with us. Mom gives them treats every morning when she gets up, and you would think it was the Pied Piper coming down the hall. They practically stampede in front of her, sometimes coming back and winding themselves around her legs, crying plaintively for their treats. Taji is still very vocal, and insistently demanding. She is much more vocal and assertive than Max with her hesitant little mew. Max is the lover of the group. She still wants to be picked up and snuggled often. She will stand up on her haunches and reach up to me to be picked up. Taji likes to be held and stroked early in the morning and late at night. She shows her pleasure by purring very loudly. But they both like to doze on my lap while I'm watching TV in the evening, and curl up with Mom during the day.
I can't begin to tell you how fulfilling it is to know that we've saved two little lives. The love we've received in return is priceless.

Guess what, that isn't the end of this story. Two weeks later, my husband found a fourth kitten, the lone male of the group. He brought it home and our neighbor adopted him. This little boy kitty loves getting baths and being dressed in doll clothes. I can't imagine our two going along with that.

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