My friend Carol and I were on a two day excursion to the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pittsburgh, to visit Linda and Cara, exhibiting there, and do some shopping. Back at the motel the first night everyone heard a kitten in the bushes, in distress. No one could locate or capture it.
The next morning there stood a young girl holding the struggling kitten. The kitty app on her phone brought it straight to her, one quick nab and he was hers. Then the girl's mother was in distress; she learned the Humane Society did not open until ten and she wanted to be on the road long before then. "I'll take him," I said.
The kitten had no energy left for hissing, spitting and clawing, only to struggle to be free. Carol and I gave up all thought of a second day at the fair, and started home. The little guy and I spent two hours in a hand over hand battle. He squeezed high enough in one hand to escape and I fastened the other around him. And yes, he still howled a tiny kitten howl.
At home he fell on a bowl of kibble softened with water, drank a lot of water and climbed the quilt to sleep in my bed. I took him to the vet the next day, where he was pronounced barely four weeks old and lucky to be alive. I started a blog the same day, and my first post was about the Lucky Kitty, whose name became Toby.
Of course we take far more pictures of the babies than of the growing children. Here is the kitty his first summer, 2011.
Toby had two stepbrothers to annoy. Purrl was the outdoor cat who avoided Toby.
Ryon was the indoor cat, who he could easily annoy, especially in Ryon's safe and secret place on top of a dresser in a closet.
Ryon and Toby got along for the most part, especially as timid Ryon abdicated the catbird seat to Toby.
Yes, Toby, there is a Santa Claus.
That's the end of kitten pictures, and I had so many to select from!
He had so much energy, I bought him a gross of ping pong balls.
They were fun for quite a while,
but went on a high shelf when they weren't quite enough fun.
He has located the basketfull, and when the last little white globe disappears under a cupboard, or under the basement door and down the stairs, he merely climbs the quilt display in the studio and forks himself another from the basket.
He's more mature now. Here he is at breakfast with Laura, but only to keep her company. He will not accept table food and ignores any tidbit left in his bowl. My brother-in-law grumbles, "He won't eat real food!" He does appear from nowhere to lick the empty tuna can, however.
He still monitors the neighborhood,
and the studio,
and the front door, where he has perfected "The Lean."
He still begs for leaves every fall,
and has turned into our live-in flycatcher. No fly enters our house and lives.
Imagine Jan's surprise the other night. Toby trotted from the studio, head high. He was prevented from making the "Look what I caught!" squeak by the tail and hind feet of a mouse protruding from his mouth. Jan called, he trotted proudly up. She picked him up, carried him outdoors and set him on the deck rail.
Not the outdoors! This cat has the same opinion of the outdoors as of table food.. It is not good. He dropped the mouse, in shock, and was rewarded by being put back in the house.
The mouse eventually left, scampered under the ramp and disappeared. Lucky for him, Purrl is on mouse patrol in cat heaven.