Friday, October 19, 2012

Little Baby Junes

My daughter Angela can sell ice cubes to Eskimos.

When she excitedly called me with news of her fabulous new job offer, I was thrilled.  When she called me from her first day at work with news of the feral kittens that were living in the dumpster behind her office my first thought was: Uh oh, here we go again.

Angela has a way of talking you into things so you feel like its your idea.  She can tell you to take a hike with the sweetest smile on her face and makes you feel as though you've just won the lottery.  She also has a big heart with a penchant for the underdogs and cats of the world.  I knew it would be just a matter of time before those kittens were living in my home or hers.  Not a bad idea, right?  Not a great idea when you already have three grown cats.

So it was, a few weeks later that I ran into Angela and her boyfriend Kole one warm Sunday, relaxing on the beach.

"We're bringing the kitties home tomorrow.  But it's just for a few days." Angela advised me calmly.

I looked at Kole, my eyebrows shot upwards, and asked him for the details.

"She's got it all figured out.  She'll explain it to you"

Bracing myself for the close, I listened.  "One of my co-workers has vouchers for getting the cats fixed at a local veterinarian.  We only have to pay ten dollars for a pill that gets rid of the fleas.  We're getting up an hour early to drive to work and catch the kittens.  The surgery is at eight in the morning, then they come home with us that night.  I'm looking for a good home for them.  Will you take them?"

I was completely mesmerized by her sales pitch.  She makes it sound so easy.

"I would love to but Ruby would kill them." was my default reply

Ruby is my black cat who looks really sweet, all purring and stuff, until another cat enters the picture.  Then its flying fur, claws, spitting (yes, cat's really do spit) and hissing.  Oh, and blood.

Monday morning, Angela and Kole got to work early, cat cage in tow.  Baiting one of the kittens with a piece of food was easy.  The other one, not so easy.  It hissed and clawed and finally had its way with Angela's hand.

Not to be defeated, Angela called the veterinary hospital.  "Would it be okay if I brought the kittens in after eight?" she asked while the other kitten mewled its protest from the cage next to her desk.

"As long as you have them here before ten." came the reply.

By that evening, the kittens were successfully neutered, flea free and fed more food than Richard Simmons coming off of a diet.

When my phone rang the next day, the angelic voice of my daughter asked "Can you stop by my house to check on the babies?  I left the key for you."  As if I have nothing else to do with my day, which is in fact the truth.

When I walked into her bedroom, I hunted and searched.  I turned over mattresses and opened drawers. I peered inside closets.  I shredded pillows.  I overturned furniture.  (well not really, my darling daughter, but it makes a better story) and I finally found four little eyes peering out at me from underneath the nightstand.

I reached underneath to pet the little darlings.  Their fur was delightfully coarse to the touch.

Being a concerned grandparent, I contacted Angela that night with the offer to post a plea for adoption to my Facebook friends.  "It's okay Mom, I already found them a home.  And the best part is, they'll be going together."

That was fast.  What?  I don't even get a chance to take them for ice cream or to the park or the library or to a Disney movie?

By the end of the week I was advised by Mother Angela that the kittens needed one more week to adjust to humans.

The next day I received a photo of "Little Baby Junes"  Isn't that a girls name?  They're both males, right?

"No Mom, he looks just like my cat 'Baby'. Baby Junes is short for Baby Junior."
Little Baby Junes and his brother

Okay, so we're creepy cat ladies.  Guilty as charged.  Can you blame us?

The following week, the kittens finally went to live in their new, permanent home.

Yesterday I picked up the phone and heard my daughters angelic voice again.  "Mom, we found more kittens behind our office."

Uh oh.  Here we go again.

Published Without Permission.

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