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It was an ordinary December day, chilly but bright, and Keith went out to run some errands. On his return, he came into the kitchen and said “There’s a kitten on our front walk”.

“Do you intend to feed the kitten?” I asked, because, well, I know my husband.

“Yes, and… I think he needs some help. If I can catch him, are you OK with helping me take him to the vet?”

So Keith and I went back out and found this young fellow, who looked a bit like a dragon had chewed him up and spat him back out. He was obviously nervous around people but also (oddly, for a feral kitten) had decided that we were responsible for solving his problems. So he crouched just out of arms reach and mewed plaintively at us.

We sat on the walk, with food and water on offer, and waited for him to decide if we were to be trusted. At some point, a passer-by commented that she knew this kitten “and I already prayed over him”. Well, we thought, at least he’s got THAT going for him.

After some time, we were able to get him to drink some water, then eat a bit of food, and eventually managed to scoop him up and pop him into a cat carrier. Somewhere in there, we became aware that his name was Scrappy.

One very expensive vet visit later, we had a kitten. Who needed deworming medicine, antibiotics for his skin infection, anti-parasitic medication for his mange, and food, shelter, and TLC. The vet sounded dubious about whether he would socialize; “He’s past the age window,” but as he said that, Scrappy was crawling into our laps, purring, and rubbing his poor itchy face against our fingers for scritching.

We had no idea if he’d accept us, no idea if he’d be able to learn the necessary skills to live in our home, no idea if he’d be able to integrate with our two older cats. But we realized that somewhere in that adventure, we had to try. So, we took him home, installed him with food and litter in a spare bathroom, and tucked him in for the night.

So this is Scrappy. Welcome to the household, Scrappy.


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