I Should Have Called Him "Lucky"

by Charlie
(Auburn, PA)

Isaac as a kitten

Isaac as a kitten

Isaac as a kitten Isaac with Jake and Eli Isaac and Eli in the bathroom

I was teaching a very concentrated all-day one-week graduate course from June 8-12, 2009. My 14-year-old grandson called me early evening that Wednesday, June 10. It seems that a "female" kitten had strayed onto their property and would not go away. Well, we are all animal lovers in the family, and they had been feeding it. I had had two cats which had died, the second one a bit more than a year before. I also have two shihtzus, which were three and a half at the time.

This was not the first time my daughter had notified me of a stray cat on her property. The first was an orange cat which hissed at me and did not seem to like me at all. I declined to adopt him. However, on June 12, after the course was over, I traveled to my daughter's house and held the kitten. "She" was fine with me. However, when my grandson held it, I noticed that it had fleas. I adopted "her" anyway and took her home to spend a weekend shampooing her with flea shampoo and combing through her hair with a flea comb. I kept her in a small cage on the deck, except at night, for I live in the country and many critters roam the area at night.
This was a Friday when I brought her home, and the vet could not see her until Monday.

I know that it is difficult to determine the gender of kittens, but this was not a young kitten. (The vet later estimated her age at 12 weeks.) However, as I was combing her, I thought I noticed male genitalia. I was right. It was a boy, soon to be a tomcat. I had never owned a male cat, and I have never owned a female dog, merely because of family background and supposed temperament.

Anyway, Isaac's ailments were cured with a little Frontline along with the flea comb and shampoo. He took to the dogs much better than they took to him. He was not afraid of them from the beginning, even though they roughed him up a bit, and continue to do so even now, now and then.

Isaac is a delight. I kept him indoors for the first nine months I had him, despite the fact that he stood often at the glass patio doors and cried and clawed at the doors. However, in March I gave in and allowed him outside. I live in a gated community, which is rural. We have over 1100 homes here and two lakes. I do live on the main drive though, so there is a little more traffic here than in most locations here. I worry about his being hit by a car, even today. However, he seems to have traffic savvy and avoids automobiles. I can't keep him inside anymore. He has the wanderlust of a stray. Most of the time he stays around the house, hunting moles, mice, and chipmunks and chasing bugs and butterflies. I have a half acre of ground.

I love this big guy. He is very affectionate when he wants to be, and we seem to have an understanding. He does not stay outdoors at night, because when I allowed it, he often woke me in the middle of the night with those horrible cat cries of encountering an enemy.

I hope that Isaac has a long and adventurous life. He certainly has become a member of the family here.

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