Hi Everyone. Thanks for all your concern about my Dad and our power issues and stuff. We've had power for several days now so we are very lucky. Some people in our area have been without power for over a week. So we really feel that we are very fortunate. And my Dad is doing great. He doesn't like having a kidney stone, but after we thought it was something so much worse, we are all very grateful that it's a stone and that it's only one.
Now on to ME!!! It's my Gotcha Day! This is a very very special day. At nearly midnight tonight it will be exactly one year since Mom and Dad found me. I don't remember much of my first experiences with Mom and Dad because I was small and sick and scared and they were just really big strangers. So I'm going to let Mom tell the story. I'm very thankful that they found me. Our whole family has a lot to be gratful for and thankful for this week. Ok here's Mom.
At about 11:30pm on July 25, 2005 my husband and I were returning from a late dinner. I was driving up and down the streets of our neighborhood looking for a parking spot, when down one street we found a gray little creature just sitting in the middle of the road. I slowed the car, but it didn't move. We could see that it was a kitten and figured it must be very frightened to not be able to move from the middle of the street. So my husband got out of the passenger seat to move the kitten from the middle of the road. I found a parking spot and went to meet him. He was walking towards me with a scrawny kitten dangling from his completely outstretched arm. (My husband was NOT a cat person... though I think the emphasis in that statement should be on WAS). Anyway I took the kitten in my arms and my husband said, "I think it's blind. It kept running into things trying to get away from me." Sure enough, the kitten's eyes were so infected they were completely crusted shut. I just looked at my husband and he said we could take it home for the night. My husband went out immediately to find cat food and kitty litter. That late we couldn't find any kitten food because only the corner stores were open, but we figured any food was better than none. We put the litter in a foil roasting pan, though we turned out not to need it. The kitten only licked the top of the food in the bowl and wouldn't eat any. I was so upset. I was up with him almost the whole night. He cried and cried and cried. I put a warm washcloth over his eyes and eventually he worked them open a bit, but his third eyelid was extended halfway across each of his eyes. He seemed to have no control over his bowels, so it got pretty messy.
The next morning I didn't go to work and went straight to a vet. The vet was fantastic. The kitten tested negative for all the important stuff and was diagnosed with just an upper respiratory infection, serious conjunctivitis and a bad case of worms. Fortunately he didn't have any fleas or mites. The vet said a few more days and he would have been completely blind, and for a stray kitten (somewhere between 8 and 10 weeks old), his outlook would have been grim. Since pets were not allowed in our apartment, our plan was to just get him healthy and find him a home. On the way home from the vet to show his appreciation, he messed in my lap. This kitten became my serious project. I got up in the middle of the night to comfort him when he cried and give him medicine, I kitten-proofed the entire house because while we were waiting for the worms to clear up he had accidents everywhere, and took him to work with me when my husband and I had to be away for long days. He refused to bathe himself, so I did my best trying to wash him everyday with a washcloth (the vet said not to submerge him because he was sick). Some stuff was just so stuck in there from his early weeks on the streets that I had to cut parts of his fur out. We knew he was getting better when I came home one day to find him cleaner than when I left him. We had to take him back to the vet after we had him less than a week because his sneezing and runny nose was worse and so had to get a different antibiotic. The good news was that he had gained a whole pound in six days! At that vet visit my husband decided that this was our cat and no one else could have him. I was so excited! We explained the situation to our landlord, and he allowed us to keep him. It took another week or so before we named him Mattingly. It was about two weeks before he was completely litter trained and I could remove the old sheets and curtains that blanketed every surface in our house to protect them and about a month before he was off all the antiobiotics, but now he's a big healthy boy.
He's been such a great addition to our lives. He has so much personality. He was the first step in making our marriage into a "family" (since it will still be some time yet before human kids come along). He is currently curled up into a tight little ball on the couch next to the computer with a smile on his face and we are all very content.
I wanted to share photos of his first few weeks with us, but our usual host is down and blogger is not allowing me to upload, so I'll try to do it soon!