Friday, January 07, 2011

Cats, cats, and more cats

Beginning a new year always gives me pause to reflect on the passing on the former one and to be conscious of the subtle tinge of excitement over the prospects of a new uncharted one that lies ahead. The year 2010 will be remembered in the Adams household for its hospital stays (Gerry and my Dad) and as a magnet year for attracting needy kittens.

On St. Patrick's Day, we coaxed 2 stray babies out of the backyard ferns. Adorable bundles yet no takers when we spread the word about available felines for adoption. I marveled at all the kitty sounds - - - purrs, squeaks, meows, and licking noises - - - that were new to my bionic ears.

Fast forward to five months later. It began as a typical work day yet we managed to squeeze in a restaurant dinner to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. In the late evening, we were delivering a body to a funeral home located in a rough downtown Orlando neighborhood when the tiniest Siamese-looking kitten came ambling around the corner of the building. We both stood frozen behind our guerney and stared at the huge ears and saucer-size eyes that were staring back at us. There were no residential dwellings around, just a busy, dirty industrial area with lots of dangerous daytime traffic. Where did "it" come from? It surely can't survive here! Oh, my . . . what to do. An anniversary gift?

Much to our amazement, he/she allowed us to put him in a towel and carry him to the truck without so much as a whimper or any other frightened protest. We stopped on the way home to purchase milk and kitten chow. Gerry applied some flea treatment before I nestled him in my arms for the night. Our other "children" expressed a variety of reactions to this unexpected intruder, ranging from playful curiosity from the two young guys of 5 months earlier to outright disdain (i.e., hissing and swiping) from the mature ones.

A trip to the vet the next day gave us the verdict: he is a Ragdoll breed, slightly cross-eyed (probably why he was dumped), 8-weeks old, and only weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz. The doc pulled out a long scoop and Gerry exclaimed on behalf of the wee one, "And you're going to put that where?!" Thankfully, bloodwork was negative for feline leukemia, but the little guy had roundworms, earmites, and fleas. So the medicines were prescribed, the bills paid, and William Sburg (named for Williamsburg, VA, the town in which we were married) became ours.

So our kiddos are growing like weeds and life continues into 2011. Quite a crowd converges in the bedroom at night and who gets to curl up behind a bent knee depends upon who gets there first.

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