Sunday, October 12, 2008

A New Addition

Well, Seth and I have been talking recently about adding to the family. I kind of pushed back a little bit, not really feeling ready for that big step... all the responsibility, the extra cost, and the long commitment. But today as we were screening for bug samples on the Weber River, we realized that we had to add the next member of the Hanson family.

At our first stop on the Weber just a minute or so after we got out of the car, I kept hearing a noise and couldn't tell what it was. It sounded a bit like a radio or something at first, but it was so faint and sporatic, I wasn't sure. Finally I heard the sound loud enough to see where it was coming from. There was an old truck next to where we'd parked and underneath was a little black cat, meowing like crazy.

The cat immediately came over to us and repeatedly tried to jump into the back of the car. We could by looking at her she was hungry, she was very skinny. She just kept looking at us with her big green eyes and meowing non-stop. She looked so happy to see us.

We tried to suppress her cries at first by catching a sculpin for her to eat. She was very grateful and inhaled it without thinking twice. However, she continued with her vocalizations. We unsuccessfully tried to catch more sculpin but to no avail. She sat on the bank of the river and cried and cried.

After a while she went into the thick brush and the meowing stopped. Seth and I continued to collect our bug samples (used for fly tying by the way), and both continued to silently wonder where the little cat had gone.

When time came for us to leave, Seth asked me if I would want to take the cat home. I knew he'd wanted a cat and I felt so sorry for the starving little thing. She had clearly been around people and seemed to be well mannered. I didn't have the heart to say no and leave it there, so we decided to go find the cat and bring her with us.

We called and called and didn't hear anything. Finally I heard the meowing again and went back down to the river to find it. There in the thicket of bushes was the cat. I lured her to the edge of a branch and then lifted her off into my arms. She panicked a bit at first because of the water, but we both made it back to the bank without getting too wet. Seth bundled her up in a little blanket and we drove her home.

I went to the pet store to get some food and supplies while Seth stayed back and fed her a can of tuna. When I got back she was still crying so we gave her a small pouch of wet cat food. She inhaled it and continued to cry. We didn't want her to eat too fast and throw everything up, so we waited a while and fed her a bit more dry cat food.

Seth and I were both surprised at how beautiful she was. Aside from a burr or two that was stuck in her tail, she was pretty clean and had nice fur. No fleas or wierd skin problems and besides being extremely skinny, looked healthy. We found that she had been declawed so we're hoping she's already been spayed as well. Best of all, she's litter box trained. Yeah! I think somebody dumped her there by the river for one reason or another. She didn't have much chance of survival, especially without claws.

Seth came up with a name for her after reading a chapter in a book he's reading about "grace." The definition of grace is "Free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God." That cat is probably only alive because of the grace of God. So, we decided to name her Gracie.

On the night of her first day here, Gracie is still crying a lot. We're not sure if she's just traumatized, ill, or really starved for attention. Hopefully after we take her to the vet we'll find out. At least now she's not starving for food. We are pretty attached to her already and are glad to have her in our little family.



Abe said...

You two are the most adorable couple in the world. Grace couldn't have found a better home. I wonder if the incessant meowing has something to do with the reason she was deposited by the river?

Karen said...

That's what I'm afraid of! Of course it's nothing that a little squirt bottle couldn't handle :D

It's Me said...

I think I'd feel the same way about wanting to take the cat home....but it's so conflicting! I hate cat hair on everything! Does she shed much?

Karen said...

Yeah, I had my reservations too... mostly because of the cat hair. But, so far it's not too bad. You can cut down the hair a lot by feeding them higher quality food, so hopefully that helps. I probably would have felt really guilty about leaving her there, so I guess cat hair instead of guilt isn't so bad. But she's a good little kitty so it turned out for the best.

heidi said...

What a lucky kitty you are! And I bet you know it. Your mom and dad are very lucky, too! You sound like a welcome addition to any non-cat-allergic family.

It's a beautiful thing when we humans or you from the animal kingdom can offer any living thing "free and unmerited" unconditional love! I myself feel blessed by "grace" when I'm a part of this as well.

Also you are a GORGEOUS kitty and I'm sure I already love you. When we meet I'll ignore you and that will be a sure sign of my love.

I think you just MIGHT be Mother Teresa incarnated. Or, who knows? Maybe we are ALL God's children incarnated? I don't know. God does. On the TV show The Unusuals, last night, there were quotes from Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, and, also, a narrator commented that it's a mistake to claim we know what God is doing. But Vonnegut also said, I just saw on Wikipedia, that A MEANING TO LIFE is LOVING whoever shows up! You sweet kitty did you cry so Seth and Karen could fulfill a meaning of life? How gracious of you!

What a wonderful kitty you are. I wonder what you will be in the next "incarnation"? :) Who knows.

I hope to love you a-plenty in THIS life when I can.


Heidi Juniper
kitten-lover as well as -sneezer

heidi said...

Karen and Seth,
You are foster "child" ADOPTERS! Just like us! We have a coupla "adopted" birdlings (i.e. not had since very very young).

I think it's good practice for Adopting the Human Variety of Foster Child (which we are looking forward to doing). Hopefully you can give me some pointers! Bonding and attachment seem to have common factors across all mammalian species.

I doubt our human kids will come litter-box trained but who knows? I'm sure they WILL cry and need food!

K, I can't decide if I want to catch up on your blog all at ONCE or stretch it our for a YEAR! Do you have a preference?!


Heidi Juniper