One day, very early in July of 2010, Cherie was out on the deck throwing buns out on the property for the deer, when seemingly out of nowhere, came this tiny, black creature running toward her. At first, she thought it was a mouse (he really was that small), and she shied away, as she does not like rodents at all. And then she realized what she was looking at was a kitten. Aside from being so small, it was hard to tell at first because he had something matting his fur and binding his eyes nearly shut. It appeared to be very sticky in some spots, while dry and crusted in others. I, personally, believe that it was probably afterbirth and a sign that his mother had abandoned him, though I was not there.
Cherie took this little, living, breathing mess into the house and with the help of her son, she gently cleansed him with warm water. During this time, he was nearly limp and she thought he might die right there in the palm of her hand. She kept him wrapped in a soft cloth and held him close to her. She also gave him some warm milk and he was able to lap it up without any problem, so it became clear to Cherie that this little kitten was going to live. Cherie was most surprised by the fact that, once she set out a small plate with a little litter in it, he climbed right into it, and without hesitation, showed her that he knew what it was there for.
This amazingly strong kitten had captured Cherie’s heart and she decided to give him a name. She named him Brooklyn, because two months prior, a single kitten was born in my home in Portland, OR and I named her Manhattan. A bond formed between Brooklyn and Cherie. Though Cherie has had many cats in her lifetime, she has never experienced the type of attachment that Brooklyn had with her. To him, Cherie is his Momma.
For those of you who have not had a cat, especially one who has kittens, the mother cat has several different “meows.” There is the quiet happy meow that can be heard when you pet your cat, the “I am hungry” meow, and the awful sounding (in my opinion) meow of a female cat in heat. And then there is a specific meow that a mother cat will use when she wants her kittens to come to her. When she uses this meow, all of her kittens will stop playing, fighting, eating, or sleeping, and come running to her side.
Because Brooklyn knew no other than Cherie, he came to know the specific sound of her voice when she would call out, “Brooklyn, kitty, kitty” and would come running right up to her and into her lap. He would also suckle on her neck, kneading with his paws, and purring contentedly. It has been two years and Brooklyn still comes running when Cherie calls, and every morning without fail, when Cherie wakes up, he cuddles up to her chest, suckles on her neck, kneading, and purring and spending some time with his Momma.
Cherie took several pictures of Brooklyn when he was still quite small and I am posting three of them here. She used the remote and the brush in the photos to show just how small Brooklyn was, though he had grown some since their first encounter. When time permits, I will take some current photos of Brooklyn and post them, so you can see how big he is now and how healthy and beautiful he has become. He has jade green eyes and is solid black without a single marking. To me, he looks like a miniature panther. You will see for yourself when I post the more current photos.
- How Do Cats Purr and Why? Life With Cats Just Got Easier! (catster.com)
- Gambit’s Kitten (couchesforbreakfast.wordpress.com)
- A Little Kitten in The Woodpile (therealowner.com)
- Kitten Rescued from Inside Wall (neatorama.com)