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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cat Sanctuary, the MJ Fredrick Way

I’ve always been a cat person, and most of my cats have been cats I’ve…discovered.

I won’t talk about the litter of orphaned kittens my friend rescued from the vet and gave to me because my cat had kittens. That did not end well.

The first rescue in my adult life was on my first field trip as a teacher. A little black and white pregnant kitty came over when the kids were eating lunch. She was starving and the kids fed her bits of their burgers. The other teachers urged me to take her, since I had just moved into a house. So I took the little cat on the bus and back into my classroom—where she went into labor. She didn’t have the kittens until the next day—and the first kitten was dead—but I kept that little cat ten more years until she died.

Simba was next, I think, my husband’s rescue. He found him in the parking lot after working on the Labor Day telethon all weekend. He had a good long life, too.

One day my sister-in-law called. She had found a pregnant cat at her school and wanted to know if I could take her. We’d just moved into this house, so I took her. She was wary of us, and especially our other cats, but when she gave birth on my son’s bed, she let us help her after the first kitten died. We kept one of her kittens, who we still have, though the mama was hit by a car.

Gir was next, a proud little guy who was just so sweet. One morning my students came in and told me a kitten had been wandering around outside. I told them in the future, to let me know when kittens were around. They came back after school to let me know the kitten was back, and I found him just as he walked into the building. We had a faculty meeting that afternoon and he fell asleep in my lap. The next week was 9/11 and one of my strongest memories is little Gir being beside me, letting me love on him and cry on him. I cried like a baby when he died.

Yaya was after that, hanging out by my truck after the Christmas PTA program. A storm was coming, and I couldn’t just leave her there. I scooped her up and tossed her in the truck. One of my students was passing by with her parents on the way to their car and I mentioned my husband would kill me for bringing home another cat. (Of course I didn’t mean it) The next day, she sent her teacher to check on me. I still have little Yaya, almost 6 years now.


Then there’s Napoleon. Three days before my birthday, the doorbell rang and the little girl next door was there, cradling a TINY kitten. They’d found him in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. I don’t remember why they couldn’t keep him, so they brought him to me. He was too little to eat so we had to get him kitten formula. I bottle-fed him for a week, even taking a couple of half-days to come home to feed him. He was also covered with fleas, but too young for any of the flea treatments, so we had to bathe him every night. The water ran brown with dried blood. But now, he’s a beautiful, strong cat who is too smart for his own good. He knows how to open doors…not good! (He can't work the remote, yet.)


Skippy was next. I was getting out of my car at school and heard a cat crying. My friend Cindi arrived at the same time and dismissed the sound as a bird, but I crossed the street to the park and found a little orange and white kitten in a tree. I coaxed him down and he purred like a little motorboat. I took him over to school, but my principal didn’t want him in my classroom, so I asked one of my student’s dad to babysit. He brought Skippy back after school and told me the little guy followed him around the house all day. Don’t tell anyone, but Skippy’s my favorite.


The latest addition is Mama Kitty. I didn’t name her because my intention was to get her fixed and give her away, but…I got attached. She was another school rescue. The custodian found a litter of kittens by the boiler room and brought me to see them. They were VERY cute, but the mama was just so sweet, and her nipples were raw from nursing these little stinkers. The principal announced a kitten give-away, and I was told someone took the mother as well. A few weeks later, I saw her, though, and brought her home. She hates the other cats, but she’s actually really neat. She chases shadows and sleeps in clothes baskets and has an insatiable curiosity. I’m glad I kept her.


So yes, I feel like a single-handed cat rescue facility. I’m cursed with cat hair, and there’s always a critter moving in the house somewhere, but I love my furry friends.

MJ's latest release, Beneath the Surface, is coming from Samhain Publishing September 1.

MJ Fredrick



At 7:01 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

How many cats have you had in total? And how many are current residents? I love the pictures, especially the cat with the remote!

At 7:37 AM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Total since I've been married, not counting kittens, 12, I think. Way more when I was growing up. Most of them stick around a good long time.

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Judy said...

I'm always so grateful to know that there are people who are willing and happy to take in these creatures. My best friend is currently living with three rescued cats, stories much like yours MJ. The pics are fun!

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Wow, MJ! that's a LOT of cats! Sorry I missed your post yesterday. Thank you for taking care of so many lost cats in the world. You are my hero! Love your pictures and the cat, I think Skippy, who can open doors and use the remote! ha!

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

MJ, You're my hero! I love people who don't just walk by an animal in need! Your cats are so CUTE !! My four are a source of constant amusement, frustration and love for me. I wouldn't have it any other way.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Mary Curry said...

MJ, my daughter would rather have you as her mother than me. She says she's going to be a cat lady some day. BTW, when we scrolled through the pictures first, she said Skippy was her favorite, then she saw you said it too!

We just have the one rescue dog and one rescue kitty, but for someone like me who has never had a pet other than goldfish, that's quite enough!

Theresa, my kitty's name is Bart too. Well really Bartholomew but that was too long for such a small bundle of fur.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

MJ, I think you are the BOMB!!! My cats tend to come from my children, but I don't know what I'd do if I came across a stray kitten. My son's girlfriend adopted a stray kitten last year (one we babysat last week) and she is the sweetest thing!!!

At 4:45 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Judy. I have to say, my kitties give me joy, except when they're crying outside the bedroom door at 4 AM ;) Good for your best friend!

Thanks, Theresa! I alway wonder if people think I'm nuts--there's always someone moving around the house. Never still ;)

Thanks, Louisa! Four is a magic number for cats, I think. I really REALLY didn't intend to keep MK but she is a neat cat and grew on me ;)

Mary, just your puppy sounds like a handful. Skippy is my sweet baby. My son's gf seeks him out every time she's here. I tell my son she doesn't come to see him, she comes to see Skippy. And Mama Kitty's favorite napping spot is in an empty laundry basket, so guess what's in the middle of the living room? They are spoiled!

Thanks, Diane! I used to tell my students to tell me when they find a stray cat, now I tell them NOT to find me! With 5, I have to say no and that's so hard!

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Dr. Debra Holland said...

I wish I could be a cat lady, but I think my two wouldn't be very happy with me if I brought home another one. Then there's the reality of the litter box...

Nicky can open doors too. (Although not the ones with round knobs.) He jumps up and hangs on it until it swings open.

At night, I have to put a big pillow against the door so he doesn't come in and wake me up.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Funny, Deb, I'm coming over to respond and Mama Kitty is hollering at Skippy. They are NOT friends (I do wonder if she's his mom, though, because I found them in the same place, though years apart.)

Good idea about the cat!!!


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