Aly, the offspring of a feral, was born early April 1998 under a building in the vicinity of my office, which is located on a large hospital campus, and is home to several colonies of ferals, all of which are cared for by a few good Samaritans (including myself). 

One day I noticed a message taped to the side of a building as I walked to my office.  The sign stated, "feral female, known to have been pregnant - killed by a car in the parking lot.  Please call extension xxxx if you have a sighting of the babies."  The author was concerned because there was little doubt that a motherless litter of baby kittens were sure to die if they were not found very, very soon. 

Well, I heard a calling and I went on the prowl.  It took about an hour of searching from building to building when I suddenly heard the crying of baby kittens.  They were under a building, but too far to reach, and I could see that they were balancing themselves on a very thin piece of wood.  That piece of wood surely saved their little lives because April is rainy season here in sunny California and the entire surface of the ground was flooded with mud. 

I begged my assistant, promising that I would pay for his dry cleaning bill, to crawl under and rescue the poor little babies.  He gave in (but only if I would let him have the rest of the day off!) and out emerged little Aly and her sister Carey.  Their tiny little nostrils were thickly impacted with dried mud, probably from losing their balance and repeatedly falling into the mud.  They could not have been more than 4 weeks old and I was amazed that they had survived without a mother for more than a week! 

"I am the second human-being to ever hold these precious little creatures," I thought to myself, and I knew I would never let them go!  I called the lady who posted the sign; she arrived at my office and dashed the babies off (in a carefully concealed box) to the hospital for emergency re-hydration and a good nostril vacuuming.  Aly and Carey were strong enough to come live with me by the second week after their ordeal.

Aly still retains a bit of her feral instincts.  She startles easily and will absolutely not let me pick her up (at least, not without impaling some part of my body).  When I divorced in late 1999, the legal judgment called for the division of all assets (that's the good old California Community Property rule!), which included all eight of my beloved cats.  Literally, a flip of the coin decided who would take first pick and, sadly, Carey, Aly's sister, was destined to leave me.  Aly's heart was broken, and so was mine as I watched her wander aimlessly from room to room, searching all parameters in a desperate but futile attempt to find her sister. 

Somehow, I felt she blamed me for her loss.  She became more and more "distant."  It was a tough time for both of us.

Then I met my second husband Paul and since our marriage both Aly and I have made great strides in learning to trust again.  Paul has even gained enough of Aly's (or rather, Aly Bubba, as he's nick-named her) trust, that she often lets her new Father pick her up, place her on his shoulders, and go for sight-seeing tours around the house.  The purrs emanating from that little body as she gleefully balances on his shoulders are loud enough to make the walls reverberate!  Ahhh, balancing! It saved her life and balancing is what Aly does best!

Colleen - California



The Very Best Toy for Cats

"Of all the [cat] toys available, none is better designed than the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled, and it makes a noise when you jump on it."

Stephen Baker

Sponsored Advert