It is ten years since three kittens were abandoned outside our house. But what happened to them? The story was told in part from one of the kitten/cat’s perspectives in a short story that I wrote.
Finding That Three Kittens Were Abandoned
The first we knew that kittens had been dumped by our house was when Barnet Boy went out to feed the resident outside cats. And three six week old kittens suddenly appeared and wanted to eat the food. Barnet Boy called me, stunned. At first he thought they were a litter of kittens we hadn’t known about. But soon it was clear these were domestic kittens and that someone had abandoned them.
Bringing The Kittens Indoors
Well obviously our group of resident cats were none too impressed at the interlopers and I quickly scooped them up and brought them inside. And gorgeous they were. There was a little female calico kitten we called Lucy. The tabby and white boy we called Giacomo (James in English). And the chocolate and white colored boy kitten we called Malteser after an English chocolate treat.
It never occurred to us for a moment not to keep these little things. They quickly became a part of our lives and were accepted eventually by Bluebottle the resident boss cat in the house. Eventually, after being spayed/neutered and vaccinated we held our breath and let them go outside. And they loved it and were accepted by the outside cats gradually until they were part of the troop.
Giacomo grew into a beautiful cat who adored kittens. When our resident feral cats had kittens he was first on hand to play with them and sleep with them. He was a very mild mannered chap. His nickname was ‘Meeny’. It was a derivation of his kitten name of ‘Giacomino’ (literally little James) and if either of us called out the window ‘Meeny, Meeny, Meeny’, he would come running.
When Giacomo was about five years old, he started to have some health issues. It was a Friday and we took him to the vet to be checked over. She was concerned that he seemed to have a heart problem. The vet told us to bring him back to the clinic on the Monday after the weekend in order to have a specialist check him over. She said to keep him indoors.
Well we didn’t bargain with Giacomo being keen to go outside. The first opportunity he got, he sneaked through a gap in the door and jumped down from the back terrace and disappeared into the woodland. And we never saw him again. We can only think his heart gave out before he could get home.
Giacomo would have loved the kittens Stevie Mouse and Emmy. We got both of them the year after he died.
A Lot Of Health Issues
At ten years old Malteser is the old man of the cat group. He is also a miracle as we have had so many scares with him in recent years. Two years ago he nearly died of a urinary blockage. Then, just to make sure that we got the idea he was sick, he developed asthma. Since then, each day starts with Malt having his steroid and his inhaler, and again in the evening.
Maxi Had A Bromance
When the kittens came to live with us we also had a ginger cat called Maxi who had turned up at our front door as a kitten and stayed. He stayed in the house most of the time. He fell in love with Malteser and the two of them really became an item. Unfortunately, Maxi went outside one day and I watched him walk up the drive. And we never saw him again.
His Kidneys Are Now Failing
We bumbled along pretty well with treating Malt’s asthma until November last year when he started to not look so good. Urine and blood tests showed that his kidneys were failing. The advice was to make him a house cat and put him on special food to support his kidneys. That led to a big debate about his quality of life as Malt hated being shut in. After two weeks he was still screaming and throwing himself at doors and windows as he wanted to be outside. So we decided to let him carry on his life as normal, for as long as he has. And here we are nine months later and we still have him. He doesn’t clean himself as much as he used to but he is otherwise well and happy. And long may it continue.
Lucy, or ‘LouLou’ as we cal her, dominated her two brothers when they were kittens. She is cute, and has retained a nervousness she had as a kitten her whole life. Cuddles are very much on her terms.
Health-wise she has not followed her brothers’ example thank goodness. We have had some issues with crystals in her bladder but they were solved each time by two weeks shut in a room and eating only special food and medication to get rid of the crystals.
Lucy Loves Wrecking Things
She loves wrecking things, though I think she sees it as some sort of interior decor. Her favorite thing is getting the backs of chairs to fall forward, or throw pillows to fall on the floor. Or she likes a good sandal to rub on and chew. Each to their own!
Lucy Also Loves Checking Out Downstairs
The cats are not allowed down into our bedroom area but Lucy sees that as a challenge! Any opportunity to sneak through the door and get downstairs and have poke around. We had mice in our bedroom once. After a spectacularly awful night of laying bed listening to the mice run around under the bed, our then dog, Barnie, took matters into his own paws. He went and found Lucy and asked for the door to be opened. He took Lucy downstairs. She went mad hunting around in the bedroom, then sat back as if to say “Yep, you got mice.” And then went back upstairs again. As much use as a chocolate teapot.
The Kittens Found A Good Home
Okay so the three kittens were abandoned but they found a great home with us. We love them so much, including Giacomo though he is far from us now. We think of him often. Though angry at the time with the person who dumped the kittens, he or she gave us three little guys that have been big parts of our lives. And hopefully for a few more years to come.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!