My dad was a firefighter and cat saver, also.
One moonless night, years ago, when my children were little and Bree, Larin, and Kiely were still waiting in Heaven for their turn on earth :) my tender-hearted dad heard a faint kitty crying near the old chicken coop. That's actually the place where our old house was moved and we made our home over the chicken coop region. (Yes, it's fertile!) It's a large area, and Dad had no flashlight, but couldn't stand thinking some old owl or coyote that was sure going to eat the baby kitty for a midnight snack. Of course, dad just had flip-flops on, so he wouldn't step in chicken s---? OOPS... droppings...he wasn't concerned about nails, barbed-wire, or torn-up metal buckets. I guess he thought his under-bunders, his everyday house attire... briefs, were just fine, even though it was a cold night in California. Yes, he did find the baby kitten, still partly in the birth sack, and just left by the "mommy-dearest"...mother cat. Dad knew it was meant to live. We got the emergency call about 2:00 a.m.
My kids were so excited. Steve came up to fetch the kitten and this dog, we called, Pup-pup, she adopted us, not the usual other way. She wanted to be in our family so bad. How does person say "no" to that? She was precious! And yes, she.... loved the kitten... if we wanted her to. ...She really did! Pup-pup, was an American Eskimo and she just had puppies not too long before she adopted us. She was actually dumped at our house. Long story, but she didn't want to leave us. Pup-pup just happened to have lots of milk and the baby kitten didn't know her mother from a gopher hole. And...Yes, Pup-pup fed the baby kitten and it got tons and tons of love, even though the kitten just bit and scratched the heck out-of-her. She would cry while nursing. A person doesn't have to physically birth a baby to be a REAL MOTHER! The kitten was licked over and over until I thought it was going to be a naked kitten.
The kitten's name was Dennis and it was a girl. I couldn't convince my children of another name, even Pup-pup, the dog, called it Dennis. (not really--I may be on Vicodin... and it's after 1:08 a.m., but I'm not that silly, yet) The cat was weird from the time it started walking (slinking) around. Maybe the milk did it. It was a slinky, scary, "eat you" type-cat and wanted out of the house so bad. Dennis, the escape cat. We lived near a very long rural road that cars just zipped by at rip-roaring speeds. I didn't want Dennis, the cat, to be road-kill. tear.
My dad asked about the cat all the time. I wanted to bring it up to the ranch. Obviously, it was a feral cat and didn't want to be domesticated. Tressa has since confessed it might have been "The Three Amigos" siblings constantly dressing it like a baby doll, and taking it out for walks tied in a carriage, that made it go "over-the-edge" (as in: crazy-land) That particular activity could have led it to dislike humans, also. By the way, it constantly bit the kids! Like.... mean, deep-cat bites. and bleedy scratches.(eh?) Nice, huh? But the more it bit the children, the more they wanted to tame it to love them.
Yes, it finally escaped all dressed-up! And... Whoa! Did that look weird?! The cat ran around a very long time dressed like a baby. Finally, the worn clothes sort-of fell-off, well at least the baby bonnet.
Dennis, the cat, like to hide under our car and we just got a new (to us) Toyota Landcruiser. It was the same color as our FJ right now. We had just gotten the Landcruiser on Saturday and Sunday morning was the first day for a ride in it to Church. Steve had come home from Priesthood to pick us up (yeah, this was the old days) and we were going to Sunday School. It was a pretty cold day and Dennis, the cat went to the warm car. Can you guess what happened next?
Steve ran over Dennis and Dennis flew up in the air so high we saw it out the front window. It screamed the ear-splitting and never to be forgotten, "YeeeeOOOUUUUHHHH!"
We were going to be late for Church, but Steve got out to try and help it. Expressionless Dad...Don't tell the kids yet....Dennis, the cat, was dead and he didn't tell us. Can you imagine what that would have caused? He picked it up by the back of the neck, hey....it looked fine...and tossed it behind the garage. We all went to Church and he told the kids the cat really needed a break from them.
I think the kids found the cat a long while later when Dennis,the cat, was bones. We lived way out in an orchard and I don't know...maybe we all had allergies. There was no smell! None. At least the children didn't bring the cat inside the house or talk much about it. Tressa, just told me recently about finding Dennis. I asked her if she was traumatized by all that, and I think she said the cat needed to go to Heaven... anyway...I'm not sure Dennis went to Heaven, I think it went to the other place.
We have cats everywhere right now, mostly feral and they were saved from the gas chamber. They lived right behind the back alley of the fire station and were "trash-diggers" until Animal Control decided to take them away.. Steve's co-firefighter,Uncle John has some of the cats, too. Firemen are so tender-hearted!
Now we have even more abandoned cats that were just dropped-off here at the ranch. I guess because we have dairy goats and lots of milk. We are thankful for all the varmints the cats take care of (eat) and they do work constantly. BTW I hate mice, rats and ground squirrels. Have I ever mentioned that?
The grand kids are frightening me just a little bit. They hold the Siamese kitten or the other one... and it's screaming and they say, "I think I'm naming this one... half-grown, mean, baby kitten, Junior." As in Dennis Junior? Please...no repeats...besides our dogs chase them and yes, we do feed them.
I Was Looking For Cats That Look Like Dennis...Well, This Cat Caught My Attention!