Spirit's name seemed to fit her even though she didn't seem to care for it.
She never did respond to it when I called her. She was one of the kittens
from the litter that had hypothermia. From the first when I found her she
was a fighter. She was the first to scramble under Dawn and latch on. As I
remember she was always first under Dawn. She was always the first to jump
up when I came into the room. She was full of vim and vigor.
She was white but not really white she had this veil of beige on the tips of
her fur; giving her a misty appearance. This was the reason I named her
Spirit. As she grew older her feisty independence grew stronger. She wanted
to be first at everything and she was. She was the first to figure out how
to escape over the sides of the nest box.
We knew when the sign went up that if any kitten went first it would be her.
She was gorgeous. No one would even look first at her personality. They
would only notice how beautiful she was. I thought if we were going to have
to raise a kitten (finding homes for the kittens in this economy is hard) we
would pick the one we wanted to keep.
Each week Spirit's coat changed. The beige tips changed to gray in some
places. She still was very white but now she looked like she had a cloud
around her. Her ears became light gray. Her face developed steel gray
tabby stripes on it. Her tail became charcoal gray. Nothing seemed to
take away from her beauty. She was fabulous. Her personality grew too. She
was adventuresome and quite the little prankster.
Each person who came to look said, "Oh, I want that one". I followed with,
"She's already spoken for I am holding her for Christmas." Technically it
wasn't a white lie.
By Christmas all had found homes except her and Winky. Winky's story you
heard in Part two. I was getting ready to give the two a flea treatment and
bring them up to the house to peoplefy them; to teach them manners.
My Hunny called and said he had just gotten a call on the phone for kittens.
I said I wonder who gave them your number. He told me he told her he'd have
me call her back. He said, "I think she's elderly, she said her name was
Matilda." He gave me the name and I sat down to call the lady.
She must have been waiting by the phone. I called from my house phone and
she had no idea of my last name so caller I.D. would not have clued her in
it was I. The phone was answered before the first ring had finished
ringing. She didn't even say hello. She said, "Is this Gloria?"
I told her it was. I asked her if she was the lady that called my Hunny and
she answered yes. (She had gotten the number wrong by one number and it just
happened to be Hunny's number). Her English was halting. I couldn't tell if
she had a foreign accent. She also sounded like my deaf friends who had
never heard a spoken word but learned to speak.
She stated she was elderly and she wanted a boy kitten. I asked her if
there was any special reason she wanted a boy kitten. She replied no and
asked me why I asked. I told her I had only one kitten left, it was one I
had chosen to keep if I couldn't find a good home for it and it was a girl.
In her broken speech she told me they would be a very good home with lots of
love. She told me we have lots of toys for her. She said could you bring
her for us. I asked where they lived and it was less than 3 miles away. I
told her being the ice on our drive was so thick we would bring her around.
I also told her I had already refused a home last week and if we got there
and we decided we should keep her we would bring her back home.
She became very distressed at what I said and reiterated all they had for the
kitty and asked me why I had refused the other people. I told her when I
asked a couple of questions the lady admitted they were from a rescue center
and would be taking her and putting her up for adoption. I told the lady I
was doing that and if I didn't find a home I approved of then her home would
be with us. She answered me, "That would be terrible and so hard on the
kitty having to learn to like another home only to have to leave to go
After hearing her response, I told her not to worry we would bring Spirit
over to see her when Hunny got home from work.
I proceeded to get directions from her. I realized she did not know if she
was east or west of our road, even though she had seen the sign on our road.
I finally asked her if she turned out of my road which town would she being
going to. It turned out she lived in the mobile home park not too far from
When Hunny got home I loaded both Winky and Spirit into the cat carrier. I
had just finished treating them for fleas so they wouldn't carry any over to
the people's cat. I forgot to mention as we were finishing the conversation
she said quietly, "We have another cat." I asked her why you want another
one. She answered her kitten was lonely. I can understand that, if our cat
and dog weren't such good friends I would have had another cat too.
The mobile home park is very nice. It has nice wide streets that are paved
with concrete. There are side walks. All the lots have nice size yards.
This park was built in the 60's. It was very subdivision like. Not the
norm for mobile home parks of that era. We meandered down the street
looking for her address. She made it sound like she was the second house on
the street. We went for over two blocks before we came to the right
I called her when we left and told her we were coming over. She asked how
long it would take me. I said maybe 5 minutes. You are right around the
corner from us. She replied, "Oh goody, I will wait by the mail box for
you." I told her not to, it was too cold. She reluctantly said okay.
When we drove up she came out of the house lickety split. She hollered,
this is Spirits new home you are here. She had on furry slippers and a thin
blouse and skirt. No sweater not even warm socks. I told her to hurry back
in we'd bring the kittens in a minute. When we brought the carrier in she
squealed, "You brought me 2 kitties, you are so wonderful." I explained to
her that Winky just came along for the ride that he was our kitten and we
didn't want him to be lonesome. I told her when we got home he would be
coming up to live with us at our home, he wouldn't be living in the barn
When we came inside I realized the reason for her halting English, She had
Turrets syndrome. She had to hold on to her hand or hold onto something to
keep it from flying all around. When she wasn't nervous (when she picked up
Spirit) her voice returned to a normal cadence and her body stopped shaking.
The trailer inside was sparsely furnished, but very clean. Everything
inside was very old and worn. On the floor in the middle of the living room
was an 8 foot square of carpet. In the middle was the largest assortment of
cat toys you have ever seen. In the middle was a small carpeted cat tower
with a springy toy on top. Against the far wall were 4 water dishes and 4
very full feed dishes. She said did you notice I got another litter box
just for her. "You are going to let me keep her; I already love her so
much." Her husband said, "We will give her lots of love and she will have
Halloween for a friend." I asked who, and he said that was the name of the
other kitten. We hadn't seen him. All of a sudden as if on cue, out comes
Halloween. He's as black as night.
Matilda is holding Spirit and pleadingly looks at me and says, "Are you sure
we can have her?" I said yes but if you decide you can't care fore her or
she is too much trouble for you, you will call me to come and get her.
When we got in the car I asked Hunny if I did the right thing, I knew the
kitten would probably never see a vet unless she became ill. I knew they
didn't have the finances for all the shots. I also knew from all I saw that
she would not lack for love and would get the best care they could give her.
Matilda called me today and said, "Spirit loves me, thank you so much."