Saturday, July 25, 2015


I remarked that I would never let my house be taken over by pets, but that has happened: first by the dogs Sheba and Courtney and now by all the kittens and adult cats that I have saved from people who see our farm sign and drop off their cats. Some people are downright cruel! We have gotten approximately 60 cats neutered. Some females are so young when they are dropped off that they abandon their little kittens. If we find them in time, I take care of them with formula and lots of time and effort and love. You cannot nurse a baby kitten to save it without loving it. So now my house is a cathouse!

An unusual problem that has never happened before has developed with the kittens that I saved from the farm building. A few of the kittens had a virus, so they were taken to my vet and received medications, which I gave each one. They recovered. Shortly after bringing the sick kittens to the house, the older cats started getting sick as well. The nightmare began and now continues. Yesterday, $268 in vet’s bills later, another cat is on medications and needing vet appointments. I have to bring the cat back to the vet tomorrow. I hope that that visit will be for no charge.

Pretty Kitty
Someone dropped off, maybe 7 to 8 years ago, a beautiful cat that I called “Pretty Kitty.” She was dropped at the packing house, where we store and pack the apples. Pretty Kitty was probably abandoned because she was pregnant. She ended up having a litter of kittens in a stack of apple bins approximately 15 feet up off the ground. She and the kittens were found when we packed apples and the empty bins got stacked together.

The kittens could not be left there once they had been found. This became my first litter saved. I had never seen a litter with four totally different looking kittens: one black and white, one tiger orange, one gray with blue eyes, one a patchwork of colors. The black and white kitten went to a nurse. The orange tiger went to one of my granddaughters. The other two cats stayed with me, even to this day.

Pretty Kitty would take the food I supplied her, but she never allowed me to touch her. As time went on, the only way I could get her spayed was to catch her in the cat trap; my vet put her out cold while she was in the trap, then spayed her. I kept her in the cage for two weeks until she healed and had gotten all her shots.

Pretty Kitty’s legacy lives on in the next part of our story. P. K. had a kitten that none of us knew about, upstairs in the packing house. One day she came down the stairs with this beautiful kitten in her mouth and put it down on my lunch table. P.K. hid in the corner until the kitty was picked up, and then she went on her way. The kitten had a very large hernia on its stomach. I bottle-fed the kitten and took it to the vet. I was told the kitten must not run, jump, climb, or do much of anything until it was big enough to be operated upon. So I made a pouch for it for me to wear around my neck, papoose-style, and she went everywhere I went for five months.

I call her “Angel,” because she is one. She has big blue eyes, and she is very light beige with a dark head and dark feet. After Angel was operated on, she had to be kept in a cage in my bedroom, which was very hard on her, but even harder on me. She cried a lot. If I took her out to hold her and give her comfort, she was very upset with me…I guess because she was blaming me. It was a long haul, but we made it through, and she is sitting here with me now. Her mother was outside almost every day waiting to be fed; Pretty Kitty would sit outside watching me work in the garden but never trusted me enough to come close enough for me to pet her.

Everyone who lives around here would see Pretty Kitty walking up and down our driveway daily. A couple of months ago, when I went out to feed her and the wildlifethat is, the ducks, the woodchuck, the geese and the other birdsI called for her, but she did not come. Pretty Kitty hasn’t been back for all this time. I know she’s passed away. I just pray she did not suffer. I still call for her every day, even knowing she’s not here…haven’t been able to stop myself yet.

Pretty Kitty must have had kittens that grew up and then had kittens themselves a few months ago. Two baby kittens that have her markings and blue eyes were found at the packing house and brought to me to save. They are the last of Pretty Kitty.

My Wildlife
My wildlife are very important to me. I feed the wild ducks and geese every day. A mother woodchuck lives under my shed and brings her young out every year to teach them how to pick up a carrot and stand on their back legs to eat it, and this makes me smile. I have two raccoons that climb my trumpet vine and cedar tree to the roof of the porch, only 8 to 10 inches below my bedroom window. I feed them every night. This is the first year they have brought their babies up, three of them. They know they can trust me, so that makes me smile, too. The fish in the ponds follow me around as I am mowing, because I feed them also. It has taken many years to gain the trust of all the wildlife that are a part of my life…and that make me happy.

Saving More Kittens
I was writing about my love of animals. A few weeks ago a kitten was heard crying in the packing house. It took three days to find and get to it, as it had fallen behind a lot of pallets. By the time we got to the kitten, it was very weak. I brought it up to my house and started formula and antibiotics. It was very frail but then started to show signs of progress.

Three more kittens were found in the next week. One was terribly weak and full of fleas that were sucking the life out of it. I really did not think this kitten was going to live, so it was a miracle, day by day, to watch them all get better and better. The first one is in my room doing wonderfully well. The other three are in the bathroom, also getting stronger every day. Two of them already have homes to go to, which pleases me. I have to catch the mother as soon as possible to get her fixed.

I know I had lots of help with this batch of babies, as I had little hope for them.  Thank You, God, for Your help from above.

My Three Kitties
The three kittens that I saved are sleeping as I write this. They act more like puppies than cats. They have their own room upstairs that is strictly theirs. It is where they have their own food, and where they are together every night. When I am ready to come upstairs, all I have to say is, “You boys ready?” The three of them stop whatever they’re doing and run upstairs and wait by the closed door to their room. They are like little puppy dogs!

Sick Kittens 2013
The past few weeks have been a struggle. Losing my personal doctor of over 20 years has made me very sad. Now I’m in the process of losing my veterinarian, whom I love dearly. She has an employee who has pushed me to my very limits. I’m not sure if my vet knows just what this person has been doing, but she will know next week.

I have no doubt that this employee will not be let go, unfortunately, which makes it impossible to continue going there. She and the vet seem to be personally quite close. My vet has been very good to me through the years in many ways. She saved my dog, Sheba, and my cat, Angel, for which I will always be grateful.

For the last 3 to 4 months I have had to go to extreme measures to get care for my sick kittens and cats. Only by my passing another vet’s office every Friday to meet my writing partner, Dr. Cooper, did I decide to take a leap of faith and bring two cats there. I very seldom feel comfortable with anyone new, but in this case I felt confident  that this vet will take care of my animals completely fairly. That’s the feeling I have as I reflect on the vet’s words.

I believe everything happens for a reason: for example, my passing this vet’s office every Friday, an office which is in a stone house, and I love old stone houses. I don’t think I would’ve found him if it weren’t for that.

Today I am going to my kidney doctor. After that I’m taking my letter containing all the details of my interactions with her assistant to my former vet, as I feel she should be made aware of what has been said on her behalf by this employee. Unless my vet has changed drastically, I do not believe she has directed the employee’s actions. Within the last two weeks this rude person has cost me approximately $1000 in extra vet bills!

Sick Kittens Again, Fall 2013
Of course, we have new kittens. Some the mother takes care of. Others we care for. We try to catch them when they are old enough to be put on solid foods, and then we find homes for them.

There are always ones that are sick. I take these to the vet to get them meds; then I start feeding them formula from a bottle to help get them well. My brother is taking a small black kitten, one the vet named “Onyx.” Onyx will make my brother and his mother smile.

Trying to catch the male and female cats to get them neutered is a nightmare. No matter how many we get neutered, people keep leaving more off for us. It is a never-ending battle. I worry about what is going to happen when I am no longer here. Will someone take care of the wildlife and the cats and the sick kittens? I hope so!

Sick Adult Cats, Too, Not Just Kittens - November 2013
I am having a terrible issue with the newest cats that were kittens when they were brought here. They are tame in every way except when it is time to take one or two of them to the vet. I don’t even have the carrier in the room when I go to pick one up. I am still beaten up from yesterday trying to capture the five-month-old golden kitten.

Every time I would pick her up, she was like a wild animal! I have puncture wounds all over me. I finally had to call the vet to cancel my appointment. This only happens with the golden cats. Even they are fine any other time. In fact, one of them is sitting next to me right now.


We are serializing KIDNAPPED TWICE by Mary E. Seaman and myself, a memoir of her traumatic childhood and gradual improvement over decades. Mary's love of animals provides solace, even joy. The book is available from its publisher, Outskirts Press, and from [in paperback and ebook] and and other on-line booksellers.

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