One recent Monday–Garbage Night to be exact–my husband, Pinckney, heard mewing near our front gate. We were immediately concerned because our daughter mentioned she’d seen a dead cat out on the road earlier in the day. The mewing gave us visions of some pitiful, half-alive creature abandoned and dying on the asphalt. Usually we only find beer cans and the occasional shoe at the end of our drive. (What is it about a driveway out in the country that screams to some people to stop at night–sometimes even in the daylight–and do their business or lose their clothes or drop empty cans?) Sometimes there are black snakes and, once, a fat copperhead. Our neighborhood is a dangerous place for small, helpless creatures. So it was with some relief that the beam of Pinckney’s flashlight found a teeny tiny, decidedly alive and lively ball of feline delight making its way out of the roadside brush.
Oddly, this was not the first kitten to find its way up our driveway and make a home with us. On Garbage Night. That kitten, Miss Nina Garcia, marched up the driveway in the dark and announced herself to my husband, daughter, son, and two very interested dogs. She wasn’t a bit shy. That was almost four years ago. Now she’s in charge of the dogs, but I think our new addition is going to be some serious competition.
My kids chose the name Sylvia because were big Latin fans, and she came out of the woods. We finally settled on Sylvie, instead, because she’s bouncy and Sylvia seemed just a little too dignified. (My first choice for a name was Mocha Latte Benedict, but no one else was a fan. Also, she looks more like a Caramel Macchiato, yes?) After she spent the evening noshing on a little water-softened food, and plenty of fresh water, she curled up on my daughter, Nora’s, bed. I gather Nora didn’t get much sleep that first night–or 3 subsequent nights, bless her heart.
Tuesday morning I took her to the vet’s where she got checked out, wormed, and treated for ear mites. She weighed just 1.5 pounds! Soon I’ll take her back for another worming and her first vaccinations. And did I mention flea treatment? Oy, did this kitty have fleas. And you can’t give tiny kittens flea baths. I shampooed her with the gentle stuff and have since spent hours flea-combing her. You could say we’ve bonded over fleas. Did you know they get red when they’re all stuffed with blood? Ewwwww. After 10 days we’re down to 5-6 random ones a day. But I digress. Next thing I’ll be talking about her poop–sorry. (She’s an excellent litter box-user, btw.)
We’ve tried to be respectful of Nina’s space as we introduce Sylvie into our home. The dogs have been fine, and mostly disinterested. Though we’ve had to explain to Hrothgar that if he’s going to flap his tail on the floor, Sylvie gets to play with it. He grumbles, but doesn’t snap. Good boy. Sylvie has her own gated sanctuary room she stayed in for the first few days, and she has been allowed to explore the house bit by bit. She almost has the run of it now, and by next week I think she and Nina will be allowed to hang out together at night. We’ll see. I, for one, am no fan of kitty alarm clocks–particularly when they go off before dawn.
Sylvie usually runs everywhere she goes–even when she’s playing. So it’s hard to get pics of her unless she’s completely at rest.
Prepare yourself for lots more Sylvie pics. She’s a keeper!