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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


What do you name a deaf kitten?

Who cares, it won't come when you call it!

Old joke, and suddenly, not as funny. Well, okay, still as funny, but only because I have the sense of humor of a six year old.

The magic number of cats in our household is four. Two for The Hotness and two for me. I lie - all four are for The Hotness, because he is to cats as St. Patrick is to snakes.

In March, we lost our eldest cat to old age, and I swore up and down, no more cats, not for another two years. After about a month had passed, The Hotness started looking in the classifieds and on the SPCA website for kittens, but I was adamant - no more cats. At least, not until Smooshy was two - I don't want a bunch of cats the same age, because it seems like they all hit the wall at the same time, and that's hard on a cat family, much less the human family.

Three cats are enough cats.

In an attempt to subvert my will, The Hotness would print out pictures of kittens and tape them to the bathroom mirror, or leave them on the seat of my chair, or tape them to the TV remote, but I kept saying no - no more - no kittens.

Then yesterday, I was looking for sewing stuff on Kijiji - I have pretty good luck finding old sewing machines there - when I accidentally (I swear, it was an accident!) clicked on Cats and Kittens. The picture at the top of the screen showed the grimiest, skinniest, saddest-looking kitten I've ever seen. I'm not partial to white cats, but I AM a sucker for a sob story.

The lady who posted the picture had found the kitten in the ditch on one of the hottest days we've had this year. She was driving down a gravel road and stopped for a stop sign when she saw something white and small, just kind of laying there, swishing it's tail. She said "I told myself not to look, because I just KNEW it was going to be a cat, and that I wouldn't be able to drive off and leave the thing."

This woman is a dog trainer, and at the time, she had a van full of her own very large dogs, but she pulled over, shoved the dogs into the back, and walked over to this kitten, who didn't even have the strength to run away.

Unfortunately, after a night of trying to make it comfortable and help it eat a bit, she started to get suspicious that the kitten, in addition to its ear mite infestation and its malnutrition, might also be deaf. Turns out, she was right. The little guy is deaf as a fencepost.

She couldn't keep it, not with a house full of great danes and rotties (she's a dog trainer, remember) and our local SPCA is not currently accepting cats - they have NO empty cages at all, and have run out of cat litter six times in the last few months - if it wasn't for folks bringing in the odd bag of cat-litter for donations, they'd be in a world of hurt.

When I say "not currently accepting cats," what I mean is, they'll still accept cats, but it's not a no-kill facility, and once they reach, and, God love 'em for trying, exceed their capacity, there's little else to do but make room. Enough said.

What was I supposed to do? I already have one cat with missing head-flesh (apparently, the problem is the result of food intolerance, and isn't stress related, thank goodness) and two others, one just barely a year old. But I couldn't stop myself. I sent the woman an email, and made arrangements to take the little gaffer off her hands.

Long story short, meet The Kitten With No Name.

I've given him a bath and a really good ear-cleaning (along with an ear mite treatment - ugh!). He's barfed twice already, and has the shakes like he's coming off a three-day bender, and has basically lain in one position since I got him. He played briefly with a toy shrimp I brought him, but lost interest and fell asleep.

I think he'll be all right, once his tummy calms down. He drank a little water, and was a bit interested in the litterbox. But what's killing me is that he can't hear the sound of my voice, so he can't tell that I'm trying to be nice to him. I know he's just a cat, but it's really breaking my heart that he can't hear me, and that I'm scaring him by just showing up next to him.

The only time he's stopped shaking is when I sat on the couch and held him so that his head was resting against the side of my neck, then sang "You Are My Sunshine" about nine thousand times, so he could feel the vibration.

Poor little sucker.

I'm going to go play the xylophone on his little ribs for awhile, and curse myself for getting involved.

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Blogger gaylen Says:

If it was a dog I'd have done the same thing. We are highly allergic to cats in the house - but won't hold it against those who love them. g

Blogger Summerset Says:

Awww - he's so cute! We're cat people, too and I showed him to my husband. My husband said to name him Beethoven, as Beethoven was deaf, too (at the end of his career, though).

Blogger Marjie Says:

Solid white cats are basically always deaf. He will be a pretty little thing, once you put some meat on his little bones. Just call him Kitty. He won't know or care, and you'll at least have a name for him.


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