Miss Leontyne Price, AKA Precious Little Baby Kitten, AKS Baby, was rescued a year ago today! The night before The Pink Flamingo rescued her, she spent the night on the roof of the neighbor’s condo. Somehow she managed to climb down, and like every other stray cat in New Mexico, ended up in my carport. The day before, she was on the porch of the office, her little head stuck in a can of cat food. Barbara rescued her. Somehow she climbed a tree, and spent the night on the roof. The next afternoon, I drove into the garage, and this adorable little kitten – maybe three months at the most, was crying. I took a chance, grabbed a nearby carrier, and somehow managed to push her little bottom into it. I immediately took her to the vet, where she stayed for a week, while she had surgery and was observed for any diseased.
About a month earlier, my wonderful Doc Holiday had been diagnosed with a weird pancreatic condition, where she could not digest her food. I was still, at that time, not sure if Doc would survive. I just knew that Baby was my replacement kitty. That broke my heart. I’d rescued Doc when she was just nine days old. Her eyes were just starting to open when I took her to Dr. Franklin the next day. For two months I bottle fed her on schedule. She became my baby. She’s still hanging in there, but I’m wondering if she’s going to make it much longer. She takes this nasty medication made from powdered pig pancreas. At $130 a container, it lasts for about six weeks. It’s a daily battle to get her to take it, twice a day.
Baby talked to me all the way to Dr. Franklin’s office. I had to sit with her, waiting. She let me rub her. She licked, and purred. When I took her in to be looked at, it was obvious she was going to be a beauty. I just wasn’t sure if she was going to be a long-hair. She was quite large for a kitten, with very large paws. It took us months to realize that she is a pure Maine Coon.
When I brought Baby home, only Doc treated her decently. My parents kept Rums for a week so that I could work with her. She slept with me, just took to me as her mommy cat. Bubbles was jealous, immediately. B(r)at Masterson was terrible to her. Hoss Cartwright was mystified, and Mommy Cat was the total bit*ch that she is. It was like she did not want Baby around, did everything possible to hurt her.
The poor little thing was terrified to get off the kitchen counter – and so she remained, making that her home base, for months. In a way, it became quite obvious why the poor little angel had been dumped. She was a very difficult kitten to deal with, trying to litter train. Every time she would get the least bit obsessed her stools would turn to liquid and she would pass blood. I’ve never had a more difficult kitten.
BUT – the struggle has been worth it. She is a snuggle baby, who now had a tendency to sleep with me, when she isn’t getting into trouble. Her breakage tab for the year is about $1250 in glassware and antiques! In order to accommodate her proclivities toward mayhem and carnage, I’ve had to remove all the collector glassware on two shelves in my living room. The shelves basically connect to the floor of the dining room, which is right above it. Baby would go from the floor to the shelves, knocking anything off the shelves that was in her way.
I collect fused art glass. It’s not cheap. It is also extremely difficult to find. The only place I know that carries it is a gift shop in Tucson. For the past five years, when I would go to Tombstone, I’d go to Tucson and buy a couple pieces. Baby broke three pieces of that. She broke several collector pieces of glassware. She broke some of my pink depression glass. She also climbed into one of the kitchen cabinets and broke a cup to my second best china. I can’t replace it. I caught her on the shelves above my stove, sitting on my grandmother’s purple cut glass cake plate. That is now in a safe place. The fusion art glass in backed up in a plastic container under the coffee table.
It has been interesting dealing with Baby, who is not related to any of the members of The Pink Flamingo Kitty family. Doc is distantly related to Mommy Cat, Hoss Cartwright and B(r)at Masterson. So is Madam de Pompadour, who finally came in to live about a year and a half ago. Madam is quite stand-offish. She associates with Doc and Hoss. Bubbles, who is not related to any of the other kitties, is sometimes left on her own. She will hang with Doc, Bat, and Hoss.
The only one of the kitties who would even associate with Baby is Doc. At first, Bat Masterson was brutal to her. I truly feared for her safety. Mommy Cat, who is basically a bit*h, still treats her terribly. Hoss just sits and looks at her. I think he has a bit of a crush on her. Bubbles still doesn’t get along with her. Bubbles is totally jealous of Baby. Until Baby, Bubbles was the baby of the family. I rescued her about 6 years ago December 3.
I started watching the Animal Planet show, My Cat from Hell, and made the assumption that the other kitties needed something to do, besides pick on Baby. They were bored. We now have lasers, we have moving toys, we have all sorts of things with which to play. It made a difference. Without that show, and what I learned, I don’t know if Baby would have survived.
She is now the fastest kitty I’ve ever seen. I’ve been known to call her ‘Zippie’ she moves so fast. I can hear her climbing up onto the dining room floor, knocking things over, in her wake. Bat is usually chasing her. Only now, it’s a game of tag. They’re on their way to becoming friends.
Having Baby has changed the dynamics. She is very much an alpha cat, if she only gets an opportunity to be an alpha. She’s into everything. The moment I turn in the water in the bathroom sink, she’s in it. She thinks she owns the kitchen counter, glaring at me when I won’t let her on it.
What now bothers me is Doc. I don’t know if she was hanging on, just to raise Baby. I’ve noticed that she is starting to fail, again. I hope it is my imagination. But, knowing how animals are, it makes me wonder. When I found Baby, I felt like she was my replacement kitty. Unfortunately, I still feel that way.
The really weird thing in all of this is that Baby is not a bit intimidated by Rums. Neither is Bubbles. The other kitties will let him bully them, but not those two. They are also the only two who sleep with Rums and I.
NOTE: This morning I woke up to find that Baby was snuggled up by me, purring. That was the PURRfect ending to our story.