SMOKY MAMA & HER KITTENS II

8 day old kittens and Candy make Seven!

Smoky up close.  I really want to share a picture of her nursing her babies but, every time I enter her area; she jumps up because I ALWAYS have food.
Smoky up close. I really want to share a picture of her nursing her babies but, every time I enter her area; she jumps up because I ALWAYS have food. | Source
Kittens rolled up together
Kittens rolled up together | Source
Candy at the Veterinarian's
Candy at the Veterinarian's | Source
Gorgeous babies
Gorgeous babies | Source
Kitten pile up
Kitten pile up | Source
Candy will be feeling much better real soon...
Candy will be feeling much better real soon... | Source
Taken last night (Mon, 9/26)...some of these babies are beginning to open their eyes...I hope I can get better pics today.
Taken last night (Mon, 9/26)...some of these babies are beginning to open their eyes...I hope I can get better pics today. | Source
Candy art the Veterinarians' office last night - 9/26 - before surgery which happened about an hour ago..today..Tues. 9/27
Candy art the Veterinarians' office last night - 9/26 - before surgery which happened about an hour ago..today..Tues. 9/27 | Source

Moving Right Along, Literally & Figuratively


It's already been over a week; I can't believe how time flies when we're having fun!

A quick update on little Ms. Smoky Mama and her kittens. Now 9 days old; the beautiful babies seem to have doubled in size. Healthy and fat, these wee ones are destined to have a wonderful life with no wants.


As I watch petite Smoky care for her kittens, warm feelings of contentment rush over me. There is nothing more beautiful then the nurturing of a mother and her babies. Call it instinct or call it love; the act of caring for defenseless young ones by a protective mother is a wondrous sight.


No matter what the day might bring; or the week or month; the immediacy and urgency of our current circumstance recedes into the background as the simple pleasure of viewing this tender scene takes precedence and inspires hope as well as determination.

The overwhelming situation we face is going to be quite a challenge. Moving 2 humans and dozens (and dozens) of animals safely across 2000 miles from the Heartland to the homeland. And now, we have the addition of Smoky Mama and her 5 kittens.

A Little Background

Five months ago, I placed my downtown home in Independence, Kansas, for sale. Knowing that I was destined to return to the West Coast, this was to be the first step in many, to make this dream a reality. Scary and doubtful because of the downturn in our country's financial status and, thus, that of just about all of us; there seemed to be little hope of the sale actually happening. A very good friend of mine who owns a beautiful home here has been waiting a year for offers to purchase his home. So far, no such luck. "Upscale" homes are not moving, says my agent, Amber.

But...

On October 14th; my downtown home in Independence is scheduled to close…that’s right! Even in this daunting, failing economy; and in the face of so much competition; my beautiful Victorian; proudly constructed in 1875; is just about to complete the sale! I am not only amazed and astounded, but pleasantly surprised.


Within several days of having returned from my month in Napa in August, I received a call from my realtor who informed me that a couple wanted to tour the home. I quickly cleaned, polished, shined and tucked away the remnants of everyday life into drawers and cubby holes, and awaited the anticipated viewing.


It was a terribly hot day; one of the warmest this year. I am willing to assume that the unrelenting heat of 2011 will go down in history as one of the hottest summers since records have been kept. I turned on all the fans; had the AC running at full, pulled back the insulated curtains but left the lacy ones which drape over the heavier cloth, hang freely so that the sun could filter through but not heat up the rooms. Because the day’s temperature was at a peak due to the late afternoon visit; I dropped the woven blind on the front porch so that the sun would not beat on the front door and the people would not feel that heat on their backs. When they entered the kitchen; I’d left a sweet surprise; iced tea, cold drink for the little one and cookies of several kinds. This was done with the idea of showing the house in all it’s lovely ambience.


Al and I sat in his truck down the block, wishing to catch a glimpse of the people interested in this home. Promptly at the appointed time; a woman and her young son arrived just as their realtor did. We watched as they entered the home; with our fingers crossed and high hopes.


They stayed almost an HOUR! Al and I were delighted! This is GOOD!


Long story short; within 3 days, my realtor called again, with the news that the wife LOVES the house and wants her husband to tour it. OK! Take two! Again with the cleaning, tucking, hiding and sweeping; more AC and treats….fingers crossed! It was to be another late afternoon appointment; scheduled after Al’s work hours so, again, we spied the ‘goings on’ from a distance, hoping and praying. This time, as previously, an hour passed before they exited the front door. Yes! Great news!!


We waited 5 days…no word. Oh no! something is wrong. I didn’t want to jinx it or appear overly anxious, so I did not call to see if any further activity had ensued. I HAVE to sell this home; the expense of all our rescues is adding up so, it sure would help. We continued to wait. The weekend passed; no word….well, this is not surprising; I thought; it’s a terrible time to sell; particularly in this part of the country. (Sales of new homes fell 6% in the month of August….existing home sales are faring about the same as new construction). Large employers have fled the area for cheaper labor sources south of the border; profit from sales of items produced have dropped exponentially; all in all, it’s a very bad period for moving property.


On Wednesday of the following week; there was another phone message from Amber, my realtor….”Kathy, they really like the house, and you have an offer…it’s a good one!”


I called back and met with Amber a few hours later. After several counters and counter offers; we agreed upon a price and inspections were soon scheduled.


This gorgeous old home passed all inspections with flying colors. No pests, no termites, no dry rot or faulty/weak foundation or structural issues at all! Of course, I knew this. No leaks in the huge basement which is a footprint of the 1st floor of the home and, combined with all new Romex wiring and PVC plumbing throughout; the house was deemed, by the inspectors, as being “one of the best we’ve seen.”


Whew!


So, more papers signed and a closing date set…pre-approved for a loan, the buyers assure us that it is, essentially, a “done deal.”


Now the fun begins. Al and I have been clearing out the basement and I’ve already packed everything there is to be placed in boxes (most of this was done last trip in June).


I’ve been on a selling rampage, letting go; finally, of so many beautiful antiques. At last, I’ve come to a place where it is easier to ‘let go’ than to hang onto something that, in effect, owns me rather than I owning it. So, away with the very high back, 100 year old solid oak bed with the beautiful carving, antique oak armoire accented with “egg and dart“ wood embellishments, mahogany secretary with drop leaf desk sporting the “hideaway” secret compartment, and gorgeous wavy old glass…an incredible piece. Gone are the wheat back chestnut dining chairs and two old chests of drawers; one pine with 6 drawers; the other painted white with 6 drawers; two on the top side by side, accented with detailed beautifully carved touches…adieu!…also, a perfectly working gas stove; named “Direct Action,” with white enameled oven doors. And, a really cool Hoosier style kitchen cabinet with the slide out porcelain enamel cabinet/shelf of white with red around the edges, and flour bin. And, there ‘s more to say ‘goodbye’ to…I just don’t need to trek these things across the country,


And, who knows? My ultimate destination might not be home, sweet home…


Back to Smoky Mama and her kids. Six more lives to protect and provide for. Well loved and cherished; soon, there will be 6 more grown cats to care for.


SURPRISE!!


Driving home on Friday night; after a long day of moving preparations; Al and I decided to pass by the temperature gauge on the main thoroughfare because the weather has taken a turn for the cooler and we were betting one another on what the reading would be.


As we approached the digital readout (you’ve seen this on another hub); we saw activity near a local church; people either coming or going to an event. What caught our attention, and frightfully so, was a calico cat laying just behind the driver’s side back tire of a van to which people were approaching. The cat seemed asleep or; God forbid; no longer living. Al stopped immediately and I jumped out and ran over to the kitty. She was deep asleep; almost unconscious. I bent down to rouse her and she appeared to be lethargic; with very little energy. I gently picked her up and, right away, felt that she was thin and her fur was matted and dull. She had a little discharge from her mouth. It was obvious that she was not doing very well.


I’d noticed this cat before. I had heard, through questionable rumor, that she was left behind, in the mass exodus which seems to be taking place in this part of the country. Many people do this. Departing in desperation, leaving behind house, belongings and, sadly, companion animals. I hadn’t placed much credibility into this particular rumor because I live in a “good” neighborhood and, I’d seen her over time, and did not notice, nor was I ‘looking for’ a decline in her health or physical appearance.


Now, it turns out, I was wrong….Almost dead wrong.


I climbed back into Al’s truck and said; “Al, she’s sick…let’s call the veterinarians.” He looked her over and concurred. A quick call to our wonderful Vets’ office and, though it was 15 minutes to closing time; they said “yes, bring her in.”


We did so. Turns out little Candy (Al named within a minute of holding her…though she did not know us and was being placed in a truck with a somewhat loud engine roar, while hurling down the street; this little cat made no aggressive moves or sounds ).


Al said’ “Candy..her name is Candy because she is as sweet as she can be.”


We arrived at the office and the Veterinarian took us right in. Tests for Feline leukemia and Feline Aids turned out negative. She registered no temperature; still, it was determined, during her initial exam, that she had “stomatitus,“ a serious dental disorder. No wonder Al came up with the name Candy! She did have an infection and needed attention right away. We agreed! We left her there to be hydrated and cared for overnight with a more thorough examination and a blood panel scheduled on Saturday, after she’d regained a little strength from the fluids and foods they provided. It was clear that she hadn’t eaten for quite a while. The next day, she was lively, happy and responding well. Her blood test results came back with the great news that she’d experienced no permanent harm from her illness; no organ problems. Next step; removal of bad teeth and more antibiotics.


I am pretty sure Candy can come home, today. She’ll live with Basil, our “foster” (we’ve had him 2 years now…I’m beginning to think it’s a permanent situation!! LO) old man of 21 years. Yes, that’s right! He is 21 years old. A beautiful big all white long haired gentleman who is doing very well for such an old cat.


So, now, we have Smoky Mama, Candy and the others to move back to Calif. Here, in the Heartland, sometimes; it feels as if there is no heart. Not for animals.


So, in the face of so much responsibility; and lives which touch ours so deeply that we have no choice in matters such as these; we'll “let go, and let God!” What else can we do?


More on Smoky Mama and her babies coming soon.

More by this Author


Comments 28 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I had a feeling the house wouldn't be on the market long. Too unique. Glad to hear that albatross fell off your neck.

A pleasant story indeed. Looks like your feline family continues to grow and prosper thanks to you. Awesome!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Yes, what happened to Candy's teeth is likely what happened to Amy, but her teeth weren't removed until I got her. What a sweet name for your new addition. Congratulions on your house selling. Great photos!


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

Congrats on selling your home! That is such great news! I love the pics of Smoky & her babies. It just makes me smile. I hope Candy continues doing well. Keep us posted! It breaks my heart to hear of so many abandonning their pets. I'd adopt an abandonned kitty if I only had more room. I voted this up and beautiful!!!


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I loved reading all about your kitties, they have all found such a great couple to look after them.


marellen 5 years ago

I'm glad to see that things are progressing and hope that the two humans and cats have a safe move. I'm sure we will read all about your trek here on hubpages.

Kathy, thank goodness there are people like you and Al.


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

Awww! I miss my cat Lenny, he dissappeared over a week ago.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 5 years ago from West Virginia

I hope that Candy does improve. My Houdini didn't and we had to send him to Rainbow Bridge. He did come back to me a couple of nights ago in a vision and he did come right up to me and put his head under my chin. He was very happy there and there was something like a May Pole where he was at. There were other cats around him and not all of them were ones that I took care of. He told me that he was very happy there and he ran up that pole and then the vision was over. I hope Candy doesn't have that Stomatitis like Houdini had.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

hello my fabulous friends Augustine, Flora, Amy, Writer, Marellen, School Girl and Denise...I am so pleased and happy to see that you've read and understand and enjoyed this story...true to life...sometimes, too true....it's a difficult thing, loving these beings as we do and i know ALL of you understand this. Denise...You know, I thought of you when Candy's diagnosis came in...stomatitis is such a dastardly disease and varies greatly from cat to cat. We have another, Pumpkin, who was also rescued from the streets and who also has Stomatitis but TERRIBLE and is very difficult to administer to Pumpkin...we'll try again when things settle down.

school girl...I sure hope your baby returns...sometimes, cats can wander for days and weeks, even months; and still return. I'll keep my prayers going for you and Lenny.

Augustine, always good to see you my friend...you've always been supportive and non judgemental when it comes to this insane part of life.

Flora..I KNOW you're a cat person...your hubs are great/ and pictures, too...and Amy and Writer and Marellen...all...thank you so very much for the wonderful words. Please know that I appreciate your visits and comments so very much!!!!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Two new pictures added... Candy at the Vet's office last night prior to her surgery today. And another of rolled up kittens.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am so happy for you and Al, selling your home, moving back home, seems everything is working out perfectly. You have a heart full of love for animals. You remind me of Mother Teresa and her love for children. I admire you so much and your writing skill is excellent. The pictures of Smoky and her babies are adorable. Thank you for sharing.....


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This was a very interesting hub, Lucky Cats. You do such wonderful work rescuing cats. I'm glad that you were able to sell your house. Best wishes to Candy and good luck to you all as you move.


makusr profile image

makusr 5 years ago from India

Lucky Cats,

Greetings from MAKUSR. When you are passionate about something it shows and rubs on others. This is peeking from every letter of your hub! Awesome!

Lots of Love,

MAKUSR


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

You really are amazing, Lucky! Obviously because of your huge hearts (I include Al in this) the Universe decided to step in and help you to move on and help animals elsewhere. Would love to have seen all the lovely stuff you parted with though ... : ) x


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great news on the sale, but I'm sure you'll miss it.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Will, you are so right. There is much beauty here and it isn't lost on me...the continual plus and minus of this entire situation is always on my mind. There are always those things one yearns for...thank you for the visit, Will.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Ruby, your words are so wonderful and I am humbled. Thank you so much. "Mother Katrina of the Animal Kingdom"...well, there are so many who do so much more...I've met online and through other avenues..not here; sadly but, my efforts are minimal in the face of some...I am just glad that there are so many who understand, who do save that one animal if they can, and who offer loving words such as yours. Many many thanks, dear Always!!!

Alicia; Candy came home last night and is doing very well. this morning, she ate two servings of high caloric cat food...just what the Vet "Doc" ordered. All is coming along wonderfully well. Thank you!

Makusr...I hope that the love for animals is contageous and that we all become infected. What a wonderful world it would be! Much appreciation for your always kind words.

Angie...yes, you are so right..you know, without Al, I would not be able to handle this. As it is; the two of us are spending probably 4 hours daily (X 2...equalling, actually, 8 hours) divided between AM and PM duties..but, it is the love of our lives...we just HAVE to do this. But, alone; I could not.

I have a feeling you would have loved some of the things I'm selling...but, they are no longer necessary and bring in additional aide for our aninmals. And, less to cart back to CA...this is a BIG step for me as I have a continuing love affair going with antique beauties...thank you, my dear, for your always wonderful comments.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

So many good ways of saying so much in a short hub. Have probably missed some of your experiences and glad to be catching back up. So happy for the sale of your house! It sounded like a true 'home sweet home' and the move had to be a tough one in more ways than one. Al sounds like he's got a good head for names, and so glad there are many out there who do stop for animals. I carry a collapsible crate in my trunk for almost anything! And it's hard to 'let go' but you are so right about not letting our things own us no matter how much we enjoy them! Smoky's kittens gorgeous, and she's a good mama! Keep us posted. Always behind but catch up.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi my dear Teylina! Why am I not surprised that you carry w/you a collapsible crate? You have a heart of gold and a spirit that steps out of the bounds of everyday reality..so, you can see the need..and feel it. I am very very happy to see your visit and comment, Teylina. I hope everything is going well for you. I agree, too...freeing oneself from those 'things' that tie us down...it DOES feel good...and lighter, too! I am always behind, too...my email is full of so many notifications and I am doing my darndest to catch up...all the wondferful people who visit and write excellent and fun and loving and funny and clever hubs...need to know how much we readers enjoy and support. Oh my goodness! much love and gratitude, T!!!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

I loved you pictures. I'm even inspired to work my own version of cat story.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi there vinaya Ghimire....thank you so much. I know ou and your mother love kitties so, I am very honored by your comment.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Your life is a testament to what one really smart angel can accomplish. It seems that nothing deters you and Al. You make brilliant choices in matters of the heart, philosophy and even real estate! Your success is no accident and neither are the "Lucky Cats" that find you and Al. You have God on your side, as you so richly deserve, Kathy, and nothing is better than that. I enjoyed every moment of your update and look forward to your continuing saga that restores my wavering faith in humanity. Thank you


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi Kathy, many congratulations on selling your home. I'm sure this is a weight off your mind.

Smoky and the kittens are wonderful!!! Their Mum is beautiful so I reckon everyone of those baby kitties are going to grow up with stunning good looks and her loving nature! And how they are growing!!! Isn't nature just awesome!

As to Candy - oh what a heartbreak!! I just could not leave any of my dogs behind anywhere. Supposing I had nothing to eat or wear, I would still have them with me no matter how bad things got! Some people in this world have no heart or soul! But at least for this little beauty she has been taken into loving arms and she'll get the home she deserves. That is great news how she got over her illness - she is obviously a tough wee lass!

But as usual, this was another wonderful and awesome hub and shows how the stories of our animals can give such a huge lift to our heart and spirit. Many thanks for sharing!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

My two very beautiful in heart and soul..sisters for the love of animals...Amy and Helen...you are "the wind beneath my wings" when it comes to caring about and acting for animals. I know this 100% about the both of you. Giving far beyond the norm and being touched by the plight and need of our sweet companion animals...and all animals...means so much to me. If I were not aware of you....my strength and conviction would be a little less..but, knowing of your behaviors, actions and heart makes this journey that much easier. Wind beneath my wings...as I hope I am to anyone who places themselves in a position to do God's work for his creatures. I am not usually a particularly religious person but, at this point, I have no other answers.

Bless you beyond words. and thank you so much for these two comments. Amazing! Awesome! Wonderful and Thank YOU !!!!! Your friend, Kathy


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Ah life is such a bumpy path of pitfalls and pleasures Kathy, but it feels so much better to know that you and Al are out there giving us one less thing to worry about. Yet another cat saved - once sick, alone, scared, abandoned - now loved, valued, comfortable and safe. What's better than that!

Smoky Mama and her furry fat kittens!? They are so cute and magical - I love when their little eyes just start to open and their curious nature takes hold, as they scoot around, wobbly - trying to walk.

I guess that's why they need 9 lives? That and having to survive in the hands of the uncaring, ignorant people who adopt them only to leave them sick and starving on the street. Hard to understand.

I am glad you sold your house, another chapter, that's all. You have created such brilliant karma I think that all your hard work will pay off Kathy, more than just LuckyCats! Up, Useful, Awesome, Beautiful!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh Kathy,

I love this sweet edition of your kitty "soap opera" and I am also happy for the sale of your place, knowing you will have the understandable mixed "felines" (hee-hee). These pictures are so tender, showing the nurturer in you.

Voted UP & ABI-- love you, mar!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi my two dear friends Kathy and Marie....I am so happy to see you here...yes, this is a blessing and a beautiful scene unfolding right off my kitchen. But, beware....wait 'till you see the hub I published today...I am astounded and in shock. Don't know what else to say. But, I love animals...I cannot stand suffering and fear in the sweet faces of those thrown away souls so...we keep on keepin' on. bless you two. Your friend who loves you!!! Kathy


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hi Kathy,

I hope all is well with you. I've been "missing" for awhile, going through a lot, and am glad to be somewhat back to a place to catch up on my reading. Congratulations on the house sale. And best wishes with the precious babies and momma and Candy too. Take care,

Sharyn


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Sharyn...my DEAR!! so VERY glad to see your comment. I HAVE been wondering where you are and how you are. I sure hope that everything is ok and that you can 'figure it out.' If you do...tell me how in the world you DID!! I have a prescription: Read "Welcome to the Human Race" again...it's for all we crazy, romantic, wistful, intelligent, multi leveled idealists who find it hard living on this earth, sometimes. Please DO NOT hesitate to email me anytime...I believe we're kindred spirits on many levels...keep care. Kathy

PS...yes, these babies are wonderful and give me so much joy. the kittens are huge now as are the pups...and Smoky Mama is amazing in her attentiveness. Candy is doing fabulously and so (knock on wood)...all is well at the Feline Funny Farm and Crazy Canine rescue center!!

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