The Story of the Three Little Kittens
A Tribute to Feisty Butt
We were driving to Wal-Mart one night in October, 1997 when Diane suddenly started yelling "stop the car, stop the car" . I asked what she saw and she said that she had seen little kittens beside the road. I did a u-turn in the road which is very uncharacteristic for me and something I normally don't do. I approached the spot where she had seen the kittens and I could see two little white heads peering over the grass from across the road. I also saw some movement behind that.
Diane got out and went to the rear of the car and said "come here babies" . Three little kittens come prancing across the road towards her. There was a lot of traffic on the road so I rolled down the rear window and yelled "throw them in" . I did not want them to get crushed by oncoming cars. These three kittens entered my life through a right rear window and changed it forever.
One cat immediately sat on the front arm rest. Another cat sat on the rear arm rest. The third cat sat in the rear window. We took the kittens back home realizing that we may had saved them from being killed by all the traffic on that road.
We had a 26 pound Blue Russian in the house so we did have some adult cat food available. The kittens were able to eat it and acted like they had not eaten in weeks. I was trying to think of what we were going to do with the kittens. We could take them to the Humane Society the next day for adoption. Or maybe we could keep the little gray female as company for the older female cat and just take the two white males for adoption. There was no way we could manage four cats in the house when we were going on vacation in a few days. And vacation or not, four cats is just too many.
It wasn't long before I realized that the three kittens owned the house as well as the car. Humane Society adoptions were now out of the question. Diane called around to some local vets and found Bruce Farris, DVM in Loganville who was willing to perform a checkup on the cats as well as board them for a few days until we returned. The other older cat was used to being left in the house for a few days alone.
The kittens passed their initial checkups but they were so scrawny and beat-up looking that survival was uncertain. They had been raised in the woods and were without their mother.
As time progressed the cats began to look like normal cats. We had one gray female and twin white males. The white males had one blue eye and one green eye each. Eventually with time each cat named themselves. Feisty Butt was the ring leader. It had been his purpose in life to watch over the other kittens and to find them a home and he had performed his purpose in life and settled in for a comfortable, well-deserved rest. Runty Preston (originally the runt of the litter) became the most laid-back cat you have ever seen. He eventually grew to over 20 pounds and adopted a sleeping style all his own - on his back with his legs in the air. Gracie could be pictured simply as a "scamp" simply because she had an attraction to coffee and cigarettes.
We eventually had to have the big, older cat put to sleep because of a tumor but the other three kittens continued to thrive and really enjoyed living here. A parent knows what it is like to come home and have all the kids run up to him or her when they enter the house. Just as we were the parents of the three kittens they always interrupted their naps to greet us whenever we enter the house.
We eventually obtained two more cats. Scooter (named Demon by Diane) was the absolute cat from hell. She never slept and was awake 24 hours a day. Her purpose in life was to aggravate every other animal and human being on the face of the earth. Orange (named because that is his color) became a friend to every other cat in the house. He was the only one permitted to attack the two white boys and they just let him do whatever he wanted to do with them. Orange was frequently seen throughout the house with clumps of white fur in his mouth.
So life was great. Scoot eventually settled down and started to show the big heart that she had. When Gracie would sense rain coming (sometimes two hours before it actually started) she would always run and hide under the cabinet in the bathroom. Scoot would always join her there just to keep her company. Runty was always very laid-back and always slept on his back in the living room in full view of everyone. Orange shared his time with all the other cats. And Feisty usually was asleep on the bed.
When company came Feisty would run and hide. He was skittish of anyone he didn't know. This was the same cat that bravely led his brother and sister across a dangerous road right up to a total stranger. The only exception to this rule was Bill, the person we hired to watch the cats when we were on vacation. I don't know why Feisty took to this person but he did. Maybe Bill just has a way with animals.
I always thought that my love for these cats was equally spread around with no cat being shown more attention than another one. Then one day I learned that Feisty had obtained an abscess from fighting with his brother. Even I was surprised at the concern that I displayed over his condition. Concern yes, but I was truly a very worried parent. I keep thinking about my reactions and the degrees of concern that I displayed on this occasion and I am still, to this day, a little perplexed over this.
Life in this house was great, even with five cats. The only exception was the annual visit to Dr. Farris. Only cat people will appreciate the trials and tribulations of the annual cat-vet visit. Now multiply this time five!
These cats brought nothing but joy to this house as well as much knowledge and wisdom that was not apparent at the time.
Many of us believe in animal guides. Many of us believe that we can learn from animals. Even those of you who do not believe in animal guides or animal wisdom are amazed when they see an animal perform a feat that is unexpected.
Feisty Butt's purpose in life was to watch over his brother and sister and to find them a home. We always understood that this was his purpose and we admired him for having accomplished his job. The cats were safe and the cats were loved. And then we realized that Feisty's job was not complete. He had found safety and a home for his siblings but he continued to make sure that they were safe. He would always be found in the living room near the front door. He was guarding the house. He would not go to bed at night until the other cats had fallen asleep. And he kept watch on the other cats.
Several weeks ago Feisty retreated to the confines under the bed. Then we started to notice that he was losing weight. Then he got very sick. His blood work was normal but he had a growth in his abdomen. As parents we did not want the cat to suffer but neither did we want to put to sleep a cat that was simply sick and might recover. Exploratory surgery revealed lymph sarcoma of the colon and Dr. Ferris, understanding our love for the cat, simply turned up the anesthesia and further suffering was eliminated.
It is rare to find someone who realizes their true purpose in life and it is even rarer to watch someone fulfill their purpose so determinedly as Feisty performed his. We should all be so lucky.
Feisty was buried in the meditation garden under the Rose of Life (which is another story) on Monday, September 29, 2003. Diane had had a previous dream that he would be back in some form. The following morning when she went to give treats to the other two male cats she noticed that Feisty was there with them. That night when I went to sleep I felt a cat jump on the bed and could feel it moving around to get settled. Not knowing which cat it was my curiosity finally got the best of me and I turned around to look. There was no cat there. I fell asleep with something laying next to me and occasionally repositioning itself. That was his way of telling me that everything was alright. He had performed his purpose in life and was now enjoying the benefits of Heaven.
I have an empty spot in my heart now. But I have suddenly realized that Feisty Butt had one more, unexplained purpose in life that was unknown to me earlier. Feisty was also my wakeup call. Things have not been exactly right with everything or anything. Everyone has these feelings from time to time like maybe I should spend more time with my kids or grandchildren, maybe I should spend more time with my wife. maybe I should be more friendly with other people and actually give more of myself, maybe I should spend more time reading, maybe I should go to church this Sunday and so on. We all get these feelings but this time it was delivered directly to my heart.
I hurt over the absence of my my pet, my teacher, my friend, for Feisty has taught me more than most humans. But I am also a better person for having known him and what he has taught. Feisty lives within my heart therefore he will always be with me.
This picture of Feisty's twin brother was taken several days later. It would seen that he was praying.
Peace, love and happiness.