Gosh, it seems like my last few entries have been rather heavy! It’s been that sort of a week around here! Not bound to get better real soon…T. has taken a turn for the worse. I can’t stand to see him suffer…might have a tough decision to make soon. OH! I said this was gonna be a light note! I am going to tell you the story of my sweet Kimba. Several years ago, about 17, Alan and I bought a house on some land so we could have the horse at home. The former owners moved out and left us with 4 wild cats. Four unspayed female wild cats. They lived under our back deck. For weeks I called these people to come get these cats…we were planning on fencing the back yard so our dogs could be out there, and it didn’t seem nice to put the cats in a "cage" with my dogs. They did not want to come get them, but I pestered them enough that one day they finally came to pick up the cats. It took so long, however, that there had been two litters of kittens by then. I had been able to catch and find homes for all but one kitty – he was just impossible to catch. The ‘owners’ took the cats, but that one kitten got left – he went way under the barn. No biggie, I figured…I could deal with one cat. We also had a housecat at the time (who liked no one, but that’s another story!) Also on the "other story" line, turns out these people took the cats and dumped them out on some farm…about a month later, one of them came back ‘home’. By then our fence was built, so she took to living underneath our front porch. I decided since she came all the way back, she really wanted to be there, so I just fed and watered her out on the front porch, and she let me pet her occasionally. She even saved me from the boogie man one nite! I’ll save that for another day as well. Back to Kimmie. I named him after a favorite cartoon character of mine from when I was little called "Kimba the White Lion". It was Japanimation before we knew there was such a thing. Most people I ask have never heard of it. I’m getting ahead of myself, tho. Since we couldn’t catch him for anything, we just left him out there. He lived under the barn, and would sneak in and steal the dogs’ food, also he’d eat my horses’ grain. And plenty of mice. So he was doing fine. Then one day, it was November and pretty chilly…Alan had changed the oil in my truck, and hadn’t emptied the oil pan yet…and the kitty fell in it. There he was, a big, black oily mess, licking and licking himself. I told Alan we had to catch him and give him a bath…he was either going to catch a chill since his hair wasn’t offering him any insulation that way, or he’d make himself sick swallowing all that oil. It took a long piece of intriguing curly ribbon and a pool net, but we got him! So I gave him a bath in the kitchen sink. What surprised me was that he never once tried to bite or scratch as I did this. He just let me do it. After I towelled him dry, we put him back outside. He took off and ran under the barn, and he stayed there for 2 days!! Poor thing. About a month later, I went out to feed and noticed that the kitty had a huge abcess on the side of his face. It was pretty wicked. Once again, I knew I would have to catch him and try to fix it. This time, tho, I knew it would be a bit longer-term…so I brought a dog crate into the house and got it all set to keep him in…then we set out, with the ribbon and the pool net. He was onto us this time, so it took ages to finally catch him, but we did. Twice a day I would doctor his wound, then sit and hold him, while petting him and talking to him. Again, not once did he try to bite, scratch, or even get away…and what I was doing had to hurt. He just happens to be the sweetest tempered cat that ever lived, I think! Well, about 3 days into this, and he’s putting up with it, but as I hold him he just shakes…poor little scared thing. Then, all of a sudden one day as I am holding him, he stops shaking and starts purring. And once he started, he never stopped! From then on, he lived in the dog house with the dogs and rode on my shoulder every time I came out of the house to go out to the horses. My parka is shredded on the left shoulder, because he would knead and knead all the way down to the barn. Wasn’t so fun in the summer when I was in t-shirts! Fast forward several years to one of our many moves…to a place where we couldn’t keep the cat. So he stays "temporarily" with my parents. By the time we are ready to take him, they are like "hey, you can’t have our cat!". So there he has remained, happily living out his Golden Years. He is 16 now, and spoiled totally rotten by my folks. He spends most of his days curled up on their bed, or in the winter he prefers to be in my dad’s shop by the potbelly stove. When they have had to take him to the vet, the vet and his techs rave about his sweet disposition. With all the things he’s gotten into over the years, it seems like he has more than used up his 9 lives, but he doesn’t know it, and I’m not telling!! Whenever I go over, the first thing he does is try to climb up and ride on my shoulder! He doesn’t do this to anyone else…it’s sweet to know that even tho he is blissfully happy in his home, that he has never forgotten me. I always leave my parents’ home covered in fine, fluffy cat hair!