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Cats of Yellow Jacket
An ongoing series of adorable creatures
2009 to Present
Lucy is our first cat. It was late Spring 2009, when Art told me had been hearing what sounded like a kitten across the fence in the neighbor's field. "What are we waiting for?!?" was my response. Quickly, we got the fishing net and over the 10-foot deer fence we went. Our neighbor had big piles of trees that he was soon to set ablaze lined up across from our property. From the middle of one of those piles came the persistent cries of a tiny creature. It took some doing to work our way into the pile. My legs were pretty much stuck in place when Art lifted a big branch and THERE she was. A tiny and terrified kitten. Even though she was small she was as ferocious as what little strength she had left would allow. Art somehow picked her up and tossed her into my outstretched net. Her legs went through the net and she was ours! She tamed quickly with a meal, water, and love. She started out small, but today she is a 20lb girl.
This is Martha when she was a kitten. She was born an only child in the garage to a feral mama. The mama left on day ten of Martha's life never to return. It was the day that Martha's eyes opened. We waited part of that day to see if the mama would come back. Something told me if she wasn't back by afternoon, she probably wasn't coming back. A quick trip to town retrieved kitty formula and some bottles. We hand-fed Martha from that day forward. We wrapped the bottle in a towel. Martha's little paws would go like crazy until she found the bottle and wrapped her arms around my hand. When I had to go to work, I would pack up her formula and bottle and take her to my dad's for him to take care of for the day. Today she is a much bigger girl and loves it when my dad comes to visit.
How Very True...
This is just what it was like to feed Martha. Love at first sight.
One of the things I do is name my cats after relatives who are no more. A lot of people back then really had good names. Uncle Tom was my great uncle. I barely remember him, but Tom Tom is his namesake. Tom Tom showed up one day and let me know he needed and wanted a home. He took to inside living without any hesitation. I sit down, he jumps in my lap. He chirps and purrs. Not a very big kitty in size, but he has a huge heart. You pet Tom Tom once and he will have your heart forever.
2009. to Present
Mama Kitty got her name from being an "as wild as they come feral cat" who brought us two litters of kittens before we were able to spay her. The first litter was 4 kittens we discovered under the deck in chilly and wet spring weather. Sadly, they all had relatively short lives due to the nature of being wild cats. They were fed and had good shelter, but one by one they simply never came home :-(. Mama Kitty is a very smart girl. She survived but still would not consider getting close enough to be petted. She soon was pregnant again. Since she is smart, she did allow us to make her a wonderful birthing area in the garage. Late one afternoon, kittens started arriving. By the time we went to bed, we had SIX. By morning, there was SEVEN total. Talk about ADORABLE. Mama had them in a cloth cat nest, but it was soaked. Katherine put on vinyl gloves so she would not pass on her scent to the kittens and picked each tiny creature up to transfer. Their new home was a clean, roomy and well-padded cardboard box. It was a bit scary as Mama was hissing and growling the entire time. However, after the transfers were made she jumped in the new box and things started to get easier. We petted all the kittens all the time whether Mama liked it or not. After a while, we could touch her too and the taming of Mama Kitty was underway. Those seven kittens were a joy to raise. When it was time, Rodney and Desiree - friends who love cats, took 4 of them home. We kept three - all orange. Harry, Franklin and Savannah Seven - the little one born last.
Harry was fluffy. He was an amazing cat born for adventure and another short life. He could and did regularly climb our two-story log house. We would find him perched on the top of the second-story bedroom window. Hanging on and waiting for his people to come, take the screen off and help him jump inside. He was at least 30 feet up. We don't know what claimed his life - he was just gone. Losing a cat is always a tragedy and we have had our share of heartbreak when something happens. The JOY of life is where we have to focus to get us through the hard times. Franklin was a cat among cats. He was the patriarch of the colony for many happy years. He was a big, smooth-coated orange cat. His life ended by contracting some killer virus that multiple vets and everything we could do finally came to no avail. We so loved that cat. Happily, Savannah and Mama are with us. They both sleep on my bed and purr me to sleep. Savannah is a smaller version of Franklin - smooth-coated and orange. Her tail is at least a foot long and she carries it with pride. She and Mama are extremely close. Mama grooms her just like she did when she was a tiny baby and Savannah grooms her back purring the whole time. We loved raising the kittens, but spaying and neutering is always the goal. Once spayed or neutered a cat is happier and safer. Mama Kitty was an excellent mother, but she has not had to worry about kittens for many years. As you can see by her picture, she is enjoying life as a cat in Yellow Jacket.
Franklin and Mama Kitty
Here is Franklin with Mama enjoying a typical evening at the Farm. What's for dinner and what are the humans up to now? The bond between Mama and her kittens has always been strong. Franklin, you will always be remembered with so much love. I miss you.
Alexander is our newest addition. He will be two this Spring. He is our largest male - fluffy and spunky. He and Wilber have become best buddy friends.
Wilber Working from Home
February 18, 2020
We rescued Wilber from the Campground in Monument Valley, AZ. We stepped out of the truck after pulling into our camp space and here came this teenage kitten. Art and I knew at that moment we'd be going home with a new family member. Over the next three days, Wilber moved into our camper and our hearts. He is our most friendly cat. He loves to ride in cars and has not met a person he does not like. Surviving in a campground in very tough conditions taught him some really excellent people skills. He is our official mascot at XTROV. He is named after the founder of Wilber's Floral which was our building's first life. Wilber wakes me up in the mornings by coming to stand upon me until I pet him enough to let him know that I am awake. While in my office, he is usually close by. Wilber - you are a most special cat. He has huge paws with super sharp claws. You can often find him stretching out his paws to admire his beautiful paws.
Wilber Taking it Easy in the Office
While I am hard at work, Wilber is usually resting in one adorable pose after another. Life is much better with cats.