Hi folks! Indy here.
Boy, do I have a special treat for you. Nope, it’s not a dog bone. It’s a special fur baby story about an abandoned kitten. And Diesel is his name-O.
Here to deliver the scoop on Diesel is his mom–editor extraordinaire, Marcy Kennedy.
Hi everyone! I’m very excited that Diesel and I get to take part in Tracy and Indy’s Fur Babies feature. I did ask Diesel if he wanted to type his post himself the way Indy does, but he reminded me that he’s too little and doesn’t even know how to spell yet. I guess I’ll have to do. And maybe it’s only fair that I get to tell the story anyway.
You see, I found Diesel under a bush at the edge of a field in late November. I was out trying to clear my cold-clogged head with some fresh air, and I heard pitiful crying. I could tell he wasn’t a feral kitten because as soon as he realized I was a human rather than a predator, he let me scoop him up and he purred the whole walk home.
I don’t know how long he’d been out there, and I don’t like to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t gone out that day. If the coyotes hadn’t eaten him that night, the freezing rain the next day coupled with his starved state would have killed him.
My husband and I were torn about what to do. We already had three house cats, as well as a 120-pound Great Dane. But we couldn’t take him to the shelter right away. Not only was it Sunday, but he was too sick.
Weighing less than a pound, he had diarrhea, a runny nose, and smelled like a manure pile. As sweet-natured as he was, his chances of adoption were slim unless we could clean him up. While we took care of him, we fell in love and couldn’t part with him! Since his purr sounded like a diesel engine, we named him Diesel.
A trip to the vet a week later revealed a high fever and a deep abscess from a wound or trauma. The cost of the micro-surgery, pain killers, and antibiotics required to save him meant that had we taken him to the shelter, he would have been euthanized. Knowing that made us sure we’d done the right thing in keeping him.
In the three weeks after finding him, Diesel put on three pounds, bringing him up to the weight a four-month-old kitten should be. (When I originally found him, I thought he was only six weeks old because of his tiny size.) He’s now completely healthy, and even our half-blind fourteen-year-old cat enjoys playing with him.
I wish I could say Diesel’s story is unique, but it isn’t. A few years ago, eight puppies from a single litter were abandoned all across my town and brought into the shelter by the people who found them. And each year, I have to choose whether I’m able to keep the abandoned animals I find or whether I have to take them to the shelter as well. All of our cats have their own rescue stories.
So if Diesel and I could leave everyone with a message, it would be to always spay and neuter your pets, and if you do accidentally end up with a litter, do the right thing. Try to find them homes or take them to a shelter. Never drop them off thinking they’ll be able to survive on their own (or hoping someone like me will find and adopt them—it’s a very selfish thing to do).
Diesel likes to think that the people who abandoned him just didn’t know any better, that they didn’t realize that even at four months he was too little to make it alone. He likes to think they believed they were doing him a favor by leaving him in the outdoors rather than taking him to the shelter. But he can’t help but wonder what happened to his brother and sisters. Were any of them lucky enough to be found and rescued?
And to all the caring, hardworking people who run SPCA shelters across Canada and the U.S., we’d both like to say thank you. While we know you can’t save every animal who comes to you either, you try to give a little bit of kindness where you can.
Marcy is a fantasy writer who believes there’s always hope—sometimes you just have to dig a little harder to find it. She writes novels that encourage people to keep fighting, to let them know that no one is beyond redemption, and that, in the end, good always wins. In addition to writing fiction, Marcy is a freelance writer and editor published across Canada and the U.S. Check out Marcy’s editing services here. You can also find her blogging about writing on Wednesdays/Thursdays and about the place where real life meets science fiction, fantasy, and myth on Mondays and Fridays Because Fantasy Is More Real Than You Think…
Marcy, thanks for the nifty story. Maybe Diesel can come over for lunch. Scratch that. Patches, my older brother, would have him for lunch.
If you want to see another handsome photo of Diesel, pop on over to my Fur Babies page.
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