A kitten showed up in our backyard last week. My husband found him sticking his nose into our cat enclosure, attempting to see if my old fat cats would be interested in allowing him in to eat their food.
The little 10 ounce ball of fluff received a hearty hiss and growl from my jerk adult cat, Kitten, who was terrified of him even though she is has almost 20 pounds on the tiny one. After a few failed attempts to catch the kitten — he is quick but a little dumb; he kept sprinting away and then cornering himself — Jon finally got him wrapped up in a towel. As he tried to get a good grip, the kitten reared up in a last-ditch attempt to escape, spread his paws wide (a truly fear-inducing 8-inch wingspan, tops), and let out a primal yell that Jon claims was unlike anything he had ever heard before. He put the baby kitty in his shop bathroom with blankets, food, water, and a toy. The little dude was PISSED. This was at 10:30 a.m. By the time I had a chance to get home at lunch, around 12:30 p.m., he had chilled out enough to let me pick him up for a snuggle.
It turns out he is a totally mellow fellow. Sure he is filthy, covered in fleas, and just skin and bones underneath all that fur, but he is the cutest little shit in the entire world. I mean, come on, this face:
At first, I wanted to call him Frankie, since we weren’t yet sure if he was a boy or a girl. Once we figured out that he is, in fact, a boy, the nicknames started flowing — Frank, Frankito, Frankito Burrito, Frankenstein, Dr. Frank, and finally, Dr. Frank L. Cat, M.D. This is amusing on many levels, but mostly because he is not that bright. When he does dumb things, we tease him that we have no idea how he graduated from medical school, and we ask if one of his parents was an alumni of his university, thus ensuring his legacy admittance. It also allows us some insight into the deep-rooted and unconscious sexism that still permeates our world.
When I refer to the kitten as Dr. Frank, people typically start referring to him as a boy almost immediately, even if I have been careful not to indicate his sex. Once I realized people would do this, it became a fun little test for me to run. When people defaulted to “boy,” it allowed me to ask, “Why would you automatically assume he is a boy?” Yes, I am a feminist killjoy that uses an adorable little snuggle bug fluff ball to further my agenda. I am the worst.
We are currently trying to find Dr. Frank a home, but I am a wee bit picky when finding homes for any foster animals. I want to make sure the little bastard will be loved, cuddled, and spoiled in the manner to which he has quickly become accustomed. We also have to make sure he isn’t going to do this again:
What you are looking at, in case the picture isn’t bright enough, is Dr. Frank laying across Jon’s stomach after peeing right on him. He didn’t stand up, didn’t make any motions to get to the litter box, he just stretched himself across Jon’s gut and let the stream flow. It was one of the funniest things I have seen in quite some time, and that is because he didn’t pee on me. It hasn’t happened again, and he is actually quite adept at using the litter box, considering he is still pretty young. Still, it is something we’d prefer to nip in the bud since the disclosure could cause some to balk at his otherwise stellar record.
In closing, I offer you these kitten photos: