My niece Stephanie, then 17, and her boyfriend had returned from a college class, and were saying their goodbyes as I was preparing to leave for my work on the grave yard shift. A few moments later the boyfriend returned in a very excited state. He told Stephanie about a frightened kitten loudly mewing near his car in the carport. Together they went to investigate and Stephanie returned with the distressed kitten cupped in her hands.
“Barbie, can we keep him?”
I went on to work, but in the wee hours of the morning, Stephanie called in melodramatic tears of frustration, because Emma was not dealing well with having the strange creature in the same room. I instructed Stephanie to make a bed for the kitten in her bathroom and to close the door. Still, no one slept, as the kitten cried and Emma fussed.
The next day, I informed Stephanie that as a result of Emma's agitation, we could not keep the cat and told her to print out and put up "free kitten" fliers in the apartment complex.
Before I went to bed, I placed the tiny critter in a small shoe box for a visit with the veterinarian. It was determined that the little guy was about 5 weeks old and had an upper respiratory infection. Medication was prescribed to help him get well. By the time the vet visit was completed I'd bonded with the baby and decided to keep him. I returned home and tore down all the posters that Stephanie had spent time constructing and posting.
I wanted to name him after Stephanie’s then boyfriend who had found the kitten, but Stephanie did not like the name “Jimmy”, so we decided on Dusty. (That name is perfect –for he is the biggest contributor to the massive collection of dust on my Pergo floors)
Because of Emma’s distaste of the new creature, he stayed behind closed doors in my bathroom with food, water, toys and a litter box. I worked at night, and was going to school during the day, so had little time to spend with the new kitten.
His little kitten antics were fun to watch and he would antagonize Emma and she would bully him. Sometimes they would play nice
When he was about a year old, he was greatly traumatized when he fell out of my second story bedroom window and broke his tail.
I wrote a Faithwriter's challenge story detailing the event, but changed the names of the participants.
As he grew, his wild animal instincts surfaced and at times, would attack me. Unfortunately, I did not effectively discipline the behavior and he was occasionally abusive to me. That behavior has continued into adulthood.
(Read about it here : http://www.lisamikitarian.com/2010/11/when-cats-crack-whip.html )
I really love this kitty, and for the most part, he is very cute, and entertaining. I have no intention of getting rid of him and since no else lives with me, I'm not risking a possible attack on someone. (When company does come, he hides in the bedroom.)
It's been eleven years now and my niece has grown up and moved away, but the cats are still around. They are a lot of company, even when they misbehave I will enjoy them for as long as I can; even if one of them tends to be a ferocious beast!