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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pet Talk: Remarkable feline flair

  • Cats do not always live humdrum, relatively uninteresting lives as we might conclude when we see them curled up in the sunshine or purring on our laps.
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  • Cats do not always live humdrum, relatively uninteresting lives as we might conclude when we see them curled up in the sunshine or purring on our laps. I have found many stories that show their flair for engaging in remarkable and inspiring activities. Felines' powerful survival instincts and close connection with other creatures are reflected in these tales.
    In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a calico cat was discovered on the shore of Governors Island in New York. Her fur was wet, salty, matted and caked with seaweed. She appeared to have been through an ordeal. It was speculated that she had been swept up in the torrential rains in New Jersey and somehow floated or swam about a mile across the Hudson river to safety. Perhaps she clung to some debris to save herself. No one claimed the cat in spite of extensive media coverage. A vet checked her out and a home was found for her. There are some who are skeptical of her survival story and the exact events will remain a mystery.
    A Naval ship was still in port about to deploy overseas. Sailors noticed a cat coming aboard the ship via the mooring line.
    She was not found until later that evening and was put back on shore just before they embarked.
    A few days later three young, but not newborn, kittens were discovered in the machine shop. Apparently, the feline mama had managed to smuggle her three kittens aboard the ship. What an incredible feat in itself, making that trip up the mooring line, keeping her balance for four separate trips. The kittens were extremely hungry and thirsty and the crew immediately started caring for the little creatures.
    The kittens became a great boost to crew morale and everyone treated them with love and care.
    After the ship docked, the kits were taken to local veterinary services and homes were found for all three.
    It is touching to think that the kittens gave the sailors the companionship and love they needed during these long voyages, in a way repaying them for the love and care they received. They both needed one another. I cannot help feeling sad thinking of the distress the mother cat experienced.
    Jack, an adult, male pet cat was born without eyes. His owner was babysitting for a motherless stray kitten as a favor while a neighbor was out of town. Jack immediately decided to "adopt" the little kit, named C.J. He carried the kitten in his mouth as a mother cat would, cleansed her, and played with her. C.J. loved the attention and "mothering" and became very attached to Jack. Photos show Jack carrying C.J. around and the two of them snuggling together. One shot shows Jack standing by outdoors while C.J. climbs on a stump. Because of the bonding of these two, it was decided that C.J. would stay permanently at Jack's home.
    Page 2 of 2 - A little ginger kitten named Cheech was in a foster home awaiting eventual adoption once he was stronger. One day a teeny five-day-old Chihuahua puppy named Casanova was brought to the home. From that point on, a wonderful bonding between the two occurred. Cheech became Casanova's guardian.
    The kitten, which was not that big himself took Casanova into his arms, groomed, and cleaned him.
    They slept together and cuddled on the heating pad. I am sure he would have fed him also if that were possible.
    The puppy became his best friend. Several charming photos show them together.
    It is not that unusual for dogs to become guardians of motherless kittens but the reverse, especially with a kitten becoming the caregiver, is rare.
    The story does not tell of the eventual outcome but let us hope that they were adopted together.
    Anne Divine is a long time member of LAWS and has volunteered at Animal Control for 18 years. She can be reached at: adivine@kc.rr.com.

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