Friday, September 25, 2009

Kitten Crazy!

As I write this, I have two 8 week-old kittens curled up, purring in their little cat bed. Happy, content, at home. Hard to believe that just 3 weeks ago, I didn’t even know they existed...

Flash back to the aftermath of the Station Fire. The one here in Los Angeles that evacuated me and 10,000 of my closest friends. We Ferraros were still busy reconnecting computers and putting the family pictures back on the walls when at about 9:00 one night, I got a call from my neighbor, Terri. (FYI, if you have read The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, she’s the “Terri” of the book’s dedication: “For Terri, ‘cause she’s cool like that!”)
She’d found a teeny, tiny kitten outside her back door, shivering in the darkness.

I ran over there and we cuddled and cooed over the poor little guy. All the while wondering where he came from, where his mother was, how he got into her backyard....if there was one out in the wild, were there more?

By the next day, the kitten (who would go on to be called Ranger) was settled in at Terri’s house. That night, my husband and I took our usual walk. But circumstances prevailed and we needed to head back the short way--something we never do--ending up on the street below Terri’s. Suddenly:

Tiny Voice in Ivy: “Peep!”
Me (stopping dead in tracks): “Did you hear that???”
Husband: (with resignation): “Yes..."
Me: “Peep!”
Voice in Ivy: “Peep!”
Me: “Peep!”
Voice in Ivy: “Peep!”
Husband: “Oh, great, another cat.”

The problem was, it was a holiday weekend and no one was home at any of the surrounding houses. And as my husband pointed out, I couldn’t take a pet from someone’s property just because I thought it might be a stray. (Darn him and his logic!)

So I went and got Terri (and kitten food) and we fed the kitty. And left her in the ivy. What could we do?

But bright and early the next morning, I returned with more food, only to have her scamper up to me, let me pick her up, and start purring. And more? The people were home! So I talked to them and they said a stray mother cat had had a litter of four...but all had been disappearing one by one...and at last count, only two kittens were left.

What didn’t need to be said was what had likely happened to the others. See, we live on the edge of a national forest. And even before the fires, with our hot, dry summer, the coyotes had been coming down looking for food. Since the fires, it was every animal for himself.

So Ruby (as she was soon to be called) moved in with Ranger in his cozy digs. And from the first moment they reconnected, they sniffed and nuzzled and purred...and curled up together. Melted Terri’s and my hearts! We like to believe that Ranger was the “Scout,” the one who went and found them safety and shelter, and that somehow he sent us back for her. But--you know--we're cool like that. ;)

Here they are that first weekend at Terri’s house:

Here they are two weeks later when they moved in with me:

Right now, we are continuing to raise them together. Long stretches at Terri’s, and then at mine, depending on schedules. In either location, they’re as happy as can be--purring and playing and cleaning each other. We’re planning to separate them when they are older, Ranger to live with her, Ruby with me, but we’re just going to play it by ear for now.

So tell us, have you ever rescued a pet or stepped in to help one who needed a home?

11 fresh comments:

Janie Emaus said...

We used to have a stray kitty, which I fed regularly, but then one day he disappeared. I guess he found a more loving home.

BTW, those kitties are adorable.

rebrebs said...

two cats followed me home one rainy day and I kept them and feed them but then they disappeared, I never figured out how they got out.
I would love to rescue more pets, but I can't have any in the place I live, I can't wait to move so I can!

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Aw, how sweet, Tina! My last dog was a pound puppy, rescued via Petsmart.

I did get to save a little Blue Heeler puppy once. He showed up at my aunt's horse barn. My dad (very very reluctantly) let me take him home. A few short days later my mom found him a home with a family that had just recently lost their dog. Serendipity.

Meredith said...

My family helped save a little white kitten. Earlier in the day we had seen the rest of it's family walking along our back fence. When we went back to see them with our mom, we heard a mewing on the other side of the fence. We looked and saw that one of the kittens was hanging onto the concrete fence by it's claws. It's family had left it behind. So, we kids ran inside and got the grabber thing my Gran had. Mom grabbed the kitten off the wall and broght it into our backyard. As soon as she set it down on the ground it scampered into a corner. We got a towel and were able to bring it inside to safety.
We had 3 dogs at the time, who were all puppies. So we kept the kitten in a crate at night and us kids played with it during the day. My dad was trying to find someone at work who would take the kitty. The kitty was with us for about a week, when he found a co-worker who had just lost a family cat. We let kitty go to that family and it was reported back that he was loved. They named him Tigger and he was happy with them. They had him for years and he was in charge of their 2 dogs!


Lenore said...

You know I love kitten pictures :)

· Alba · said...

Don't separate them, please :(

Two cats are the best, and they never feel alone when no one is at home ;)
Plus, if they grow up toguether, separate them when are old will be traumatic for them, just ask.

My two kittys are happy: they play, take care of each other... ;)

Kelly Parra said...

I just love this happy kitty story! They are too adorable. *sigh*

Aliya said...

My Aunt lives out in the country and works in the city as a veternary assistant. Whenever someone brings in a cat that they want to put down/don't want anymore (which happens suprisingly often) she takes them in. Eventually she got to be known as the lady that takes in all the strays and now has over forty cats! A lot of them will leave for a little while but they always come back. She also has three dogs, one of which is deaf and the other blind. She just can't say no to these poor guys!

Thanks for the adorable pics =), Aliya

Heather said...

AWW. What adorable kitties!

A dog followed my sister home once. She was nothing but dirt-covered fur and bones. No one ever claimed her, so our mom allowed us to keep her. :)

Anonymous said...

There was a dog that was wandering around our neighborhood about a year and a half ago. He was gross-dirty and really skinny. My neighbor was watering his lawn and the dog went up to him to get some water from his hose. I was reading outside and saw him kick the dog in the stomach when it came closer to him. We took him in, cleaned him up, and he is the best dog we've ever had. I make sure to walk him past their house whenever my neighbor is outside.

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks to all for your stories. They are wonderful.

ALBA, as far as keeping the cats together, I should probably have mentioned that both households have other pets and the kittens are busy making friends. Plus, we are neighbors, and we both believe in indoor/outdoor cats, so they WILL grow up together.

IAMLITERATE, I got a lump in my throat when you mentioned the dog getting kicked. Hugs to you for stepping in and doing the right thing!

Thanks, all!