It was a rare thing for us to decide that we wanted a pet and then went out and acquired it. Usually, they were dumped on us or we rescued them or we did someone a favor by taking the pet they could no longer care for. The time period I’m thinking of, we were up to our ears in cats. We had a couple of cats and then two more were dumped on us and then they had kittens and through no fault of our own we had a herd of a dozen or more.
The problem came to a head one Saturday morning when we were both home. I’m sure that the kids remember this. We had already received our mail that morning but Pat had come up with something else she wanted to send off. It was no big deal as there was a mail box on the corner a half a block away. As Pat came out of the house and started down the sidewalk, the cats and kittens started falling in behind her. I was working in the yard and saw the whole thing. There goes Pat with 10 or 12 cats marching along behind her! She looked like the Pied Piper or a mother duck with all her little ducklings following along. That pretty much did it for me! It was time to thin the herd!
That afternoon we called some shelters in an effort to find homes for some of these kitties. Some of them were already at capacity so we knew that it was going to take some work to get these cats headed to good homes.
That evening we were all watching TV and started hearing a kitten cry. The cats were supposed to be in the garage so we couldn’t imagine where this baby was. We started looking around and the kids soon discovered that the crying was coming from the fireplace. Somehow, a kitten had gotten into our chimney. I sat down on the hearth and used one hand to open the flue while using the other hand to locate the kitten. There wasn’t much room there and I was afraid that opening the flue too fast wouldn’t give the kitten time to move safely out of the way. In just a few seconds, I had a little, soot covered, male kitten in my hand. Pat grabbed a towel and started cleaning him up. We were amazed to discover that the little guy had no injuries. Rather than falling to the bottom of the chimney he must have climbed down the inside. And, as Pat got him cleaned up, we realized that he wasn’t one of our kittens. Someone must have dumped him and in trying to find a home with food and companionship he followed his nose and ended up on our roof. We got him cleaned up and gave him some food and water and put him in the garage. The back door of the garage was open so the cats could go out in the back yard and do their business.
After we had gone to bed that night, we again heard a kitten crying. The kids jumped up and started looking for the source of the noise. They soon traced it to the hood above the range. This time, the little devil had gotten into the galvanized vent above the kitchen stove! I got up under the hood and removed the screen and fan motor assembly and got the kitten out of there. Pat cleaned him up while I put the range hood back together. Sure enough, it was the same cat. We figured he must be desperate for a home and family if he went to these lengths twice.
The next day, Pat was talking to Joan, our neighbor across the street. She told Joan about this handsome little boy cat who was trying so hard to find a home that he risked coming down our chimney and a ceiling vent. Joan said she would like to have a cat with that kind of determination and adopted him on the spot. It turned out to be a perfect match. The kitten grew up to be a fine-looking guy and was devoted to Joan and Woody from the beginning.
October 30, 2014