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Nashville – November 30, 2016

Nashville

Susan Roethemeyer

susansmr@juno.com

Yankee

Doodle Kitty

My Yankee Doodle cat was born on the Fourth of July.

His Mother was a feral cat who had beautiful long grey fur, so I called her “Lady Grey Fluffy-tail”.

This must have been her first litter, because she didn’t seem to know what to do.

The first kitten was on the porch, and she was prancing to the neighbor’s garden, trying to get away from the discomfort of kittenbirth.

So I picked up the kitten and tried to get her to take it. She didn’t seem to recognize that it was hers, so I picked her up and took her to the neighbor,who had more experience with cats than me.

She advised me to put the cat in a safe enclosed place and the kitten with her, and things will work out.

So I did and they did.

I saw the litter a couple weeks later, and there were 3 cute little bundles of fur, 2 dark tabbies and one light faun colored.

They all hissed at me, especially the light-colored one.

Neither the light-colored kitten nor I knew it then, but in a few weeks he would become my baby.

Lady Grey Fluffy-tail moved her litter several times, and I saw the little ones eating with the other cats we feed on the porch.

Then Lady Grey Fluffy-tail seemed to disappear. That did not worry me, the cats don’t always appear to eat when I am around.

A week after that, when the litter was 6 weeks old, I heard a horrible meow-screech-yell.

I rushed outside, and by the flashlight, found the faun-colored kitten yelling and hissing.

I grabbed him up, still hissing, and crooned and cuddled him..

He had a wound on his head, something had tried to eat him! I guess I had scared it away.

He spent the night in a cushioned box, and went to the vet the next day.

The vet shaved off the scab (which caused more blood-curdling yowling) put on some antibiotic, and said he would heal up fine.

That night the kitten lay quietly on my chest while I sang softly to him and gently stroked his head – on the uninjured part.

I named him Koko after a literary cat, and he eventually got dark grey markings on his legs, tail, ears and face, marking his daddy as a Siamese.

He was a bold and adventurous cat, playing and running to me when I called him.

Koko was the first Siamese cat I had ever had, and I adored his charming ways.

He cuddled up in my lap, meowed to me, and was as loving as could be, and I forgot that he had been feral for the first six weeks of life.

One thing that was not so nice was his tendency to be greedy about his food.

The feral in him caused him to roam, and one day he roamed into the highway and into the path of a vehicle.

I didn’t know that at the time, he was just missing for too long.

Someone told me they had seen a cat on the road, but when I looked, I couldn’t find him.

Someone else said a city truck had picked him up. But the city said they didn’t do that.

A little scared now, I went to the state shed to see if someone had picked him up.

Someone had, on his way home the day before. He told me where he had placed Koko.

I drove to the spot and couldn’t find him.

A little frantic now, I ran down the side road, crying out for my beloved cat.

I had to go back and get the man to show me where he had put Koko. We drove out to the site, and he said “Here. Right here.”

Koko was barely in from the main road, I had parked and looked way beyond it.

So, with gloved hands, the man picked up Koko and slid him into a bag I had gotten out of my trunk.

I thanked him tearfully and put my cat in the trunk. Then we both drove away.

Koko is buried in the yard of Dad and Mom’s former house.

I cried when I buried him and I cried whenever I got near the grave.

Koko was only a year and a half when he died.

He was born on the Fourth of July.

He was my Yankee Doodle Kitty!