This story was posted on Face Book via the Crazy Cat Ladies. I hope the original poster doesn't mind my retelling the story of Cataclysm
Looks to be about two weeks old here. Eyes open wondering what the Sam Hill is going on. At that age Midge could just about walk in a straight line. Or sneeze. Not both.
August 17, 2011 at 12:29pm
Today is Cataclysm’s 12th. birthday. In her honor, I’m telling her inspirational story to those who have not heard it. Not to mention that she has also gained a certain amount of a FB cult following due to her OCD sock fetish, which is shown in her album....
It was a very hot day, even for August. Katie and I were staying cool by working as volunteers at the local Humane Society. We had spent most of that day working in the cattery – our favorite location. We had, in fact, taken a cat home a couple of weeks before, to foster until her kittens were adoptable. Cheetah had given birth to 5 in our little home nursery. Being in one of those moods that day, we had dubbed them
“Catillac, Catamaran, Catmandu, Catatonic and Catapult.”
It was late that afternoon when one of the animal officers came into the cattery with a shoebox. He took it to one of the vets and said sadly, “It’s too small, there’s nothing we can do.”
“What’s in the box?,” I asked, always curious about anything new. He paid no attention.
“We have no nursing mothers and it can’t stay here,” the vet said. “We may as well just take care of it now.”
“What’s in the BOX??,” I was becoming more insistent.
“It’s a kitten,” the vet responded, “it can’t be more than about a day old. Someone left it on a hot windowsill to die.” We were horrified at the cruelty with which people treat defenseless animals, and this was such a bittyy baby.
Katie and I looked in the box at the tiny blue-cream baby. It was not even wiggling or making a sound. It was soooo small. We had always been animal lovers but babies of any kind, especially kittens, were a real soft spot for us.
“I heard you say something about a nursing mother. What if you had one?” I asked.
“Then there’s a slim chance that the mother might accept the kitten, but we don’t have one.”
“We’ve got Cheetah,” Katie reminded them, “her litter is only 2 weeks old. Can’t we take her home and try?”
A tiny ray of hope came over the workers. They said that we had nothing to lose. We asked what to do and were told to rub the baby up against the other kittens to try to cover her with their scent. If Cheetah tried to nurse her or bathe her, we MIGHT have a chance. But they made it clear that it wasn’t a good chance.
We immediately took the box and headed out. When we got home, we headed straight for the nursery and sent Cheetah out for a walk. While she was out of the room, we took out the new baby, naming her “Cataclysm,” since she was having that kind of day.
We picked up each of the big kittens, they were about 5 times the size of the newcomer. We rubbed them each fairly vigorously all over her tiny body, she should be good and “scented.” Then we put her on the floor of the nursery and sort of piled all of the big ones on top of her. It was time to let Cheetah back in.
The mama cat sauntered back in, going immediately to the pile of babes. She pushed them around with her nose until they were all spread out. She suddenly stopped and just looked at the newborn. She nosed them all some more, like she was counting and was understandably confused. She started arranging them to nurse, finally picking Cataclysm up in her mouth. This was the moment that made us hold our breath. Would she kill the teeny stranger with one bite or go ahead with the feeding? Our tension was palpable.
She held the baby gently and pushed her into her abdomen, licking her gently, we breathed a huge sigh of relief. But nothing happened, the infant was too weak and dehydrated. We tried to help her latch on to a nipple, but had no success. After 20 min. or so, I told Katie that we were going to leave the nursery; it was out of our hands.
We waited about 2 hours and couldn’t stand the suspense any longer. Down to the nursery we went. Before we even got close to the door, we could hear kittens squalling loudly. That had us wondering! We opened the door and peeked in cautiously. Cheetah had taken the 5 big kittens and piled them in a corner. She was in the opposite corner with a tiny bundle. Slurping loudly and kneading Cheetah’s belly with minuscule paws was Cataclysm!
In just a couple of weeks, “Catty” had almost caught up with the others in size. Her eyes were open and she was beginning to walk around. She had overcome all odds and was firmly entrenched in her new family. When it came time to adopt out Cheetah and the babies, we couldn’t part with her, she has been with us ever since.
Every month, the Humane Society wrote a newsletter for the volunteers. I gave them a copy of this story, figuring the other volunteers would like to know about our determined little cat. To my surprise, instead of going into the newsletter, it was given to the person who wrote the monthly fundraising letter. Our chapter of the Society made about $98,000 during that year. Unbelievably, Cataclysm’s story had raised almost half that amount. Who would have thought that she would become a “$50,000 throw-away?
I can almost see that momma kittly puzzling over the situation and finally deciding "well I'm not MISSING anybody. The humans will explain everything when they're ready."