Extra-TOErestrial in the Shed!
by Mariah Richards
(Lansing, Michigan, United States)
My mom's father was a vet and he raised all seven of his kids to love animals. My mom and one of her sisters have become people who take in strays, and people in our community have been dumping cats in their yards. My mom has three furry babies who live in our garage. She would have them in the house, but she already has a rescue dog, and a very territorial cat. I promise though, the outside cats are well taken care of, especially during our cold Michigan winters, when my parents heat the garage for them.
My mother's first rescued cat appeared one day in the storage shed. She was emaciated, except for a big pregnant belly and had a bobbed tail. At first we thought that she had been abused and someone had cut off the tail, but when she gave birth to a litter of kittens a few weeks later, one of them had a stub tail too. My mom called the cat Little Bit, because they have a "little bit of a bond," in addition to a little bit of a tail! We got Little Bit spayed, and found homes for her kittens. Little Bit doesn't go near the road, and Mom doesn't have to worry much about her, except when she goes hunting in the back field, or at the pond.
The next year, during the winter, when my mom went out to feed Little Bit her breakfast, she found Little Bit upset and hissing. There was another in the garage with her. It had matted, dirty fur, and one cloudy eye, and a torn ear. When he turned around, mom saw that he was an un-neutered male cat. He wouldn't let mom near him, but he drank some of the warm milk mom left for Little Bit and he ate some food. Eventually, he would allow mom to touch him, but no one else. It took about three years, but now, Big Bit, as my dad named him, will let everyone pet him, but only in the garage. he doesn't allow anyone to pick him up.
Mom thinks that someone abused him, and that is why he is so timid around people. He will lay down on his back, and let you pet his belly for about two seconds, before he swipes you with his claws and runs away. My parents got him neutered and his does occasionally cross the road, but that is tapering off. he also goes on, "walk about," where he is gone for two or three days at a time, and it scares my mom. She can't unless she has him tucked away for the night. And she worries about him til he comes home.
My dad says that he picked the name Big Bit, because the cat has a big heart. I think it just sounded good with Little Bit, actually, but Dad has been proven right on two occasions.
When my mom went out to tuck the cats in for the night, she couldn't find Big Bit. She called and called, and he didn't come. She was worried that he took a walk about, but eventually she tracked him down, sitting in the shed...with another cat! My mom actually screamed when she saw this cat, because something about the cat was so wrong! The cat had huge green eyes that appeared to glow from the dark shed...and she had thumbs. Well, okay, not exactly thumbs, but her front paws were like mittens.
Big Bit looked over at the new comer and then back at Mom, and took off for his dinner in the garage, leaving my mother to contend with this new cat. Mom didn't know what to do, but the cat started rubbing on her legs and purring. The cat looked just like Little Bit had, skinny everywhere except for her huge, pregnant belly. Mom was sort of hoping that the cat would go away, so she gave her some food and water and tried not to get too attached.
I got home later that night, after dark when Mom was asleep, but my sister filled me in on the alien cat that had taken up residence
in the shed. I had never seen paws on and animal, so I wanted to get a look at the cat before it ran off. As i approached the shed, the cat actually ran out to meet me when i called. Not that usually cat, mosey-on-over-when-I-feel-like it thing, but honesty, ran, pregnant belly and all.
It was love at first sight. I've never felt such an immediate bond with any pet before. I just *KNEW* that this was my cat. I was to be starting law school in January, and I was not going to be allowed to take my old cat, who was a family pet by this time, because the cat was so used to my mom and the routine my mom had her on, plus my mom was just too attached. But I had been thinking about adopting a shelter cat. In my family, we just don't *not* have pets. I can't remember a time, when I didn't live with animals.
The next day I bundled the cat into the car, and took her over to stay with a friend, since I was worried she would go into the road. I cared for her there until after graduation when I moved in with my boyfriend (now fiancée).
During her stay with my friend, she gave birth to a litter of the cutest babies ever. I bonded really quickly with the one who looked more like her twin than her child, and decided to keep him as well. After all, you can't have just one cat, right? They get lonely.
I named her Mimsy, and her son was Thomasina for awhile....until we found out he was a boy. Tommy and Mimsy had all of their shots and were both fixed. Now me and my fiancée and Tommy and Mimsy all live together, and we are very happy. I do not think that I would've made it through my first term of law school without my furry babies. I was very lonely for the first year when I lived alone, and it was so nice having them to come home to after classes and nights at the library. They were always there to snuggle with, or play with feathers (Tommy's favorite toy, EVER!), to help me de-stress.
I don't know why someone abandoned Mimsy. I think that they actually threw her out of the car. She has terrible anxiety when my fiancée or I have to drive her anywhere. She yowls, vomits and pees, in her carrier. We think she is afraid that she is going to be tossed out again. My fiancée, has started playing audio books to help her, he says it works about half the time....the other half she needs a bath when we get home.
My mother also found a third cat in the garage. This one was a tiny kitten. He is an orange tabby, and he just a baby when he was found hiding in the back of the garage. My mom and sister caught him and had him neutered and checked out by the vet, and now he and Big Bit are best friends and hunt for mice outside everyday. I am pleased to report that Sebastian, as my mom named him, does not go on the walk abouts, though!
My sister is also starting veterinarian school in a few days, and wants to work for the ASPCA, or do something to help protect animals rights. I wanted to share our family's story about our rescue kitties, after reading some of the stories on this page, and to thank everyone here for being so good to animals. I'm sure your cats are blessed to know you!
I just loved your story! Those are very lucky kitties. I am glad that Mimsy and Tommy helped you get through law school, and I think it is great that your sister is going to become a vet. Anyone who cares about cats, and other animals and rescues them and loves them and gives them a good life is a good person! Good luck to you, Mimsy, Tommy, your sister, your mom and all the kitties in your life!
Again, just a wonderful story-