Sunday, August 2, 1998 was forecast to hit 106 degrees, part of a terribly hot Texas summer. Early in the morning, we heard a noise coming from under our back deck. The source seemed to be moving, so we kept watching around the edges to see what might appear. As the heat began to build, Rick decided to take part of the deck apart to try to reach whatever was under there, almost certainly a baby of some sort. We were afraid the noise would scare it away to a different area, but needn’t have worried. We fished out a baby kitten, no more than 3 days old.
He was alone. We never again saw the stray cat that had been in the yard a couple of times, which we assume was his mother.
We got him to take a tiny bit of sugar water, then Rick set up an incubator box while I raced to the store for some KMR. It took some time to convince him to take a bottle, but pretty soon we had a workable feeding schedule in operation. Luckily Rick works for a tiny company owned by cat lovers, so young Timmy went to work with him each day.
We struggled to find his name, vacillating between Decker and Stoker (as in below decks), until we realized the perfect name for a youngster cared for by Collies. (Think Lassie and Timmy) He’s growing into a big boy, though, so he may become Timothy when he’s grown. (Naw, he's all grown now, but still our Timmy, or TiMister when we're being formal.)
The little tyke thrived. As soon as he was as large as a Collie puppy, we started letting the dogs bathe him. Sasha and Tricia appointed themselves as his surrogate mothers, helping to stimulate and clean him. Soon he graduated from his incubator box to a dog crate, and then to a 4’ x 4’ exercise pen.
We couldn’t give him unsupervised run of the house, because we have a dog door that opens to yards fenced with 4’ chain link. Instead, we have fully enclosed the puppy run out in the kennel for Timmy. He stays out there during the day, where he can go in and out and get plenty of exercise and stimulation. Evenings and weekends, we block off the dog door so he can interact with us and his big buddies. It’s not a perfect arrangement, but it keeps him safe. See below for pictures of Timmy in his various enclosures.
It’s so funny to watch Tim play with the Collies. He seems to make up the rules as he goes, and they are willing to follow along. They are infinitely gentle with him, while he doesn’t always reciprocate. Sasha will jump up sometimes with Tim stuck to her head like a limpet.
He is a proud memfur of the Brother~Sister 'Hood of Bold! Brave! Black! Cats! Click the banner below to visit.
|This was Chessie, the wonderful kitty Rick had when we got married.|