Thursday, December 13, 2012


I pulled into a parking space near the after-hours entrance to my vet clinic. My vet arrived and I went around to lift Melvin, now cradled in a towel, out of the car. From the bundle came a soft, sleepy "mew." We all went inside, out of the heat.

Under the glare of fluorescent lights, Melvin looked even more pathetic. He was painfully thin, his fur dull, and his paws were grey with dirt. He had crud in his ears, but no mites, though he had fleas. He weighed less than three pounds. He was one sad-looking little kitten, but through all the poking and squeezing and lifting he never stopped purring.

Dr. Lane opened a can of moist food and Melvin went berserk, climbing on his hand and meowing frantically as he put a bit on a plastic can lid. He wolfed it down, pushing the lid around in the process, and started clamoring for more. Dr. Lane gave me a few cans of moist food, a bag of dry kitten food, vials of antiparasite serum, pronounced Melvin underweight but otherwise in good health, and made an appointment for me to return in a few weeks for his first round of vaccinations.

Now what? I left my house that afternoon for a run, not to rescue a kitten. I had anticipated coming home to take a shower and go out for dinner with the Engineer.  It wasn't as if I was completely unprepared; I had spare litter boxes and food bowls at home. But...the weight of what I had done suddenly landed on my shoulders. What have I gotten myself into? Darwin and Boo were not going to be happy. I was going on vacation in four days, and even though one of my hashing buddies had already offered to kitten-sit, I already felt guilty knowing I had to get Melvin settled at my house only to uproot him a few days later. Don't worry about that now. One thing at a time! What's next? Pet store. I needed to go to the pet store for supplies. I needed to get Melvin home and set up my guest room. I needed a shower...badly.

Finally, we were home, I was clean, Melvin had what he I needed to get to know my new kitten.

Oh, those ears!

He was so tiny

Still his favorite place to be
I spent the night with him in my guest room. He spent the night nestled up against me or sprawled across my torso. He slept like he hadn't had a good sleep in days, weeks, who knows how long. He had a tummy full of food and a soft, warm place to lie. He purred and purred and purred.

I hate to anthropomorphize animals, but I believe if Melvin could talk he would have said, "Thank you so much for saving. me."

Oh, those feet!


  1. *sniff* I, um, have something in my eye...

  2. He's so big in comparison now, gosh look at how tiny he was! It's so easy to forget he was that teeny.