The Soapbox: Free Cat

This month’s column is the sequel to Brandi’s column last month, Free Kittens.

Within just a few weeks of our family entering the realm of junior high, I’ve been a tad nervous about how our morning routine might shape up.  After all, our family is the proud adoptive family of four newborn kittens, much to our surprise…chagrin.  Just another task in the morning routine!

But, as one of my favorite sayings goes Eso si que es.  Pronounced S-O-C-K-S in Spanish.  Literally translated It is what it is.  We have kittens. 

S-O-C-K-S is right!  Our cat Socks had been catting around just before I noticed her protruding little gut, that bottomless bit.  Then, as fate would have it, on a perfect Sunday morning when the entire family was fully-dressed, smelling good, and happy- happy-happy, we found the loot!

Socks had single-mouthedly carried her new litter of kitties to so-called safety underneath my Honda during a fierce thunderstorm.  We were delighted to make the acquaintance of four solid black little fur balls, save one little runt who bears the signature white foot markings of his proud Mama.  I can’t say who was prouder, Socks or my 11-year old son Elijah. 

Finding the kitties was an awesome moment, but not nearly as magnanimous as the day the four kitties decided to come out into the world by leaving their private nest in the greenhouse to strut single-file into the open wilderness known as our yard.  The runt, being more trepidatious than then others required additional coaxing from me, a 41-year old soprano who unashamedly called upon her whistle voice for all of the neighbors to hear.  Come on! Come on! Come on! And so it began. 

I will reluctantly admit that the kittens have been a delightful addition to our country-side summer.  We have cuddled them and enjoyed their bird-watching more than our own!  These funny little creatures won even the heart of our champion Labrador Retriever Stitch the 17th!!

One Saturday, I decided to take a drive to one of my favorite bluffs known as Eagle Point.  Like the rolling foothills of Arkansas, the panoramic views of this one spot looks out over big water and I can’t decide if I might even be somewhere in New England when I see the white on white houses ensconced by evergreen hills. 

I experienced the shock of my life at the top of the Eagle Point overlook, when two blue eyes and one white-footed black fur ball crawled out from beneath my left passenger wheel after I had driven for miles!  Generally the most cautious of all the kitties, the little runt known as Jimmy Jack was visibly shaken by what was likely the vibration of the Honda engine as he hung on for life.

After more than slightly freaking out, I cradled that little critter and gave him some Cheez-its to cheer him up because I sure didn’t have any milk!  After some time on Eagle Point, I drove that helpless baby back to his Mama where I knew I would find the three stronger kitties.

Slight problem.

Upon our arrival, Socks’ wild demeanor told me that there WERE NO OTHER KITTIES and she wasn’t the only frantic one.  The other three must have taken refuge in the hood of my Honda also and fallen out!

I handed over Jimmy Jack and headed back toward the deadly highway.  A quarter mile up the road I saw the worst sight I had ever seen.

Pet activists stop reading here.

I pulled up to a very fuzzy black spot on the road.  There was no blood, guts, or gore.  Rather, it was more like a Warner Brothers’ scene featuring Wile E. Coyote.  Those three kitties that I loved looked like the roadrunner had accidentally run over them with an ACME steamroller.  I don’t want to make matters worse, but I knew these were our kitties when I saw a solitary paw that the apparent roadrunner had missed. 

How was I going to tell Elijah?  Poor Socks.  Milk, milk everywhere and only one kitten to drink it.  I suppose Jimmy Jack’s cautious nature saved his little cat soul.  I could just hear him saying to the others, “I’m not jumping, you’re crazy!”

As the day transpired, it was one of the most melancholy days I have ever known.  Socks walked around crying.  Jimmy Jack, now renamed Lucky, had a bad case of nipple confusion with all the choices at hand and no brothers or sisters for snuggling.  We all just watched the sun go down feeling like paupers.

The next morning we experienced one of the greatest miracles of nature.  During the morning feeding at the greenhouse, one of the Lucky’s brothers had made the journey home!!  A 6-week old kitten that had never been more than thirty yards from his birthplace walked for miles in the dark and was reunited with his Mama and us, his adoptive family!  We were overjoyed and named that little fellow Ninja.

Now Socks is more like a queen than ever, taking liberties with the additional royal treatment we’ve offered her.  She eats real fish, not canned.  She loves leftover chicken.  From time to time, I’ll catch her eating from the table before I have a chance to scold her.  Rather than give away free kittens, I’m considering giving away one free cat.  She’s the one who got us into this mess in the first place!! 

Even though I pretend to think she’s a nuisance, I’ll admit that she is the most loving of animals, and deep in my heart I am relieved that she and at least two of our precious kittens are safely home to be a part of our upcoming junior high morning routine.  Eso si que es.

Read Brandi’s column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper. Follow Brandi on Twitter @BrandiChambless

Brandi Chambless
Read Brandi's column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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