She was the smallest kitten I’d ever held up until that point in my life. Her eyes were open but her ears were still a bit closed. She was dirty; she and her litter mates had been found in the mud under a SW Florida porch, no mother cat around. About a week old with long little talons for nails and a screech I will never forget. She was the first kitten I ever picked to be mine. And moments later, I picked her sister to also come home with me.
Since I shared her aggravating antics with you yesterday, I think it’s only fair to highlight Lily as I celebrate day 6 of my 12 days of pets.
It was a hot day in early September when I was called from my office to the adoption center by my co-workers. I saw the box of kittens and was immediately drawn to one of the smallest – a tiny little fluff of tiger tabby fur with a kiss of orange on her forehead. I first picked Lily then Lucy out of the small box of kittens (five in total) and I remember hesitantly saying “Sure, I can foster them…will you help me? I don’t know anything about cats.” to my colleague, Bobby. Little did I know that 1) those kittens would not be fosters for long and 2) that they would help forge a forever friendship with one of the best people I’ve ever met.
Within a few hours of bringing the kittens home, they had names and a forever home. I guess you can call me a sucker. I fall in love easily.
I bottle fed Lily and Lucy every few hours for the first few weeks of their lives. I warmed and re-warmed old bags of saline to keep them warm at night. And, I ‘pottied’ them multiple times each day which is a cute way of saying that I stimulated bladder function and bowel movements. This involved rubbing cotton balls wet with warm water over the vulva and then the anus to simulate what would normally be their mother’s tongue licking them. Not exactly a glorious gig but I will tell you that there is nothing like the victory of finally helping a constipated kitten poop. For weeks, my life was all about feeding and pottying kittens. (And developing a new language apparently.)
Mya was very interested in the kittens. She would stick her head into the box where they slept and, as they got bigger, they would reach out their paws toward her face. She was gentle with them, surprisingly, and not as jealous as I thought she’d be. Despite all my hard work, I think they thought she was their mother because she was furry. They learned how to be little dogs by following her around but also, miraculously, took to their litter box like naturals. They became the perfect blend of cat and dog. Greeting me at the door when I got home, barking commands at me, and then curling up on my stomach or shoulder just like a cat. I was the proud mama of three babies…I had gone from one to three in the blink of an eye!
I fell in love with my little tiger Lily when I first laid eyes on her and moments later fell in love with Lucy. Now, almost 6.5 years later, even when she’s running around the house like a hellion, I can still see that tiny little six ounce kitten and wonder, just like most moms, where did the time go? Time flies when you’re having fun and living life.
While checking out the features of my camera, I caught Lily being her silly self by the front door. She loved to watch the world through the sidelights of the front door. She talked (loudly) to the lizards, frogs, and, one time, even an alligator passing through from one pond to another!