The Continuing Saga Of The Man With The Can…

My story begins eighteen months ago, when our youngest son and his wife moved out of Ed’s mom’s house, and left two cats behind.  For a brief moment, they considered taking the old cat named Trouble with them, but decided Trouble was too old and set in her ways to successfully relocate.  The second cat, aptly named ‘Feral Kitty’, was simply too wild to catch.  Ed and I promised to feed the cats each day, for as long as they lived at the empty house.  Ed’s not only kept that promise, he’s done more.

Trouble continues to live at Ed’s mom’s empty house, but Feral Kitty disappeared about four or five months ago.  A few months before she disappeared, Feral Kitty gave birth to three gray kittens, who were even wilder than she was–and that’s saying a lot!

For a while, Ed was feeding five cats instead of two, then one of the kittens disappeared.  Ed had been working on taming the kittens, by trying to rub them while they ate.  He had only been successful with one kitten, which, unfortunately, disappeared when it was just a few weeks old.  The mama cat eventually took the two remaining kittens to our oldest son’s house, where Ed continued feeding them.

Eventually, one of the two remaining kittens actually found its way from our son’s house to our house!  I joked and said he followed ‘the man with the can’ home.  I was able to tame this kitten, who turned out to be a male.  I  named him ‘Jo Jo’, and he still lives with us today.  The other kitten remained at our son’s house, where Ed continued feeding her on a daily basis, in addition to the scraps she got from our son and his family.  Ed was never able to tame this cat, but our grandson named it ‘Stranger Cat’.  This cat turned out to be a female.

Shortly after the first of this year, strange tom cats began turning up at our son’s house–first a black one, then a red one! Before long, it became obvious that ‘Stranger Cat’ was going to have kittens.  Ed continued feeding her, and was actually able to pet the cat a few times, while she was pregnant.  Stranger Cat gave birth to six kittens around the end of March, then promptly disappeared about four weeks later.  (We assume something killed her.)

The kittens were very small when their mom disappeared, but, somehow, they were able to eat well enough to survive.  Unfortunately, they were as wild as their mother had been!  Ed fed them daily, and tried to pet them while they ate–unsuccessfully–except for one…

I’d usually be cooking supper when Ed would go feed the cats, but he’d give me a cat report each day.  The kittens were several weeks old before I ever saw them, but Ed kept referring to this one cute “gray colored” kitten he’d been able to pet.  He spoke of this kitten fondly.

When I finally saw the kittens, I dubbed them the “Rainbow Kittens” because they were so many different colors.  There were black ones, a tabby one, and one cream-colored kitten–but here wasn’t a gray kitten in the bunch!  The “gray colored” kitten  Ed kept referring to was actually a cream-colored kitten–with dark brown markings, and beautiful blue eyes!  The kitten looked exactly like our old cat, Charlie–who came from Ed’s parents’ house, many years ago!

One day last week, I rode with Ed to feed the kittens.  When we drove up, there wasn’t a kitten in sight.  Ed beat on the bowl with a spoon and, soon, cats began jumping out of the over-growth in the field between us and our son’s house!  We, also, noticed a large red tom cat was with them, watching us from a distance.

A couple of days later, no kittens showed up for supper.  Ed wondered if the red tom cat had something to do with their disappearance.  Later that afternoon, Ed spotted three of the kittens near his brother’s house, which is also located on the family farm.  Those little kittens had made their way to the opposite end of the grown-up field (about 1/4 mile away)! The following day, Thursday, our aunt called to ask if we were missing any kittens.  Two of the kittens had shown up at her house, located on the far side of the grown up field!  Wild kittens were showing up everywhere.

On Friday afternoon, Ed stopped by his mom’s house.  Trouble was there, as usual, along with Ed’s friend, the cream-colored kitten! It was simply amazing that kittens so little, were making their way around a 30 acre farm–and surviving!  That little kitten followed Ed’s every step on Friday afternoon!  It was obvious that he recognized ‘the man with the can’, and he was hungry!

It wasn’t long before we heard a cat meowing from the edge of the field, so we turned to see who it was.  It was the same red tom cat we’d seen in the edge of the field, a few days before.  He was apparently calling the little cream-colored kitten!  It was then we figured out that the red tom cat had taken all of the kittens into the over-grown field with him!  Was he trying to find homes for them, or was he trying to get them lost?  Perhaps he was just trying to teach them how to hunt.  We’ll never know.

Long story made a little shorter, Ed and I ended up bringing the cream-colored kitten home with us that day.  The kitten was so little, and so pitiful, I couldn’t leave it behind, at the mercy of that red tom cat!  The kitten wasn’t much more than a little fur ball of skin and bones.  The kitten’s fur was filled with trash from being in the under-brush of the field, and its  little eyes and nose were runny because it had a cold.


Lucky kitty

I have no idea whether this kitten is a he or a she, because it’s still too small for me to be able to tell.  It’s been with us for four days, and has made itself at home on our front porch!  I’ve been feeding it three times a day, and it’s beginning to put on a little weight.  It still has a bit of a cold, but I’m hoping time will take care of that.

I can’t help but wonder if those other kittens are surviving, and, if so, where they are.  I don’t know what the future holds for our newest family member, but I know it has a home here, for as long as it wants one.  I haven’t chosen a name for kitty, but perhaps I should call it “Lucky”, because it’s just that!

***I have to add a footnote here.

Trouble, the cat, became very sick a few weeks ago, and we thought her end was near.  (After all, she’s very old.)  Trouble wasn’t able to eat much food, she lost weight, and even had labored breathing for several days.  We basically said our goodbyes to her, during that time.  Then, out of the blue, she began to eat and act normal again!

We’ve decided that Trouble must have gotten something hung in her throat, which prevented her from eating, and made it difficult to breathe.  Whatever it was, must have finally dislodged.  Of course, we’ll never know, for sure, but that’s Ed’s speculation.

Trouble continues to greet ‘the man with the can’ each and every day!  Ed feeds her, and leaves a little extra–in case a hungry kitten wanders by…  The saga of ‘Trouble and the man with the can continues’…



Published in: on June 3, 2014 at 10:31 am  Comments (4)  
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Shelter Tales… Taken From The Newspaper

While I was volunteering at our local animal control shelter, I began writing a series for our local newspaper called “Shelter Tales”.   I recently found some of the old articles I’ve written, and thought that you might occasionally enjoy reading an excerpt from some of those articles.  The following is one of those excerpts:

“Our isolation room at the shelter has been quiet lately.  The last unusual visitor that we had staying in there was a buzzard!  What a shock that was when I turned on the light to the isolation room, and there he was–in all of his ugly buzzard glory! (I never knew what I’d find in that room)

I did not realize that buzzards are “protected” birds. ( I can’t imagine why, there are plenty of them all around! ) I’m not sure what happened to injure this particular buzzard, but I believe it was attacked by someone’s dog, and the dog owner brought the bird to the shelter after the attack.  After patching the buzzard up and letting it recuperate, Loretta found it a home at “Sanctuary on the Sapelo”, an island sanctuary for certain kinds of wild animals.

Recently a most unusual event occurred at the shelter. One morning Loretta came to work and found a large black dog chained to the door handle of the animal shelter.  While not knowing if the dog was friendly or not, Loretta still had to deal with him before she could even enter the building to begin her workday.

Fortunately, the dog was friendly, but the poor thing had a large chain embedded in his neck and back.  It was embedded quite deep and must have been very painful.  The chain was carefully removed, and the scar healed nicely, but unfortunately, poor “Scar” wasn’t adopted, and eventually had to be euthanized.

On a happier note, I’ll share one last tale with you.  A couple of months ago, someone left nine motherless newborn puppies outside of the shelter.  This could’ve been a real disaster, but I believe a “Higher Power” intervened. 

It happened that a delightful Boston Terrier named “Monica” was living at the shelter at the time.  Monica had recently given birth to seven puppies of her own, and all but one of them had died.  Sweet little Monica took in those orphaned puppies and raised them all, plus her own surviving pup!  The orphaned puppies were a large breed of puppies, while poor Monica and her pup were small,  making it even more amazing that she was able to raise all of them. 

Believe it or not, Loretta was able to find homes for every one of those orphaned puppies, for Monica’s little pup, and even for Monica herself!  Now that’s a happy ending!”

I hope you enjoyed reading the excerpt from my old article.  If you did,  let me know and I’ll share some more with you.  Thanks so much for stopping by…

Published in: on June 3, 2010 at 8:45 am  Comments (2)  
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