Monday, February 15, 2010


A few years ago my husband and I were harrassed one summer night by a kitten. This kitten wanted in our house late at night and spent the night climbing our screen door and yowling to be let in. Since it was very hot we couldn't close our sliding glass door to shut out the noise. There had to be another solution. Thinking that the kitten belonged across the street (the neighbors had some cats) my husband picked it up, grabbed his flashlight, and walked it "home". It was dark and this was not a short walk because we, and our neighbors, all have at least an acre of land and very long driveways. By the time he got back to our house the kitten was right on his heels. He tried once more to "take it home" but she was too fast for him and was waiting at our door when he got back.
Now this kitten was no dummy. This orphan knew for sure that our house was "her house" and she was not going to leave until we understood and took her in. My husband finally gave up and went back to bed, where neither of us slept because of the yowling and the pockety, pockety sound that kitten claws make in screen doors as kittens climb up and down.

By morning I was exhausted and decided get up and take a look at this kitten. I brought her inside and put her in my lap. (I convinced myself that as long as I didn't let her run around it wouldn't be a problem.) She was a beautiful domestic shorthair. Her coloring has black, orange, and gold and she had stripes and patches and beautiful green eyes. We have been told she is a tortoise shell but some dispute that. If she is a Tabby, she is the most beautiful Tabby I have ever seen. She immediately curled up in my lap and went to sleep.

I was still grieving the loss of our "Toby" a darling Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix that we had loved and lost the year before after a long battle with heart disease. So needless to say, I felt sorry for this tiny kitten who needed me as much as I needed her. I knew she must have had been taken away from her mother and dumped in the woods behind our house in the middle of the night. This is a common occurance in rural areas. She had to be terrified and desperate. She could have been eaten by a coyote, cougar, or an owl and she would have been defenseless.

I will never understand how people can be cruel enough to dump cats and dogs and think they can take care of themselves. Contrary to what they tell themselves there isn't always someone willing to take them in. If a wild animal doesn't get them they usually are hit by a car or die of hunger and thirst. What a horrible example these people are setting for their children about the value of life.

Anyway, I did what you should never do when you are trying to get a kitten to go away, I fed her the only thing I had, dog food. She gobbled it up like she hadn't eaten in a month. So..........what could we do? We had a vet check her out and we kept her ,even though I had sworn I would never have another cat. (We did ask the neighbors if she belonged to them and they said "no".)

After much trial and error we settled on the name Amber (Historical romance: Forever Amber) and it stuck. She is almost six years old now. She loves us but she has made it clear that she is royalty and will only tolerate so many rules. She has a quiet, regal nature most of the time, but she does talk to us and I'm sure she understands every word we say, even though she often ignores them.

You may have seen her picture on here. She is now neutered, declawed and loving life. She has a bed on a table in my office. She can curl up and watch the birds outside of the window (birdfeeder/babysitter) and she loves it.

The problem is....I love "dogs" and I was ready for another one. To be continued


Janet Ann Collins said...

I can't understand how people can dump animals in the wild either. Maybe they don't understand how cruel they're being. At least I hope not; otherwise the people who do it are monsters. I'm so glad Amber found a good home with you.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Thanks Jan. There is more to come check back.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Aw, you softie!
We ended up with Rocko & Spunky in much the same way. We'd just lost Calvin and Hobbes wasn't doing very well, so we wanted to wait a while before acquiring another cat. Wrong! Someone dumped two little black cats in our neighborhood and two of us started feeding them. Well, after a month we took them to the vet just to get them de-fleaed - and $300+ later, they never left our house! That was over four years ago...

NancyCL said...

I once heard that you don't pick out cats, they pick you out, and I guess that's just what Amber did! How delightful! When I lost my precious Kippie due to old age, I swore I'd never have another from the heartbreak I felt from losing her, but five weeks later Tommy picked us and after almost 9 years, there's not a day that passes that I'm thankful I didn't go along with my original plan of no more pets. They are WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing Amber's touching story.

kathy stemke said...


Cheryl said...

We have one of those cats too. We had picked up two cats from the shelter, even though we already had one at home. When my Siamese died unexpectedly, I was very upset.

The following spring an orange and white Tabby appeared, but he was scared of the kids. He kept coming back, so I made the mistake of feeding him. Tiger has been with us for probably 4 years now. But honestly, he's more of a neighboorhood cat, because every once in a while he will spend time inside other people's homes on the street too.

He's a great hunter, so we don't worry about him being outside as much as we used to worry about our other cat. We have woods behind us, so there are several creatures that could make a lunch out of such a fuzzy little beast; but Tiger is tough.

I'm glad Amber found a home with you.