Finn has always seemed, to me, to be a bit mysterious, right from the start in fact, from the morning I arrived at our old office building early one morning to find him lying at the edge of the parking lot so emaciated and still that I thought he was dead. He was so weak and depleted that I was able to get within inches of him before he startled awake and ran, in a disturbingly unsteady fashion, away. After he had been devouring the food I set out for him for a day or two, however, he seemed much stronger, and gave me quite a run for my money trying to trap him. Not to brag or anything, but I've trapped more than a few feral cats in my day, and in Miss Olivia's case since she would NOT go in the trap for love, money, or canned tuna, I had to corner her under a building and trap her with my all-but-bare hands, nothing but a flimsy hand towel between my flesh and her angry kitten teeth and flailing kitten claws. In that case, though, I was far more afraid of the spiders, rats, or whatever else might have been under that building besides myself and a very dirty kitten than I was of Olivia biting or scratching me.
But I digress ...
The thing about Olivia, and Tanner two years later, is that they were somewhat known quantities. Their mothers were feral cats who had made our office building and environs their home territory, and between the squirrels, mice, and birds they were quite adept at catching, and the food that I and another cat-lover in an adjoining office building set out for them, they made out ok. I worried about their health, about them getting hit by cars or contracting a disease due to being unvaccinated, but at that time our county did not have a viable feral cat TNR (trap-neuter-release) plan in place, and I didn't want them to end up at a shelter where they would almost certainly be put down. I would have trapped them eventually and gotten them spayed, and vaccinated, but before I could do that I realized that one of them, Olivia's mother, was pregnant, and I didn't want to cause her any undue stress that might cause her to miscarry. Tanner's mother was a similar story.
Finn, though, was a puzzle. As far as I knew, there were no more feral cats in the immediate vicinity, and definitely no pregnant females that I had seen. So to have this four month old, completely feral, kitten show up totally alone - no mother, no siblings - was bizarre to me. I half wondered if he hadn't escaped or wandered away from someone's home somewhere and just gotten lost and disoriented, but his behavior was clearly that of a feral cat, so I quickly ruled that out.
Even more of a puzzle is how he ended up staying here ... when I was so crystal clear on the fact that I didn't want or need another cat and did everything short of rent billboard space trying to find him a new home.
Then again ... it is very difficult not to fall in love with a kitten, particularly one so small, vulnerable, alone in the world, and so obviously in need of someone to love and care for him. And boy do I love my crazy kitten, who is no longer a kitten now that he's turned two! But being that he's not only the youngest cat but the smallest by a considerable margin, he still seems like a kitten to me. He's also a very different cat than they are, in almost every way.
He fetches, for one. And begs for mushrooms from my pizza. And likes french fries. And refuses to let me clip his hind toenails. And purrs his whole-body-vibrating purr as soon as he sees me. And runs to meet me at the front door, just like the dogs do. And watches TV. Every animal is an individual of course. Even those of the same age and breed and gender. Even siblings. But Finn is different in a different way, if that makes sense, which, I realize, probably doesn't.
And as much as I love Olivia & Tanner ... and I do ... Finn will always claim a very special part of my heart as his own. And I will always wonder just exactly where he came from ... and how he found his way to me. I like to think that maybe he knew he would be safe here, and loved, and cared for. And maybe, just maybe, he knew that even though I thought I didn't want another cat, if that cat was HIM he would be exactly what I needed.
|Finn says: "I know all ... but my little cat lips are sealed! (Unless there is food involved!)"|