We’re on the east coast for a bit, and last week took a jaunt up to NY to visit Sgt. Tibbs (the most debonair of Scottish folds) and his person. They’ll be moving out to California later this year, so we’ll get to visit more often. Tibbs’ person took us for a walk in Hempstead Lake State Park, and that is where this saga truly begins. The main loop around the lake, which is what we’d decided on, is two miles and change. A quarter mile or so in, we heard frantic kitten meowing.
We stopped and listened. It could be a mocking bird, right? No, that’s definitely a kitten. Thankfully I’d worn jeans. Every one else was in shorts for the hot day, so I waded into the underbrush. I could still here the kitten, but saw only brush. But as soon as I spoke, a kitten came leaping over branches towards me, occasionally clearing the brush like a dolphin breaching, and right to my hands. He was covered in flies, which I’d never seen before, and I was concerned he had open wounds. I could find no other kittens or even a denning spot. Given how he summoned us, and how clean he was when everything was a muddy mess, we’re pretty sure he was abandoned there.
I carried him for the rest of the hike, as first somewhat awkwardly as his back was covered in what looked like horsefly eggs. No, I did not take a picture of that, but suffice to say they were quite gross and worrisome. I’d gotten most of them off before we completely the loop– unfortunately the bathroom at the halfway point was closed, but by then I’d determined that he didn’t have any open wounds and was much more confident of his chances. When we did make it back he got a bath, and we made an appointment with Tibbs’ vet. They were closed for lunch, so I hung out with him in Tibbs’ backyard while we waited.
We got him to eat some wet food. He tried to eat the plate a few times, and couldn’t manage to get the food off of it for himself, but happily slurped anything put in his face. He was probably only about three week old, so this is an accomplishment. After lunch, and a little face wash, it was nap time. He decided pretty quickly that the best place to nap was in my shirt.
When we walked in to the vet’s office, this first thing I saw was the front page article from War Emblem‘s Belmont. I felt at home. Tiny (the kitten) got a nail trim (thank goodness!), dewormed, and declared “probably healthy.” We couldn’t take him back home to California, and Tibbs’ person was getting ready to move, so we had to figure out how to get him a family. The vet was full, and we didn’t really want to drop him at an overfull shelter. Luckily, a cousin of Tibbs’ person worked for a small rescue, so we crossed all our fingers until we could find out if they had room. And preferably with other kittens, because Tiny reminded us that kittens are social creatures. In the meantime, he was out of the woods, and if Tibbs’ bathroom wasn’t full of friends all the time (every time I tried to leave he’d sit and mew and wave one paw at me) it was at least safe and dry. Tiny learned how plates worked, and even tried some soggy kibble, in the days before we had to leave NY. We still hadn’t heard back from the rescue though, so we were all a bit nervous. Tibbs’ person had no kitten experience, but rose to the challenge, and yesterday we got the good news: they had room! Tiny now has a kitten friend and people dedicated to finding him a family.