The Chronicles of Mingo

It’s Deja Kitten, All Over Again (Part 1)

Okay. Deep breath.

Last night I received a series of texts from my yard person, the same yard person who gave me Mingo. I was confused, because she was texting photos of Ming as a kitten.

Except of course she wasn’t. She’d found ANOTHER too-young feral kitten by her house. This woman, who reads this blog by the way, appears to be a kitten magnet. Stray cats attach themselves to her bod. And she detaches them and give them to me. More thoughts on this process flow later, but here’s a hint: I’m against this as a life plan.

So we determined, via text, that the kitten was a bit bigger than Mingo had been, probably older, and seemed in better condition. Also, it was drinking goat’s milk and nibbling tuna, so no massive urgency. It was, by the way, past midnight. I told her to keep the kitten warm and feed it in the night. Like Lord Voldemort in Goblet of Fire and it’s a shame she hasn’t read those books. Because that makes her Wormtail.

Bright and on time this morning, she shows up with kitten, who is by my best guess about 3 weeks old. Eyes open and walking. But still very young. I called my wonderful veterinary practice, the Boulder Creek Veterinary Clinic, and my vet the great Dr. Kathy Gerrity won’t be in until tomorrow Saturday. So I made an appointment for the kitten, and the practice assistants gave me some donated kitten formula.

Back at the house I bathed the kitten, who seemed to enjoy warm water with a little Dawn dish soap, blew it dry with my hairdryer, and combed it for fleas. No fleas? So far, no fleas. Also no maggots and its tongue is pink, so it has blood. If you remember, Mingo had a plethora of the first two and none of the last. Then I fed it formula via bottle, and set it up with a hot pad covered by towels in a cat carrier in the bathroom.

(Annoyed aside: why the fuck would you manufacture and sell a hot pad that shuts off automatically after an hour? It’s useless. I dumped it and resurrected my old hot pad, which has worked reliably for the past twenty years.)

Of course, the Big Question: Am I planning to keep this kitten? NO NO NO NO I plan to find it a good home, assuming it survives my bathroom, doesn’t have kitty leukemia, and doesn’t drop dead from mysterious kitten ailments. This is a small house, I already have three cats, or two normal cats and Mingo, who should count as two. My cat care budget is already extreme, so NO.


Obviously, I made a mistake assuming Mingo was a one off. What I should have in place is a list of people and agencies to call, in the event this continues to happen. I will start on that tomorrow.

What I don’t know about the kitten includes age, sex, medical conditions, etc. Tomorrow I should know a bit more, so that will the exciting Part 2 of this post.

PS: I am on the wine.

Oh, and by the way: Does anyone want a kitten?


Mary Holland

Mary Holland writes alternative-world fantasy for grown-ups. Her books include Matcher Rules, The Bone Road, and The Dog of Pel. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with three cats and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife.