I got home a couple of hours ago after taking Bumble the Special Child for his weekly laser therapy session, fed the animals, and then went outside with Oliver and Elizabeth for their evening walk. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement under the neighbor’s truck. Since skunks, possums, and other not-dog-friendly animals are not uncommon around here, I paused to take a look.
And here she came. A tiny, rumpled dustbunny of a kitten. She made a beeline for me, meowing pitifully in her very small voice.
Oliver and Elizabeth were beside themselves. A kitty! And a little one at that! As far as they were concerned, she was an animated squeaky toy.
She was not impressed with them. So she kept her distance, but followed us down the street, talking up a storm. So I took the dogs in the house (they were not pleased) and went back outside. Itty bitty little girl ran straight to me. When I picked her up, she was shivering from cold, and under her Raggedy Ann fur, she was painfully thin. She crawled inside my jacket and settled herself on my shoulder where she could purr in my ear.
You may not know that I have “rescue radar.” That is the invisible force that draws stray animals in need of rescue directly to my door. It’s brought me a half-starved Golden Retriever and a mange-ridden Anatolian Shepherd puppy (both of whom now live in luxury with my parents), a feral cat who appears at my door whenever he’s injured and needs help, and countless homeless animals over the years.
This time it brought me a tiny but very assertive and very affectionate kitten.
The thing is, I already have three dogs, one of whom is supremely special needs. I also have Minerva Louise ( a former feral cat who is now a pudgy middle-aged floozy) and the Hitchhiker, a people-friendly, animal-hostile tomcat who is trying to decide whether to live here or just vacation with us. (If he hangs around much longer, his attitude will be surgically adjusted in short order.)
The last thing I can afford to do is adopt another animal. But there was categorically no way that I could leave a shivering, hungry, lonely kitten outside all alone in the night, especially not after realizing that she would be easy prey for an owl or hawk. My Rescue Radar drew her to pick me instead of one of the other people out walking their dogs. (I have to admit that sometimes I wish the Rescue Radar was a little less accurate…)
The vet clinic will keep her until I can either find her a home or get her into a rescue.
I called my cousin, another victim of Rescue Radar Syndrome, and asked her to keep the kitty overnight and take her to the vet clinic in the morning. She is now tucked in for the night in my cousin’s house, after a good dinner and lots of attention.
Much purring. And one tiny little smack to the nose of my cousin’s inquisitive dachshund.