In the summer, we have many kittens born. Some survive and some do not. They are outside cats - what my dad calls "barn cats," although I don't have a barn. Since the mothers are domesticated (not feral), they usually have the kittens around the house where we can see them shortly after birth. No one is allowed to touch the babies until their eyes are opened. I have found that this allows the mommy to be more secure in leaving them in one place. I also have the rule that no kitten is named until it is moving around. It is hard to bury a kitten that is named.
Three years ago, Precious had a litter of three kittens who all made it to the mobile stage. They became Callie, Trixie, and Ridley Scott. My oldest son always has unique names for the ones he names - Ridley was his choice. These three fireballs were just past the weaning stage when they all became ill. Now, I also have the rule that I do not pay veterinarian bills for the outside cats. Experience has taught me that right after you pay the big bill, disaster strikes. These three, though, had stolen our hearts.
I took them to the vet. All three had pneumonia. Ridley and Trixie also had eye infections. I had to set up a "kitten hospital" in my house. They had to have breathing treatments three times a day. Ointment had to be put in the eyes of two. After a couple of weeks, Callie and Trixie were well enough to go back outside, but Ridley's eye continued to be a problem. It had gotten worse and was a huge bulge on his face.
One afternoon as he was running around the kitchen, he bumped into my leg. I felt moisture on my foot. Ridley's eye had popped. (I apologize if you have a weak stomach!) We rushed him to the vet. Dr. A told me that she would have to sew his eye shut to save the eyeball. I gulped and agreed to the surgery. His eye was closed for two weeks, and then I had to take him back in to have the stitches removed. At that point, we discovered that the third eyelid had adhered to his eyeball. Although we knew he was going to be blind in that eye, he now had an "ugly" eye.
The boys and I talked. I had put too much money into this kitten to let nature have its way with him. Ridley became a new member of our household. Mac, the current resident feline, (I might tell you about him later) was not pleased with this turn of events. Even today, the two have little to do with each other!
Ridley is huge. He sheds. He rough-houses. He climbs where he shouldn't. He rubs against me when I am dressed up to go to work. He is annoying when he thinks it is time to be fed. He separates my piles of laundry. He often sits at the top of the stairs waiting for J-Man, who is away at college. (We finally gave him an old shoe of J-Man's for him to sleep on.)
Ridley is loving. He sits near me in the living room at night. He would love to sleep in my bed with me. He bumps his head against my hand if I am not paying attention at the right moment. He loves J-Man and allows himself to be tormented by him. He will jump up in your lap when you least expect it, just to have his ears scratched.
He is a part of the family, now. We are glad Ridley Scott is here.