Towards the end of October , I went to a hair appointment.
As is my custom when getting a perm, I went outside to sit while I "processed". (I had begun doing this in March when a very tiny kitten showed up at the salon.) Through the months, I always looked forward to my sit with this very sweet young black cat. For a stray, she was without a doubt, one of the most affectionate and sweet cats that I had ever encountered.
This time something was different, while holding her, I noticed that she was obviously pregnant. VERY pregnant.
When I mentioned this to my hairstylist. Comments like the following always make the hair on my neck stand up, but this time, they really bothered me more than normal:
1) She went and got herself pregnant
2) I put out scraps, but all she ever wants is meat!
3)She keeps standing in the window crying to come in
4)I guess I am going to have to take her to the pound
Needless to say.....the sweet black (what was still a) kitten, came home with me.
As much as I hated to bathe her without knowing her due date, I went ahead and gave her a bath. Under all the grime was a beautiful lush velvety coat. This sweet girl was so starved for affection that she loved the bath, she loved the towel and she loved the brushing. She even tolerated me clipping her toenails. As long as I had my hands on her, she would put up with just about anything. I soon found that Raven loved to have her tummy scratched. I never have had a cat that rolled on its back for tummy skritches. She also loves to be pet with the fur against the grain. Any touching is great for Raven.
I set up the spare room for Raven as I thought the attention of the rest of my furcrew would be a bit too much. Nosey looking ins, were tolerated but obviously made her a bit uncomfortable.
The first thing Raven did was stare at the litterbox. She would look at the box and then at me, back at the box and then at me. It was obvious that she was amazed as if to say "Look lady!! Indoor plumbing!!!!".
I then brought in the food bowl. Once again, total amazement at the special container that had MEAT in it. She sat by the bowl and savored every bite. Every once in a while she would run back to me for a pet and reassurance. "Look lady!! Food that I don't have to catch!!"
The next item to catch her eye was the scratching post. After her leisurely dinner and a return to the litterbox, Raven rubbed up against the post and then began to sharpen her claws. "Look Lady!!! This feels so much nicer than a tree!!!"
Finally, she walked over to the cat bed that I had set up. She turned around a couple of times, yawned, put her tail over her nose and relaxed.
As she had never been to a vet in her life, I made an appointment
the next day and they gave her what shots they could since she was pregnant.The
vet was astonished that even though she was obviously undernourished,
she was parasite free and basically in good health.
DAY FOUR: Two
days latter, Raven gave birth to 2 stillborn kittens and one very obviously
premature, barely alive kitten. Raven and I did what we could, and put
the rest into God's hands. But from day one, Raven was the best mommy
in the world.
I held off naming the kitten as he was without a doubt the ugliest fur
thing I have ever seen. I thought "no way is this poor baby going
to make it." Not quite as cute as a drowned rat and not any bigger
than a gerbil. But his mommy loved him. And so did I! It took 3 weeks
for him to even start to open his eyes. By that time he was more closely
beginning to resemble something feline. By week 4, I could honestly
say that he was cute. By now, 8 weeks, he is absolutely beautiful. Even
my vet says that he should be on a calendar :)
as it sounds, Archer is named after a character played by one of my
favorite actors on one of my favorite shows. Although he is not in space,
Archer does go boldly where no kitten has gone before. And he does it
at top speed and with all the enthusiasm that only a kitten can have.