|At claw point|
I heard plaintive mewling along the fence that rings the industrial complex where I rent my office; so I peered under and he was just there, sprawled face-down in a gap between the fence and a row of shipping containers. I heard a startled rustling farther down the sidewalk, and I thought certainly that was his mother. This was my justification for doing what I now believe to have been a shameful thing, which was go back to my life where I was a person with two dogs and no kitten.
At the same time the next day, again with the strolling and again with the mewling, but a little more assertive this time. I crouched in the weeds and looked under the fence, and he was in the exact same spot and visibly upset about it. I squeezed behind the shipping containers and scooped him up, and everything has been basically awful since then.
|Look at this asshole.|
He was only a week old when I found him, eyes firmly shut and umbilical cord attached. Now he's the ripe old age of 3 weeks, but he still has to be on a heating pad because he can't regulate his body temperature, and he needs his butt rubbed with a moist towelette to help him pee and poo.
And he has to be bottle-fed kitten milk replacement every 2 to 4 hours, which he gets HELLA belligerent about because he keeps forgetting how the milk travels from the bottle to his mouth. He spends at least 10 minutes every time screaming and clawing at my hand and the bottle and his face before a drop hits his tongue and he furiously suckles himself into a transcendent milk stupor. Until the next time he's hungry (which is every moment he's awake even if I just fed him but he fell asleep for a minute and then a dog barked and woke him up and he's preeeetty sure he should eat again as long as we're all here).
|You are CLEARLY full, sir.|
|OMG FINE I'LL REWARM YOUR BOTTLE.|
But his eyes are open now, and they seem to be getting bigger and brighter every day. And he purrs vigorously when you cradle him against your heart. And he climbs up your shirt so he can put his front paws on your face and gently gum your lip. And he leans toward Gizmo so she can lick the milk off his face. And he wobbles along the floor with his tail straight up in the air while Paco hesitantly follows behind, trying to figure out what manner of beast this is and whether it has designs on his evening biscuit.
So yeah . . . when can we find a home for this jerk and reclaim our lives?
UPDATED TO ADD: The very next day after I posted this, the rescue said they had a lactating female and there was room for this little outlaw to sidle up to the bar for a libation. So, alas, he is gone from my life, on to bigger and better things. But whenever the day's chaos abates, when calm settles over the house, in that still, small moment, I can hear . . . Meow? DAMMIT WOMAN I SAID MEOW.