A few weeks I wrote about my pair of black cats: Pinky and the Brain.

Landry found a litter of kittens three months after I adopted the Brain. They were tiny and crying. He called me and I came to get a look at them. The trio were dehydrated, but not too bad otherwise. Landry was hoping I’d be able to find a place for them to be fostered or a mama cat that was nursing. Well, those options didn’t pan out, so I had three hungry babies to feed for several weeks.

Fortunately, I’d been following the Kitten Lady online for a while, so I knew what to do: keep them warm, keep them fed, and keep their bowels moving. There were two black kittens and one tuxie in the litter. I faithfully tracked their progress as the days passed. I felt fully justified in taking them home when I saw that all three gained 50 grams in the first two days. You want kittens to gain an average of 10 grams a day. So, with that huge initial gain, I knew they’d been separated from mama for a while.

I learned that new kittens can hiss. And hiss they did, because I was a strange creature to them at first. I also learned that neonate kittens make a clicking sound as their purr. The little black girl kitty was the most adventurous, escaping the progressively bigger boxes I used to contain them.

The Brain hissed at me for weeks because I smelled like “other” cats. He stopped hissing, but still grumbled and looked at me sideways for a long time yet. I did my best to find them all homes, but Eastern Europe has lots of kittens and not many takers. At last, only one was left. Pinky was lonely down in the basement and so I let him have access to the house. I never meant to keep him, but he became part of the family.

He wasn’t smart; I’ve covered that. But he was sweet and purred a lot when he was feeling snuggly.

And you’ve noticed I’m using an awful lot of past tense here. I let him out on the evening of the 22nd of May and I haven’t seen him since. He’d been staying out late as a habit and I’d been staying up until he returned or gone looking for him. But that night, I was annoyed and decided that the weather was nice enough. I went to bed. And he’s gone.

The strangest part is not getting to say goodbye. Every other animal I’ve had, I had to the end of their natural lifespan. I could see them declining and knew that the end was near. I spoiled them and loved on them and cherished those final interactions.

The kids are still hoping he’ll come back. And I can’t completely rule out that possibility: cats are cats. If he doesn’t, I know I gave him four good years he wouldn’t have had otherwise. That is a small comfort.

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