Meet Forest Gump
One Sunday morning last January, my husband and I were sitting on the couch reading the Sunday paper. I glanced out the window and a black tom cat was crossing the street. Behind him was a tiny ball of fur flopping around. I thought it was one of the kittens that PaPa, a black and white feral cat who was propagating all over the neighborhood, had sired. I also thought this little kitten might have gotten hit by a car. Running outside, the kitten saw me and ran for the protection of a van parked nearby. I coaxed him out by dangling a twig branch in front of him. I grabbed him and beelined across the street.
Once inside, I examined him for injuries. It seemed that the only thing wrong with him was actually a birth defect, having no haunch joint in his back leg. Oh, and an awful infestation of fleas. I quarantined him from my other cats until I could get him examined at the vet.
My wonderful vet checked him out and concluded that he was a very healthy specimen other than his leg. He suggested that I think about amputation of the leg, siting how many happy three legged cats there are. I immediately put an end to that conversation. My opinion was that God made him that way, let me find him, and as long as it caused him no pain I wasn't going to challenge God's work.
Forest is a delightful, sweet cat who is now 1 1/2 years old. He maneuvers around using his gimp leg like you would on a skateboard. When he hits the tile he just picks the leg up and glides across like floor. He got his name from his ability to run, forest, run. He is so fast. Especially if company shows up, he doesn't like people. And he has managed to conquer all surfaces except the kitchen table. Every night he gets into bed and kneads his favorite stuffed bear as I tell him what a good boy he is.
Fred was the kitten from hell that no one wanted.
My next door neighbor at the time, had 5 kids and one of them had found this kitten. His dad did not want the cat. I happened to be in the backyard when he threw the kitten over the fence into our yard while saying "They have so many cats, they'll never notice another one." We had 3 outdoor cats at the time.
Needless to say, I now had another cat. I brought this "sweet" thing into my home. He leaped from my arms. Before I could catch him, he was attacking my biggest cat, Tinker. What a sight, this tiny fit in my hand kitten beating up on a 21lb. butterball indoor cat. Trying to get Fred off of Tinker I bent down and clapped my hands real loud. Now, I am no fool. I did not put my hands in the middle of a cat fight. But this little guy let go of Tinker and leaped up and latched on to me! I still have bite and scratch scars to prove it. Thank goodness he was also a very healthy cat. I love cats, but that will never happen again.
Fred proved to be a devil in a cat body. He terrorized my indoor cats and my husband and I every chance he got. Waiting for hours to grab our legs as we rounded a corner. His ears flat to his head and his yellow eyes glowing. Into every breakable thing I owned. Up all night running around the house. Tinker and my two other indoor cats never knew when his mean streak would appear. I developed a punishment for him. I would pick him up by the scruff of the neck, look him in the eye and sternly say "Get your mind right!" Then gently pet just his head and say "Love, Freddy". Don't know why this worked, but to this day, it still does.
Freddy is now 9 years old, and he is my favorite beading partner. He lays on my desk for hours, as I bead. He never bothers anything on my desk and I have a blanket down in his spot for him. He likes to wake my husband every morning by getting close to his face and mournfully crying.
He still has a wonderfully, adventurous nature. Loves it when you play with him. But every now and then the ears go back and the yellow eyes glow and I have to remind him to get his mind right!
I wonder what kind of life my two babies had before they found us. I am sure both had a very hard time. They have a soft life now, and I am so glad I am the one to provide that.