The Heart of a Lion

We have eight indoor cats, two of which were planned. The others were rescues, and we love all of them. The most recent (and the one dearest to my husband's heart) is Richard. Because of the strength of this little boy's heart, he earned the name of "Richard the Lion-hearted."

We live out in the hill country in Texas, and where we park the cars is a fair walk from the house. One day, when I got out of the car, I heard a kitten. I followed the sound to the fencing around the house. I called out, and this little bowlegged kitten was struggling to get to me.

His eyes were still that black of newly opening – I'm not sure he even saw me. I kept calling and he kept crawling, wobbling with each determined step. He got to the trellis fencing and climbed up and over, then proceeded to climb up my arm, still yelling at each step. This little man was hungry!

I scooped him up and went into the house, frantically holding onto the squirming handful. The only thing in the fridge remotely looking like it would help was cottage cheese. I sucked up the liquid into a syringe and squirted it into his mouth. That worked, but only for a few minutes. I called my husband and told him what happened, and he picked up kitten milk and a bottle.

As soon as he came home, we fixed him a bottle and he latched onto it with all four paws, demanding more. Such a fighter! We kept that belly round, and he has grown into a beautiful spotted orange wonder. We think he is a cross of the feral cats and one of the bob cats that roam, as he acts differently from the others. He loves to play with the red dot, and as he crouches, he looks like he belongs in the savannah, rather than a living room.

Samantha Conklin-Rose

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