I remember that warm spring day when I sat poised above the space between hay bales, my hand in a claw-like pose waiting for the first feline head to poke its way out. Quick as a snake I grabbed and startled myself with a fistful of kitten fur. She screamed and screamed sending my wits into panic mode until I saw Hobby, her overly-attentive mother, rushing at me her eyes wide and tail puffed up. Without another thought I dropped that kitten back onto the hay bales and she disappeared into her cavern while I backed away from the nest hoping Hobby wouldn’t attack.
I’d already named her Rainbow because of her brightly colored fur but it seemed I was not meant to catch her just yet. As it turned out I never got another chance to catch Rainbow that summer, in fact, I took in two of her sisters, her mother, several other kittens and a few adults but no Rainbow. That fall I planned to stop trapping a week before I was scheduled to leave on my Hawaiian vacation so I didn’t have to worry about leaving any new cats or kittens for my house-sitter to worry about.
That last day, I approached the barn praying to God, let her be in the trap this time, please let it be her. I quietly crept along the side of the barn and took a deep breath before peeking around the door at the trap I’d left inside. I had to blink a time or two but sure enough it was Rainbow. Nearly six months after I’d first had her in my hands, I finally saw her in my trap.
Now, nearly 18 years later, I have that wonderful, enigmatic girl on my lap as I type. Most evenings now she comes downstairs to curl up in her cat bed while I administer her fluids and check out her “redesigned” cheek. Then she settles in and sleeps while I watch TV or write. At night she competes with Mewdy Blue and Lady Butterfly to get under the blankets in my arms but eventually gets out and sleeps in her bed beside my pillow or on top of me.
I am extremely thankful that God has granted me this extra time with her. It seems to me that her biggest problem was that darn abscess on her cheek. When it finally died and fell off we started her on injectable antibiotics (in place of the oral ones she’d been taking) and the remaining tissue started to heal. She quickly perked up and started acting more like herself. She’s eating, drinking and jumping up on the counter again. Today she even played with a toy!
Tomorrow, Rainbow will see Dr. Tammy again but I anticipate a clean bill of health. Of course, I know that her kidneys are still failing but she is thriving and seems happy. Her strength has returned and she’s bathing herself again. And I am one happy camper.
Thanks for all the support you’ve given me and my loved ones.