Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Bandit, an only child, almost did not live to see this world. He almost died because his mother’s teats were blocked and he could not get the life-sustaining milk. Trixie, his mother, lost a previous offspring for the same reason, so Eric, Bandit’s guardian, was frantic when he brought the starving kitten to me.
I hoped that our Tabby, who recently gave birth to three healthy kittens, will succor a fourth. If not, it’s just a matter of a few hours before the weak Ragdoll dies. Hoping fervently, I placed the scrawny kitten’s fate before Tabby.
Without hesitation, Tabby nipped the kitty’s nape and added it among her brood. The small one, eyes still closed, instinctively found a teat and sucked weakly as we watched. A few minutes later we relaxed a bit when the baby continued feeding. At least a spark was kindled.
A few days later, our tiny refugee was crawling about the room. We gained something precious – this world, so sordid, could not be so intolerable if from time to time it allows a spluttering life to go on.
Then the allotted weeks passed, and the kitten opened an eye. We waited for the other eye to open, but it remained shut. When Eric visited his kitten, he was elated to see the improvement. When he saw the closed/open eyes, he said the lovely rascal looked like a bandit.
After a few days the blind eye popped open, resulting in a marked improvement in agility. He joined his bigger “siblings” in rough play, although he could not run as fast or jump as high. Then we woke up one morning to see him on our bed, peering at our sleepy faces. In a few days he was jumping all over, over our hips, over the pillows, over everything. The uber cat.
Ragdolls by nature are very affectionate. People who can respond to their silent gestures of affection had learned to read the body language of cats. Anna, who took Bandit to a new home yesterday, understands and appreciates that affection, and her power of love, I’m sure, will give Bandit the full measure of happiness that a lease on life has bestowed on the cat we love.
Live long and prosper, Bandit.