Have you ever heard an animal cry out in grief or despair? I have. It breaks my heart every time. On this occasion, I heard it on the large property that I lived on, and it really surprised me. I track the cry down… no way Jose could I ever ignore a call like that. I find a kitten hiding under a porch to the house next to mine.
I inquire, what’s up with the kitten? He seemed a slightly older kitten, perhaps just under a year, still a baby but having lost adorable kitten phase. They didn’t know, he’d shown up under the porch days before, crying. They feed him and had noted he was covered in ticks, his long white (with some gray spots) whispy hair dirty, terribly thin. Crying like this. I gave them my dead pan stare… my heart hurt for the little guy.
I called my local vet, telling them I had found a stray and intended to catch and take it to them for shots and medical care. Perhaps a de-ticking? If they did that. They let me know the best window for them and I set about on a kitty rescue mission. I wasn’t sure what I would entirely do with him once I had him, as I had my own cat and dog and other complications, but I for sure would not be able to ignore.
He was the easiest kitty rescue I have yet to come by. I just had to sit, slightly off to the side of the porch with the kitty carrier and encouraged him to come to me. It literally might have been minutes and he was on my lap, tentative, and I must say, literally covered in ticks. As if he’d walked through a nest of them. He purred. I sensed he felt relief.
At the vets we discovered kitty was a he and named him Franklin. He got his shots, we discovered the little guy had feline leukemia, and I left him to be de-ticked (yes they did that thank their hearts) and neutered. My next concern, I couldn’t return with this little fellow to my house, circumstances limited this, so I did the next best thing. Called my sister.
We hatched a plan. Our little Franklin would need several days protected from the elements of outdoors as he would be drugged from being neutered. She would take him in “tentatively” for now, pending overall approval from her husband. Franklin was the same age as her son, 10 months… it seemed kinda perfect.
Now, 4 years later, Franklin is still running about the house, causing my nephews 2-year-old sister such uncensored delight when she sees him; she pats, hugs, and loves on him. Franklin survived my nephews love, where he would full body hug him and just lay on him. He loves all the baby attention, even when they get a little rough. He comes and goes as he pleases and, to battle the incessant tick problem only he seems to have, gets shaved every summer. He’s still thin, perhaps from the Leukemia? Or because he is outdoors frequently, hunting, exploring, socializing with the neighbors…. And not just the human ones, we’ve caught him hanging with deer and other wildlife. Franklin is loved and he loves right back, unconditionally.
~Chris, New Hampshire
All Love Letters’ are pristine, posted as they were received. Please forgive any spelling and grammar issues, since the writing was done in the throes of love, and sometimes love doesn’t care about commas or misplaced letters.