Bonus Kitten Post
This is yo6u 9999999999999+++++++
. . . Cat, get off the keyboard.
AHEM This is your Sunday bonus post, it has been a while since I have done two things, a to-for post and a kitten post. So here we go.
I mentioned a couple of months ago that my companion of nearly 14 years, Xerxes, passed away after being diagnosed with carcinoma of the intestine that had metastasized to his liver. He was just a week away from his 14th birthday, which just happened to my birthday as well.
I got Xerxes from a co-worker back in the days of when I was a carriage driver, he was the son of Cersie, child of inbreeding (ewww) and the only kitten in his litter. He was always a bit of klutz and not the brightest bulb in the box but he more than made up for it with his sweet, gentle nature and tolerance of whatever may come his way. I had always wanted a tabby cat, but since my mother raised persian cats I was never allowed to have one.
Xerxes was everything I had ever wanted in a cat, more importantly he and Callista were my constant companions, even when we were all homeless together for the better part of a year.
I had very little time between diagnosis and deciding to let him go peacefully after realizing that he had been suffering quietly for several months. I miss him very much.
Callista made it to her 14th birthday and continues to hold court without her friend. I had initially adopted her with the idea that Xerxes would be happier with a companion since I was often away from home for 16 hours or more a day. She misses him, and spent a week looking for him after I came home with an empty carrier.
I had no plans for adopting another cat, after all I have 3 cats and a dog already sharing my home. While 3 cats a crazy cat person does not make 4 is kinda pushing it, right? This is a lesson in the dangers of working in the field of veterinary medicine.
A client who is a feral cat colony caretaker brought in a kitten from the most recent litter of kittens produced by the one female cat that is too smart to trap. The rest of his siblings had been trapped, neutered and returned to the colony, but this little guy wasn’t healthy enough to even neuter. He was half the weight of his siblings, often drooled and when ever he ate he would gag on his food and spit it back out. She was flummoxed as to what to do with him as she already had 5 indoor cats and 1 indoor/outdoor semi-feral living in her house.
I’m a sucker. I took one look at the emaciated and terrified little kitten and decided I would take him in to give him the best life he could he have, even knowing that it is bound to be tragically short.
When he first came to me he was terrified of being handled by people, he was feral after all. He would cower at the back of the crate when I brought him is food or took his litter pan to clean it. I spend some time sitting by his cage playing the other cats so he could get used to me and in less than a week he blossomed into a shy but no longer feral kitten. We ran some basic tests at work to try to figure out is wrong with him, and so far as we can tell he has pharyngeal dysphagia brought on by nerve deficits which causes the gagging. He also had a couple of parasites on top of the malnutrition he was suffering from not being able to eat much in one sitting.
On top of this he isn’t the smartest kitten I’ve ever met. He is actually probably the slowest. His body is not proportioned properly as his head is oversized and he has a very short neck, on top his scrawny body he looks a little comical. His right eye is kind of droopy, probably related to the before mentioned nerve deficits and at 6 months old he has yet to weigh in over 3 pounds. His tail has a couple of odd little kinks in it, and the very tip is flat no matter how I try to puff it out into a normal tail.
A month and a half later the out look for him is a little brighter, while he isn’t growing like a normal kitten he is active, playful and eating much better. The doctors and I suspect that he may possibly have some form of dwarfism, and will never get much bigger than he is now. We ran a couple of simple tests to check for the most common causes but they came back negative. Is it because he was malnourished for the first 4 or so months of his life? Possibly. Does he have some other congenital defect lurking unseen? Probably.
No matter what, he has a home here.
My adult cats took him in a fairly predictable manner, Callista hates him (as she hates everything), Jasio is his big brother and The Niblet goes between resenting him and resenting how nice he is. Honestly. He has no clue.
The nice thing about Callista hating him is that in his mentally deficient world she pretty much doesn’t exist. His mother and most of his siblings were all black and white and he imprinted very strongly on black and white cats, to the point where he utterly ignores Callista. This is just how she likes it.
On the other hand he saw Jasio and immediately ran up to him, purring and headbutting like he was greeting a long-lost brother. Jasio was a little put off by this at first but now they are fast friends.
Seriously, how am I supposed to make the bed in the morning when they are snuggled like this?
Oh stop being so damn cute together!
The Niblet, on the other hand, is annoyed that there is a new cat in the house. She mostly puts up with him because no matter how many times she slaps him down he always comes back with purrs for her. I rarely catch her grooming him, but often find them snuggling, albeit a little reluctantly.
While at first he was terrified of Kiska, he has come to realize she is a valuable source of warmth in the winter time.
So I give you Hector, the newest addition to my home, who isn’t nearly as evil as he looks in this picture.