Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Koko and Appleblossom, my two latest rescue kittens

A couple weeks ago, some cruel, heartless person dumped a box of kittens outside the laundromat in Sandstone, Minnesota (nearest town to where I live).  My daughter-in-law Leona was there and saw the car pull up, throw out the box, and drive away.  She tried to get the license number but it was too dark outside.  (In Minnesota, dumping animals is a crime.  As it should be.  A curse on people who do this cruelty!)

Leona went and got the box, which was fastened shut and moving as the poor cats struggled to get out.  Inside were three kittens -- two grey tabbies about 6 weeks old and an older kitten who looks like a purebred Siamese.   She brought them to me that same night.  All three were cold, thin, sick, and frightened.  It's a mitzvah to help an animal in need, even if it is a stray and even if the suffering is not your fault.  So of course I took them in.

The smallest grey tabby (in the middle of this picture) was just skin and bones and had diarrhea.  In spite of my best efforts, he died two days later.  This is the only picture I have of him, taken the day after the rescue, and you can see how weak and tiny he was.  But at least he had warmth, food, cuddling and love for the last days of his little life.  I had been calling him and his sister "Majnun and Layli" after characters in a Middle Eastern legend, but when Majnun died, it was just too sad to keep calling his sister Layli.   So she became "Appleblossom" after the cat in the book by that name written by Shulamit Levi Oppenheim.  (One of my all-time favorite Jewish children's stories.)

The Siamese we named Koko after the famous cat detective in the "Cat Who" series.  And he certainly does love to snoop around!  Both cats are now doing fine and very bonded to me -- they cuddle when I lie down and sit on my lap whenever they can.  And they come running every time I go in the bathroom, which is where I feed them so the other cats don't take their special kitten food.  It did not take them long to learn where the goodies are!

My other cats have accepted them pretty well, with varying degrees of attention.  Annabelle, who has always been a little grump, growls if they get too close, so she's not too happy about it.  But Sapphire, my old blue-eyed neutered male, licks their faces and cleans them.  Angel Cat doesn't go that far, but she lets them sit next to her.  As for all the others, they seem to just sigh and say, "Here we go again!"

Koko and Appleblossom curled up together.
I'd call this pic "A Tail of Two Kitties!"


Karima said...

The kittens are so sweet and beautiful! (The two gray tabbies have the same faces and markings as three of our five family cats.) Thank you for doing this, and for all the kindnesses you do for animals. It was *very* sad to hear that the littlest one didn't make it, but as you say, at least he had warmth, comfort, food and love during his last days. Now I need to go and read your blog about whether animals have souls. It seems to me that such individuated creatures as some of them are could be expected to survive the dissolution of the body.

rrrina said...

Thank you so much for rescuing these sweethearts! I had a similar experience a few months ago. Kittens magically appeared in my garden (minus mother). I treated them all for giardia, worms, fleas, and other conditions. Sadly, one didn't make it (the runt of the litter, even after two trips to the vet and various treatments). After the other three got better, I had them spayed/neutered. I worked with them intensively to try to tame them. Only one became socialized. Another, who was bonded with him, remained feral. The third was so miserable indoors but had bonded with a feral cat outside. I made the decision to release him (I have plenty of insulated shelters for my outside colonies, and care for them every day). He did well for a few months. Then one day, I found him dead, hit by a car. I was heartbroken. My only consolation is that for his abbreviated life, he had friends and was happy.

rrrina said...

BTW, I just took in a sweet stray named Raffi, for whom I had a potential home lined up. I'd neutered him months ago, and he looked healthy. Still, I brought him to the vet to check for FIV and FeLV. He turned out to be FIV positive and have very bad teeth. The FIV seems to be a deal-breaker for his potential adopter. I have another FIV positive cat, and it's generally safe to keep them together with negative cats, as long as they don't fight. It turns out he has bloody diarrhea. I brought in a stool specimen, but suspect it can't be good. I'm already severely in debt because of vet bills, but must take care of this poor soul. Just when I thought I wouldn't take in any more, he makes 18, Chai!

Yonassan Gershom said...

I recently took in a sweet young long-haired stray we named Marmalade (yes, he's orange & white.) He was so thin I could feel every bone in his body, and was coughing up blobs of roundworms. (They look like little springs. YUCK!) After de-worming he is now putting on weight and doing much better. Really a nice kitty, very affectionate with a with a very loud purr.