I’ve always had a very soft spot for cats. Where most all of my fellow authors on I Love Pet Stories are adamant dog lovers, I have always found myself to be a cat person. For reasons unknown, their kind is much more attractive to me than dogs.
Cats seem to have this mystical charm about them, some intuition (I know this isn’t lost on dogs, but it is somehow different in felines), and even a sixth sense, as if they can see spirits and energies we cannot.
The other day I was thumbing through an old book in the office that was a collection of stories written about cats. I found this little gem of a story written by Niki Anderson in her book titled What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life that got me to thinking:
During spring and summer, litters of kittens are born to breeders, private owners, and surprised residents who discover their yard shed has become a nursery fir a mother alley cat and her little signs scrawled on ripped cardboard and nailed to telephone poles post the seasonal offer – FREE KITTENS. The same two words are penned on boxes of kittens at yard sales. Free kittens are advertised in the newspaper and on bulletin boards in stores. How could anything so delightful be free?
When April Keller first viewed the wet kitten with the seeping eye offered by the neighbor girl at the front door, she was torn. Dolly, the family’s costly Ragdoll, had passed away only weeks before and the hopeful little girl had heard. “Would you like this kitten, Mrs. Keller? He’s Free!” At that moment, April could think only of her husband’s often quoted adage, “You get what you pay for.” Kevin Keller believed that cost equated with value.
The kitten was a soft gray with a white chin. His rain-sprinkled fur was begging for a dry towel and a warm rub. Just then Kevin stepped forward. One look toward the duet at the door and Kevin weakened his stand about pricey things. “Well, c’mon in, Lisa,” he said. “Let’s take a look at this little guy. He needs some medication for that weepy eye, huh.” April went for a towel.
“I guess we could let him sleep in Dolly’s basket for the night,” Kevin remarked. April could not help but to think Dolly would be pleased with Kevin for offering the kitten her bed. As early as the next evening, the gray kitten had convinced Kevin that value is not based on purchase price. Silver, the free kitten, has happily remained with the Keller’s since that damp night on the doorstep.
Cat lovers know better than anyone that the best things in life are free. Never forget that the most purr-ecious possessions you own may have cost you nothing and are perhaps the most valuable of all.
When purchasing a purebred kitten from a breeder, ask to see the parents to get an idea of the adult body conformation inherited by the kitten. Make sure the kitten has been wormed, request proof of vaccinations, and obtain a receipt for the sale. Acquire pedigree papers and request a plan for future care. The breeder is often the best contact for helping resolve later problems.
I’ve always needed cats in my life. In 25 years I have never been without a cat companion. Due to age and circumstance I’ve lived with probably a dozen. They were all very different cats, from Ron, to Leonard, to Mr. Napkins just to name a few. However, they all seemed to have something in common with each other.
When I was reading the story above, it got me thinking about how I once went out to get myself a free kitten, when I suddenly realized I have never done so. By some type of divine intervention, me and the cats I’ve had always found each other.
It was and continues to be a mutually shared cross species need for each other.
From 2000 – 2014 I had my cat Puma, pictured above. He was a fat, grumpy, old man of a cat. His name was just fun irony, because a puma is a very fast and agile cat. My cat was neither of these. Puma wasn’t even a nice cat. Yet for some reason I loved him anyway. When I found Puma, he was just a little kitten and was living behind my family’s garage.
The greatest cat I’ve ever had was a very transient soul. His name was Leonard and our time together was brief, probably 2 years. When I decided to let Leonard live with me it was after he had been staring at me through my window for a week first. He wouldn’t leave to window until I eventually let him inside, and from then on out, he didn’t want to go back out. One day he left, and I was devastated. What made me feel better about this loss is that I knew he hadn’t met with tragedy, he simply moved on to someone else’s window.
Ron and Iris were sisters, despite Ron having a rather manly name. They are still together to this day and I would never want to see them separated. They were yet another kitten find. When I found them they were up a tree by an ice cream shop getting poked at by some young boys. A stop was put to that nonsense and they came home to live with me.
If you want a cat, you never have to look far. Sometimes no farther than your backyard even, maybe up a tree, or in your window. As I have come to learn however, is most of the time they will come and find you.
Even for what an enthusiast of the animal as I am I’ve always thought cat breeding was more than a little silly. All cats are good cats, and there are plenty of them out there in shelters and on the streets that would love for you to give them a great home.