Desiree (Sutter's Desiree of Synergy), my seal-point Siamese, had a litter of kittens in late January, 2001. Two seal-point girls, and a black boy. Their father (Ch Synergy Scimitar) was a pretty silver ticked tabby Oriental, and I was hoping for a shaded silver or silver tabby girl. Oh well.
I wanted a girl and one of
the girls clearly had her parents nice wide-set ears even from an early
age. Here she is at three weeks contemplating getting
out of the kitten box.
The kittens grew rapidly and
the one little girl still looked the nicest, though I didn't really want
a seal-point from this breeding. Here they are at 2 months
old. Kitten food was getting eaten and I assumed that all were weaning
Boy was I wrong! Desiree went into season, as she often does, and stopped nursing her babies. I moved the kittens into my house-mate Diana's bedroom as I was expecting another litter from a different girl, and I wanted to free up my kitten box. They were sleeping elsewhere by then anyhow. I was very busy for a few days, and didn't pay much attention to them. Then one morning as I was getting ready to leave for school Diana stopped me and said "one of the seal-points looks really pathetic." I went to take a look, and there were two big bouncey babies, and one much smaller, pitiful looking kitten. Of course it was the pick girl, and she was skin and bones, and cool to the touch. She had almost starved to death over the course of a few days. I took her to work with me, along with a hot water bottle, Pedialyte, and kitten milk replacer. Between classes I force fed her and made sure she was warm. By the end of the day she looked like she might live. I continued to force feed her over the next week, adding Science Diet AD canned food. She still was weak and anemic looking. Then I noticed her straining in the litter box. Off to the vet we went. She was severely constipated. After a few days of in and out of the vets, and many enemas, my vet taught both me and Diana how to do enemas.
The poor kitten. I'd pick her up to carry her to the sink for her "treatment". Her big ears would droop, her blue eyes would get big, she looked like she was going to cry. We started jokingly refering to her as the "poor pitiful kitten", "pitiful", or just "pity". She got petted a lot in compensation. Oddly enough she was a happy little thing. The one day Diana noticed that she would come to "pitiful" or "pity".
So now I had a pretty seal-point girl named "Pity". She was registered as Synergy Poor Pitiful Me.
She recovered nicely from her experience with anorexia. I even entered her "Trick of the Tail" TICA show in Syracuse, NY. Diana was going to show her big household pet Calvin, and I was going to show Pity. We left much later than we intended to on a hot, humid, day in June. We got into the hotel in Syracuse at 1:00 am. It was still stifling hot. In the hotel room I immediately turned on the air-conditioner, which chugged weakly along. I checked the room to make sure it was safe for kitties, no holes in walls, no mouse traps or rat poison, no places for kitties to get into where they couldn't easily get out.
The air conditioner was barely working. I turned it up to max, and some cool air did start to come out. We let the cats out. Pity slunk around the room looking a bit worried. I turned on the weather channel looking to see when the cool front and rain was going to come through.
BOOM! A flash of blue-white electricity, a ball of orange flame, and a puff of black smoke came from the airconditioner. Darn! We were going to have to get another room and move, and it was already late. Diana yelled "Pity!" She had been in the vicinity of the airconditioner. I stopped, looked over, shocked. I didn't see anything through the smoke, and we just stood there, frozen in terror for a minute.
Then I saw little light/dark streak tear away from the area towards the bathroom. Phew, Pity was OK.
Diana said "Pity is not OK"
I chased down the poor baby. She was singed all over. Her whiskers and eye-brows were burnt off, her fur blackened, one ear was blistered, one toe blacked, nail almost burnt off.
I immediately called the front desk, gave Pity to Diana and ran out to the car to get my camera.
I snapped a bunch of pictures
of my poor singed Pity.
Poor Pity! While I was
taking the pictures the the night security guy arrived, he looked at the
kitten, and got on his cell phone, very shortly afterwords, the owner of
the hotel arrived, sleepy but dressed, and quite worried.
I showed him my little singed kitten. The airconditioner was examined. Apparently the cord was partially pulled out, and there was wads of dust in the little space under the airconditioner. The short had been at the plug, all of its plastic was black and melted. One of them wondered if the kitten could have pulled the cord partway out. I looked at the little 4 month old Siamese, and the heavy duty airconditioner cord, and said "you're kidding, right?" The two men looked at the kitten and the cord and agreed that it did not seem very likely. I suggested that maybe a maid's vacuum cleaner might have snagged it in passing.
We were given a new room, free for the weekend. The owner said to have the kitten checked out, and if there were expenses etc. "To do what I needed to do" about making any claims. He seemed genuinely concerned and was actually really nice about the whole thing.
In the new room I carefully washed as much of the balls of burnt hair off as I could and tried to get cool water on the blistered ear. As far as Pity was concerned, that was the traumatic part! Soon I had her wrapped in a towel and she was getting petted, she purred. Pity was confined to the bathroom for safety where she curled up in her bed and slept peacefully. I was the one who stayed awake most of the night thinking of how my little kitten was almost killed.
At the show the next morning I absented Pity and explained what happened. The show committee was appalled. Pity was taken out and examined. The show manager suggested that the judging rings be told about the accident and that Pity could be shown anyhow. It might be good for her to get the attention and to be looked at. So that is what I did.
Pity had a good time, enjoying the show and being judged, and she even made a final!
Here is Pity at the show, the
day after her close encounter with electricity and flames, in her bed,
looking for more attention.
I took her to my vet the next week. He thought that she was basically unharmed, except that she would probably lose a peice of one ear. She did lose a peice of the side of the ear in spite of daily (unappreciated) treatment with aloe lotion. I was quite worried that the ear would fold over from the scarring, and massaged it daily as it threatened to curl, stretching the scar. That part worked. as you can see below, two weeks after the accident the ear was starting to fold backwards, but in the long run, it was fine
That is not the end of Pity's adventures. A few weeks later I was cooking lambchops. I was going to grill them outside, but I didn't have enough charcoal. So I decided to broil them inside. I have a gas stove. I put the chops into the grilling tray, opened my broiler, and slid the chops in. My fat old spay, Usha, tried to walk into the broiler with the chops. I hauled her out, closed the door, and turned on the broiler. I went to the sink to wash some dishes while the broiler was lighting. As soon as it lit, I intended to crack the broiler door for better broiling.
Suddenly I heard a loud CLUNK. I turned to find the broiler door flung open and what appeared to be Pity streaking out of the broiler with a ball of yellow flame behind her.
No, that wasn't possible. There was no opportunity for her to get into the broiler. She also wasn't big enough to fling open the heavy metal door.
Then I smelled the burnt cat hair. I yelled "NO!" and chased Pity down, which took a while. When I finally caught her, her eyebrows were gone again, and she was very lightly singed on the tops of her shoulders and the tip of her tail. To this day I don't know how that happened.
In spite of all her adventures she has grown up into a strapping, happy, healthy girl, and a real showcat. At her first adult show, at 8 months and a few days old, she Double Granded at the BuckeyeoHIo Rollers show in Toledo, Ohio.
Thankyou to the Trick of
the Tail cat Club, BuckeyeoHIo Roller cat club, TICA judges,
and most of all, my vet Dr. Gary Zipay, for all your help and support.
Pity at 7 months, stretching,
after a flop on the carpet
Pity at 8 months photo by EgoPrints
a little worried about the professional photography process
but showing off her no longer perfectly matched ears.
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