Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Story

"Be careful. Them're scared and not much friendly... been growlin and hissin at all day... everything..."

For some reason, in a room full of caged cats, these caught my eye. I gazed at the three white angels huddled together in the corner of the cage.
They had an aura about them. Something that I can't put my finger on, 'cept to say some kinda of 'it', and they had 'It'.

"They come in together, littermates. A girl and her mother couldn't keep 'em anymore. They were cryin and sobbing. So sad."
"That sucks."
"Two of 'em are deaf. See the blue eyes?" **

I was reading the info tags on the cage: Eight months old... kept indoors...good with other cats... box trained... uses scratching post, etc. All the positives I was looking for. And all toms that needed de-nutting. And in highlighted letters: DEAF.

But I was looking for one cat, not a whole family at this time.
I moved on.

Row upon row, but I ended up back in front of the three brothers. I clucked at them a few times, and the green-eyed looked up and tilted his head, then ears-pinned and straight at me... hisssss.

"I told ya."

Blowing into his face, I clucked again. Looking away, he stopped hissing, eyes down.
"He's fine. Just scared is all."
I walked away to browse some more, but like a boomerang I was soon back at the brothers again.
Turning to The Wife, "These boys are cool."

Another shelter gal walks in "They're deaf!"
"Yeah, I know..."
"They been hissin all day..."
"Open the cage."
"But they been hissi-"
"I got that. Please... open the cage."
"Did you fill out an application? You need to fill one before you can-"
Turning to a third gal, "Just open it."
Wife whispers to her "It's Ok, Honey. He knows ..."

Gal #3 unlocks the cage, I stick my hand slowly, palm up and low to the floor.
More hissing from the two blue-eyedes, but this time the green-eye just scrunches low in retreat.

Ha! not so tough now.

Softly rubbing the top of his head, and then behind his ears, working my way down the back of his neck. Gently but firmly, I grab his scruff and lift him out...

He's mine, and curls up into the crook of my arm for more rubbing and petting.
He's still not so sure about the situation, but I sense his muscles relaxing.
I flip him over, exposing his tummy with his shoulders and head supported in my hand. After a few, he turns to jelly as his head flops backward. He's purring.
I win.
Shelter Gal #1 is beaming.
"He likes you."
"Just gotta know how to deal with 'em is all."
Quickly, I conquer the two blue-eyedes' as well.

"Them're deaf!" announces a #4 gal, who just walked into the room. I think she was Supervisor Boss Bitch, or something like that. She had an attitude, and it made the kitty in my hand nervous.
"But I ain't. How many more times ya'll gonna tell me that."
"It's just that some people-"
"I'm not some people... A little understanding , they'll be fine."

**Deafness occurs in cats when the same genes that combine for white fur and blue eyes also equal deafness. (Cats with only one blue eye are deaf on just that side.) This is the case for about 90% born with this genetic combination. It's not a common phenomenon, but it happens often enough to make cat fetishists well aware of it.


Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...


Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Our white old lady only "hears" my husband's voice because it is low enough to vibrate her. Otherwise she's completely deaf. We have four cats and we love 'em all.