Friday, October 22, 2010

Flea Bag Cat Will Travel

Meet Mr. Kitty. He hails from Vale, Oregon and has been a member of our family since the early 2000's. I can't remember exactly what year it was but it was early in my relationship with Gene. We were hanging out in an old trailer park that had hook ups for motorhomes in Vale for a week in early September one year. There were 42 cats & kittens (I counted them) running around that little park. Mr. Kitty won Gene's heart early in the week as Gene would sit outside with his turkey-ham breakfast and this little orange fluff-ball did just about anything to get a piece of ham. When it was time to pull up and leave, Gene said "do you suppose we should take this kitten with us?"  I said "really"??? So, we contacted the trailer park "cat lady" and she was happy to let this kitten go. She didn't really own any of the cats but she told us that locals knew she fed them and at night new ones would appear to be dropped of there. The majority of them looked sickly and this kitten was no exception. We rolled down the road and the first day we discovered he was a host to a million fleas. Living in Alaska all my life, I never experienced fleas and I found it quite disgusting. So we bathed kitty and in the process discovered he had horrible ear mites and a respiratory cough. Poor kitty.  Well, we had to keep rolling, so we just did the best by him we could.

I need to back up here because I don't want to leave out the part about Vale, Oregon. Wait, I have to back up even further. We had bought a Yamaha Virago motorcycle while we were staying in Hillsboro. We had taken the motorhome there and had no real transportation so we bought a motorcycle to get around on and as we traveled home, Gene rode the m/c and I drove the m/h. While sitting in Vale, Oregon for a week, we rode that m/c over to a meetings in Nampa and other little spots. As we rode through the onion fields, I remember the most wonderful aroma of onions as the farmers had just unearthed them and they lay out in the fields drying a bit. I don't really know what process they go through but it was a first for me and I just felt hungry for spaghetti or something yummy because of the sweet smell of sun-baked onions. Funny how you remember certain things about trips. I know Gene will remember something entirely different when he reads this and it will be something I have completely forgotten.  Anyway, we also stopped one day and had lunch in Idaho, which was just a short ride from where we were camped. The place where we ate was called Yadira's, which was also the name of one of my co-workers in Yuma. Great Mexican food for being so far north of the border!

So, we roll out of Vale with a new kitty and I'm driving the m/h while Gene rides his m/c down the road. I can't tell you how distracting it was to drive that m/h knowing I had a precious little kitty on board running around doing God knows what. It's amazing I didn't have a wreck.  We headed towards Pahrump, Nevada to see our friends Ed & Marlene. We hit a torrential rainstorm just outside of Pahrump and I wasn't sure we were going to make it but Gene plowed right through that water on the road as if it was nothing. From Pahrump, we headed home to Yuma in 110 weather. To this day, I believe my husband is made out of steel. How he rode in the blazing hot sun is beyond my comprehension. We stopped alot and I pumped him full of Gatorade. We were much younger then and I don't think we'd try that today.

So, we get home with this flea bag cat and get him to the vet right away. The woman at the counter wanted to know what his name was.  In unison, we said "Kitty".  The receptionist said, "well, the least you could do is call him MISTER Kitty" and that's how he got his name. He was given antibiotics & an appt. for neutering. The vet said he would probably always be a sickly cat but I'm here to tell you that he never suffered another problem with respiratory illness again.  He recently acquired a mess of fleas. We're not sure if the the dog had them first or the cat but we've been diligent about treating them.

I know this is a long story about a silly cat. Writing has truly brought to the forefront of my mind some of those things that really mean a lot to me. I never knew Gene was such a cat whisperer. Mr. Kitty adores him and vice versa. Me? I'm a dog person and the cat knows it.


  1. much I enjoy reading your bog. It is like you are talking to us and how I miss you. This is a highlight of my day also.

    Love you.

    Nancy and Dad

  2. Dearest Susan: You love Mr. Kitty and that makes you a cat person!

  3. P.S. Thanks for reading my blog, Nancy! I'm having a ball writing. It's very good for my attitude first thing in the morning. I look forward to seeing what you add to your blog this winter. I wish my friend Kathy would start one too!

  4. I'm pondering the notion.......


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