The Chronicles of Mingo

It’s Deja Kitten, All Over Again (Part 2)

Have I mentioned that I do not do well on sleep deprivation? Well, I’m mentioning it now.

Last night was a horrid combo of alternating insomnia and nightmares, punctuated by sporadic bathroom visits to feed the kitten. Apparently my subconscious, that sneaky thing, decided the alarm wasn’t going to go off and so I would lie there for an hour staring at nothing and then be jolted awake by bad dreams. I’d check the clock and realize I’d slept for twenty minutes. And repeat.

At 5:30 am, after a 4 am kitten feed, Squeaky and Mingo decided to have a battle in the living room. Many yowls, punctuated by a heavy body hitting the floor. Repeatedly. I didn’t go look. The human brain can only take so much. I decided either they were both fine (win) or one of them was dead and I’d have fewer vet bills (win) or one of them was gravely injured. In that case I already had a vet appointment in a few hours and I’d just tack one more on. (win) They were both in perfect heath when I crawled out of bed.

By the time the vet appoint was nigh, I’d decided my kitten fostering days — and probably my kitten days — were over. The vet greeted me cheerily with “Hello, Sucker!” Score a point for her.

Anyway, the kitten is male, about 4 weeks old, and healthy. He does not have feline leukemia: I paid for the test even though we were discussing fostering possibilities because some foster programs aren’t funded for it.

The vet called the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and determined that they had a kitten fosterer available. I had absolutely no idea they had this program, nor that young healthy kittens are in great demand. Mingo never mentioned this during his younger or bottle-feeding days. Clearly, he knew a good thing when he saw it. Also, so did the vet. (Hello, Sucker!) And of course he’s gotten his claws so deeply into the household — he has his own blog for fuck’s sake — I’ll never get rid of him now.

So I filled out the paperwork and kitten (who remained deliberately nameless because I may be sleep-deprived but I’m not idiotic enough to give a name to a kitten I’m abandoning) was carried off by a cooing crowd of shelter workers. (“How cute! How sweet! Look at his eyes!”)

Now I know what to do the next time a stray kitten crosses my path, or is dumped on my doorstep, or even mews in my general direction.

I’m sure all my loyal readers are disappointed not to have Mingo vs. Kitten posts for the next six months. Since I didn’t have a thundering line of you volunteering to bottle-feed and squeeze out kitten poop every four hours, I say the hell with all of you. I’m going back to bed.



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.