… a mostly true story with a happy ending; names, dates and some places changed to protect the innocent. by LUDDD CREEF… meow 2020

Hello, my name is Trudy, I want to tell you my story and say thank you to many people for saving my kittens and me.

For many years I was what country people call a barn cat. My home was a big barn with many other cats and sheep and a nice old dog named Roger. The sheep never had names and they never tried to be friendly. (basic farm rule, never name the food animals). Roger said he had been run over by a big blue tractor when he was about five years old. That accident had broken his back and he was unable to walk for a long time and the farmer had considered shooting him. Roger was a hunting dog and the farmer had paid $500 dollars for him (the real reason he was spared). Life had not been easy for Roger. He was afraid of farm machinery and even the lawn mower caused him to limp to the back of the barn to hide.

Roger and I became friends because we are both handicapped; he limps slowly and I am mostly blind. I can see distant things but nothing up close and that makes me fearful. The other cats have been very kind to me because they realized I can’t catch anything to eat. Roger and the sheep get food but the barn cats do not. The farmer (I think his name is Nicky) says if you cats catch those mice, you will get all you need. Roger shared his dog food and I survived.

My life has had three beginnings and that causes me to realize that I am a lucky girl after all. Life was wonderful when I was a kitten because I was a fluffy calico tortie Manx of black, tan and brown fur. The little farm girl named me Mary Lou. My little girl was named Betsy and she was a pretty, spunky girl with auburn hair and a beautiful smile. Betsy had claimed me from one of my mom’s litters and there were many. After a few weeks Betsy was told that the kitten had to go back to the barn.

Betsy cried and argued for me but one day while she was at school, Nicky carried me to the barn. He tossed me onto a bale of hay and said, “Good luck cat.” I cried too as I looked around and realized, no more warm house, no more food /water dish but worst of all, no more Betsy. The other cats came over to say hello but soon shunned me when they realized I was partially blind. The guy in charge of the barn cats (a big gray tom named Buster) said, “OK everybody, this kitten is partially blind and we must share our mice with her,” and they did.

Betsy did come back to visit for a few months and she would bring me treats. Eventually my coat became dirty and cluttered with briars. An older cat named Louie sorta adopted me and helped me get clean. He often brought me half a mouse treat for supper. He always ate the front because those mouse brains are the best part. Louie taught me to refuse any mouse that smelled like CHEESE because they had been poisoned and it would kill a cat too.

On one of her barn visits Betsy explained why I was returned to the barn. She said, “Mary Lou, if you had just used the kitty pan you would still live in my bedroom.” Well that explains everything except, WHAT is a Kitty Pan? Nobody ever mentioned that before and I sure never saw it.

As Spring began to warm the barn some of the boys invited me to play house and it was fun. I had no idea there were repercussions. A few months later one of the other girl cats told me what was happening and why I was getting sick each morning. My first litter of kittens was scary but I loved them instantly. They grew fast and the prettier kittens were taken away, never to be seen again.

After several litters of kittens two women in a van with Humane Society letters on it came one night and put eight of us in cages. As we drove away Roger yelled, “Don’t be afraid, these people are angels come to save you”! I cried to be leaving Roger and the only home I ever knew. Only the girls were put in the cages and hauled away and we cried to be leaving our kittens, friends and the barn. My kittens were yelling mama, mama...I cried.

The van ride was scary and noisy. We all cried and clung to each other. One of the Humane Society ladies spoke to us and said, “Please don’t cry, your life has just taken a turn for better times.”

We were examined and cleaned up and given food and water. The lady doctor examined me, then said, “This one is pregnant.” I was given a separate cage and a couple of needle shots. I went to sleep on a big pink blanket. When I awoke I realized that more cats had been delivered and all of the pregnant girls were put into this special delivery room with me. We exchanged stories; some were difficult to hear. Most of us had known some kind people, others never had and they survived in drainage ditches or at dumpster sites. All had near death experiences to describe and many had scars to display; we all cried.

My kittens arrived on April 12, 2020, Easter morning. They were hungry and noisy. The lady doctor person checked on me and said, ”This is an experienced mama; she knows what to do.” Indeed I had now delivered a total of 12 kittens of various colors and sizes. This litter was two husky orange boys, a girl who resembled me and then a surprise … a little runt girl without a tail. After we were stabilized we were given another van ride to a place called “Little Switzerland.” Nice people looked at my kittens and all said, “Oh what beautiful babies.” I was so proud of my babies. The foster home was nice, and there was a family dog who reminded me of Roger, without the limp. Our foster mom picked up each squirming kitten and gave them a tiny hug. After a few weeks people began making visits. My babies were all furry and beautiful. The two boys went to the same home and the lady who got my twin already had one young cat who needed a companion. There was also a dog who soon realized that my kitten was now in charge of the house.

One day the telephone rang and the lady said, “Yes we have two Manx, a mom and her baby girl.” A couple of days later two people came for a visit. They were older people who sat on the floor with us. They spoke in soft voices. I wondered which of us they would adopt? Within minutes they said, “We want both of them, mom and daughter.” I could not believe my ears. My runt kitten was running around like a 2-pound wild cat; they laughed. The foster mom said, “we call mom cat Candy and the runt we call Jelly Bean.” Both of the people frowned.

The foster mom said, “Both mom and the kitten have baggage. The mom is partially blind and the kitten has stenosis which is a spinal bone deformation.” The couple looked at each other, smiled and said, “Perfect, we want both of them.”

The foster mom smiled and explained that both cats would be spayed and get all of their shots at Humane Society expense. A date for adoption was set and the older couple left.

Weeks elapsed and finally the big day arrived. We went into a big cage and took a ride in a little blue car for about thirty minutes. Finally we arrived at our new home and we were allowed to inspect the entire house. Special attention was paid to the location of the food dishes and the two kitty pans. My runt was running from room to room yelling, “Hey mom, look at this” as she discovered places to climb and hide and toys to play with. Eventually we learned our new names. I’m Trudy and the runt is Pippa. We have both gotten our spay operation that included a tattoo that says, “I have been spayed.”

Summer was great. We have a big porch with sliding glass doors so we can see all of the wild animals that walk right up to the house. The humming bird feeders are so busy with the little birds buzzing by all day long. Pippa hides when the man runs the mower to cut the grass, but I know that the mower will never come in the house. There are bugs for Pippa to chase, catch and eat.

Winter and cold weather are ushering in Christmas and all of the special music and food and a plastic Christmas tree thing. We do not know what any of this means. The tree thing looks like fun but we are not allowed to climb in and examine it. There is a fly swatter thing hanging from one of the branches and ho, ho, ho has been replaced by loud shouts of BAD KITTY, get away from that tree. We love the attention and run away.

We love our new home and the people are kind and fun. We nap in their laps, we play chase the string and we play with our toys everyday. A chair has been set in the kitchen so I can watch each meal. The conversations always include the beautiful cats and how much they love us. I have had three names but only one real home where cats are included in the family and valued as members. I am so grateful that kind humans made space in their hearts for two cats who are helpless to make their own way without them.

Pippa and I love our new names and the plastic Christmas tree thing. Life is good.