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"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that, now" (B. Dylan)

Updated on July 15, 2011

Little One

My sweet Little One
My sweet Little One
Little One on the left, me, Pinky
Little One on the left, me, Pinky
Little One several days after her first visit to our Veterinarian.  Just the beginning of a long journey back to health
Little One several days after her first visit to our Veterinarian. Just the beginning of a long journey back to health
Feeling SOOOOOO Good!
Feeling SOOOOOO Good!
During the first weeks of this day, she still touches my face every night when we go to sleep
During the first weeks of this day, she still touches my face every night when we go to sleep
Little One among porcelain figures
Little One among porcelain figures

My Eleven Year Old Kitten



I had “had it!!” The old white cat with a torn up ear must be saved and I was the one to do it. Days passed; I’d walk by and see that sweet old cat laying in the sun, blind in one eye, flea bitten and being eaten away with what I suspected/ knew was cancer. He lived near me in a house that looked reasonably respectable. How could that cat be in such bad condition?

My best friend, Al, returned home from work to find me waiting impatiently for him. I wanted him to accompany me so that we could go, in force, to save the old cat. We marched down the street and around the block searching for the cat as we neared the house which, unfortunately for him, was his home. My mission was to take the cat to my veterinarian no matter what his “owners” said, or how they felt.

We searched around the house, and the surrounding area, including the landscaping across the street where we'd occasionally see him. There was no old white cat in sight. I entered the yard and almost tripped over the smallest, skinniest, most pitiful sight I’d seen in an awfully long time. There at my feet and baking in the heat of direct sun on a blistering summer day, was a little white cat. She raised her head just the littlest bit and issued forth a sorrowful, almost inaudible “mew.”

I gently picked up the pathetic little cat and with great determination, walked up to the house, loudly knocked on the door. When the occupant opened the door, I asked if the deathly ill kitten I held in my arms was hers. She replied, “Yes, that’s Mom Cat.”

“What?” I asked incredulously.

“She’s ours. She had 6 kittens a few months ago."

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The tiny thing in my arms had 6 kittens? She was no more than a kitten herself. How could this wisp of a cat have had kittens? There was nothing of her to nourish them. No wonder she was so depleted. But it did explain that funny little sound, only mother cats make, that she uttered as I tried to comfort her. I believe she knew I was trying to help her.

Well, now I was doubly determined. “I’m taking her to my veterinarian and when I return, we’re taking the old white cat, too. I’m sure he has a cancerous ear and an eye infection. I’ll let you know how they’re doing.” The woman could say nothing as I made no attempt to hide my fury at the horrible condition of her "pets."

With that, I turned and walked away holding the kitten in my arms. I reached home and gave her water. She drank and drank, all the while making those little mom cat sounds. As I held her and talked to her, stroking her little head, she lifted a paw and placed it on my nose.

It was hot and she was weak…time was of the essence. I called my veterinarian and said, “I’ve got an emergency case, can you take us?” I just knew that hours were all that remained for her if something wasn’t done quickly.

“Yes!” was the answer I got…we have great veterinarians!

The little one was extremely ill and close to death. She ended up staying at the Veterinary Hospital for 7 days and nights, needing incredible amounts of antibiotics and hydration and all kinds of intervention to save her life. There were several times when our doctors warned us that there might not be anything they could do to save her. She was on the verge. Of course, I urged them to do any and everything necessary to save her sweet life. Thankfully, with divine intervention, she pulled through.

I knew that I could not return ‘Little One’ to her former life. There was no way. She needed protection and she needed lots of medical attention. She would need oral medications for 6 weeks, twice a day. With calculated intent, I called the people where she lived and told them how expensive were the medications and how long the treatment period would be for the little kitty. They didn’t feel they were equal to the task, (I knew that,) and asked if I’d like to adopt Mom Cat. (This was my plan all along.) Gladly, I said, “Yes, I’ll take care of her….don’t worry!”

Seemingly endless bouts of medicating followed. Two oral meds in the morning and two in the evening for six weeks! Not an easy task. In the beginning she was so weak that all she did was lay on my bed all day long. I’d encourage her to eat and drink; sometimes having to use a syringe in order to keep her fluid levels up and give her nourishment. For the first three weeks, I’d have to carry her to the litter box. I covered her with blankets, checking on her throughout the day. She always purred and placed her paw on my face as I leaned near to talk to her.

Days passed and the little one became stronger. Pretty soon she was on her feet, grooming herself and, for the first time, she noticed that there were other cats in the house. Steadily, she improved, gaining strength with each day. I could see the weight she steadily gained, and her fur took on a sheen which had not been there when I found her.

Now she is scampering about, running all over the house. Everything she encounters is exciting, challenging. She’s playful, pouncing on the other cats, chasing dust bunnies, exploring about.

Because of her tough past life and how little help she received from her former humans, she never really was able to grow to become a full sized cat. It’s hard to imagine this small creature nurturing 6 kittens. Little One looks like a kitten. Her teeth and claws are tiny and her body is not that of a normally developed adult cat. Through all of this, though, she’s as strong as an ox and has put on lots of ounces! Her eyes shine, her coat is sleek. She runs all around, slipping and sliding on the floor, jumping on all surfaces, even bounding from coffee table to “tall boy” to the sills of the windows in my vaulted ceiling. She has energy to spare, much like that well known bunny we’re all familiar with. She feels she owns my home, as she taunts my other house cats. They, with great patience, tolerate her kitten like exuberance. “Little One” rules the roost. She can do no wrong, even when she is a curtain climbing maniac. Her joy in newfound kitten hood is wonderful to behold. Every time I watch her play, so delighted in life, I am reminded of just how close to leaving this life my Little One was.

I smile. “We have a kitten again!”


Today, Little One couldn’t be happier. She owns the place. All day long, life unfolds for her as if for the first time. She is the kitten she never got to be. Her kittens have grown to be twice her size, all living in the area. Three remain at Little One’s former home. I check on them from time to time. I tried to familiarize myself with the three but have not been successful. At least, I can keep an eye out for their safety and health.

The old white cat whose forlorn appearance caused me to search that day, is also coming along fine. His name is ‘Sunny.” We were able, finally, to locate him and take him to the animal hospital. In the capable hands of our wonderful veterinarians, Sunny underwent surgery and he now sports the ‘Van Gogh’ look. Sunny lives indoors only now.


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    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Welcome, Ann1Az2....I always love hearing from others who love cats! That's an automatic friendship, in my book! Little one thrives today; she's right beside me as I type this and it's been almost 12 years. Thank you for visiting and the kind comment and positive vote.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      What a wonderful story, Lucky. I love cats and Little One is so blessed to have found a human like you. Voted up!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Sunny Jay....yes, I was NOT going to walk away without her....from the beginning to the end of her "medical leave" at my house...had they said they wanted her back....NO WAY! Not happening! As it was, everything worked out for the best for all involved.

      Remember on your first hub about LG I said to check out this hub..because LO and LG are ringers!

      So happy you visited and I am doubly glad that LG and Dixie found love together...and YOU made it happen! YEA!!

    • profile image

      SunnyJay 6 years ago

      WOW!! Good for you, I came close to tears reading this.

      I knew right from the beginning you were going to get ownership of that way or the other. :-)

      You definitely saved her life.

      You did notice how Little One has almost the same look and markings as my Little Girl?

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Peggy. I was very surprised to learn that the tiny cat I held in my arms had kittens...she was so emaciated; depleted...and near death. Over time, I watched for them and would make sure they had food, water, and the neighborhood knew their story so they wouldn't be sent to "the pound." The story is just as written...I, in no uncertain terms (I was more kind in the telling here for HP's), that I was taking the cat..and also, warned them about the other one whose condition called me to action, initially. These people were so irresponsible..and still are, I hear. I'll be living just around the corner from them, again, when I finally am settled back in Napa...I'll be watching..and more, if the situation calls for action! thank you for visiting, for your comment about Dusty and Peaches and for being the kind of person who recognizes the value in our beautiful feline companions and who acts in their behalf, too. Bless you, Peggy., Kathy

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Both of our cats that live with us now, Dusty and Peaches, were rescued from the streets. You are so kind to have rescued Little One and also Sunny. It is amazing that Little One's kittens survived given her condition when you found her! Love the pictures especially that one of her running. So cute! Rating this hub beautiful and up. Wish there were more people like you in the world!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi there Storytellersrus! You are a very very excellent story teller! As is proven by your many followers and fabulous writing skills! I am very impressed w/the way in which your tales appreciate your visit...I will definitely find time to read many more of your wonderful words. Sincerely, Kathy

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Ok, Ok, I agree- you DO have Lucky Cats!!! What a story and what a compassionate human being you are. Wish there were more like you in the world. Thanks for stopping by my Joey hub- it introduced me to you. Up and awesome!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Dim! It is nice to share a "victory and highlight." I actually wrote this story about 6 years ago and,...guess what!!?? Little One is still going strong! She still is kitten like with loads of energy and personality. I think she was about a year or two when we found she'd be about 12 (+) now..but you would never know it..her health is excellent and she is like the Energizer bunny! She is so so close to baby. I love her endlessly. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your kind words, Dim. So appreciated!!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Awesome AND beautiful story. You are a gem.

      Thanks for sharing this encouraging event.

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 6 years ago from The Zoo

      You are my hero. That is a great story.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      WOW! What a story--at once heart-wrenching and heart-warming! Thank you so much for being one of the honorable folks who care, and take action instead of just griping.

      My husband and I are also "parents" to 4 cats, all of whom were rescues of one sort or another.

      I am happy to say that we have never encountered such a horrible case of neglect as that which you stumbled across, but it still troubles me that people let their precious kitties run about in danger of traffic.

      I arrived at your hub by a rather circuitous route, via the page of hubber "mannyrolando," who in turn was recommended to me by mutual follower "erthfrend."

      I look forward to reading more of your writings--I perfectly understand your compulsion to write--it is one I share.

      (P.S. I LOVE your title--it is a perfect illustration of the proper use of "then" and "than" which I so often see mixed up with each other these days, and about which I often rant.) :-)

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you HighVoltageWriter. Really! I so appreciate your sentiment and understanding of how important this is. Bless you. I am going to visit your site.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 7 years ago from Savannah GA.

      God bless you for what you did for the world need more people who will look out for the weak and dieing even if they are cats! Great job!

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 7 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Wonderful, inspiring true story. I was crying by the time you said you called the vet. I'm so in awe that you were able to take things into your hands and go forward with such will. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Please copy and paste and check out this hub writer. He has great information and suggestions for caring for your cats, kittens.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you Anaya!

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 7 years ago from North Carolina

      What a wonderful story! Good for you for taking action:)

    • profile image

      Siren6 7 years ago

      Though, I'm not a cat lover I found this hub to be very heart warming!The pictures of your treasured feline friend are lovely.Nice work!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ..well you and I are definitely kindred spirits because you know how much I love my cats - they are my best friends and I live for them ..... but I also like coming here because you such a lovely writer and I'm always so impressed how you put it together so well - and then there are your most intelligent perceptive comments to me which make me beam ear to ear - knowing that it's coming from someone as nice (and smart) as you !!!!!!!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you, Moneymakerroz! Love your picture!

    • moneymakerroz profile image

      moneymakerroz 7 years ago

      What a beautiful story!!!