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« Weekend of 1,000 Friends | Main | Day 2: "No Name Yet" Kitten »

Malcolm: Friend to Kittens Everywhere

So I was walking back home from my second trip to The D for iced coffee this morning, and as I was rounding the corner onto Orange street, I saw two cars zooming at a tiny white and black, furry, twitching object in the road. I broke into a run, stopping both cars in the street, and saw the tiniest kitten ever, hit by a car, lying in the street, twitching and gasping for breath. The mom cat was on the sidewalk, trying to come and help, but too spooked to come out of the alley between two houses where she was hiding.

I scooped the cat out of the street, and laid her on the sidewalk. Her breathing was raspy, and I had no idea what to do. A man walked by, made a face like he was going to throw up, but did nothing. An old man in a wifebeater came out of nowhere, and said I would have to call the city to come clean it up. But the cat was ALIVE, its breath raspy, shaking. Mom cat still wouldn't come over, so I began ringing doorbells. No one claimed ownership, and I didn't know what to do. I considered just stomping on the poor little things head, just to put it out of its misery, before realizing that I simply didn't have the heart to do that. So, with no one offering any suggestions, I did the only thing I could think of. I scooped her up off the sidewalk and ran to the veterinary hospital.

I was a sweaty mess by the time I got there, appalled at everyone's indifference, and when I walked in the door holding this little kitten that fit in the palms of both hands, it became a scene from ER. "What happened," asked the front desk lady. "Car accident," I replied. After agreeing to take financial responsibility (to the tune of "between $300 and $500"), I explained to the lady at the desk that the cat wasn't mine, and if it had a shattered skeleton, to just put it down. I took a seat. A nun told me I was a good person, and that was nice. Nuns are the jam.

At this point, the vet brought me back into an examination room. I have to confess that I was wondering what in the hell I was doing. Here I was, throwing money at a cat that wasn't even mine, and that I certainly don't want. I already have one, for chrissake, that I am already trying to figure out what to do with while I travel. Why was I taking this on?

The vet appeared with good news. He thanked me, told me the kitten was 12 weeks old and female. I explained to him that while I was concerned, I wasn't prepared to spend thousands of dollars on this thing. He said that, amazingly, the cat appeared to be more in shock than anything else, and was responding well after receiving some painkillers and some oxygen. He said he couldn't feel any fractures, but that there may be some lung contusions, and that he would like to take an x-ray. Before I could protest, he told me that he was going to try and work out some kind of "good Samaritan" pricing with the ladies at the front desk, and if he should proceed. Hell, we had come this far, and the prognosis looked good; he said I would be astonished at how resilient kittens were. I gave him the go-ahead, and so now I am waiting for a phone call to figure out if the cat is ready to come out of kitten-ICU.

What's next? Dunno. I refused to name the cat on the spot for the vet records, and frankly, I'm not sure what to do. Knock on all the doors in the neighborhood? Give it to the pound? Name it "Orange," or better yet, "Lucky," and let my cat be a dad? I'm not sure. I just know that this little kitten was pretty, hurt, and I didn't know what else to do. All I ask in return is some kind of kitten superpower, where I can raise my arms in public, make some kind of mewling noise, and cats will appear out of nowhere to defeat my foes.

More details as they become available.


Whoa--that's amazing. Also, do nuns just hang out at the vet hospital?

You made me cry. That was a wonderful thing to do. I get soooooo pissed off at people who hurt animals. I get along with cats much better than I do with people!

I am impressed, Malcolm, with your quick thinking and physical exertion on behalf of an injured creature, but as potential foster parent for your current feline friend (brother-in-law?), I am concerned about the possibility of this becoming a pattern. Best of luck to the tiny kittn.

well, I wasn't going to let it die in the street. I don't plan to keep it...just get it healthy. More details coming tomorrow.

That truly is an amazing story. Isn’t there a Hippocratic Oath for Vets? Couldn’t they just take care of it? Anyway, damn heroic. Oh, and I vote for Lucky as a name.

You're an all new Malcolm to me!

It doesn't escape my notice that I am adding the 7th comment to your truly stunning post. This gives me hope about the compassion that does still live on in the human heart. It seems it has become all too common for so many to simply walk past suffering in this world, whether human or animal. To meander through life with such a casual indifference to that suffering is to lose the essence of what makes us human. Whatever happens to the kitten and whatever your role is (or isn't) from this point forward, your action and your sharing of it in this post is an inspiring reminder of responsibility and caring about what we see every day.

Good for you! Too many people don't care.

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