Imagine driving along the street one morning shortly after the rush hour traffic had died down, approaching a busy intersection and in the middle of making a left-hand turn spying a tiny ball of fur pressed hard against the concrete curb. Suppose that from, what at first glance appears to be an old car washing mitt, you suddenly make out a hind leg and paw. If you have any sort of compassion, you will easily know how you might feel once you realise that the ball of fur is, in reality a tiny abandoned kitten.
For me, there was a moment of shock. Fear of the worst. But for one such as myself, there is always that little glimmer of hope. The chance that if, once able to pull off of the road and run back to the spot, what can’t be…actually will be. There’s always an outside chance.
Imagine the relief to find that, miraculously, it has survived, and that out of all of the cars which have roared past all morning long; that out of every chance that the animal may have taken to instinctively scramble to safety and thereby insuring, instead certain demise, it didn’t.
This scenario actually took place precisely a week to the day before the death of our beloved Small Frye. There were other interesting parallels as well. The very evening before this remarkable rescue was when Frye began to lose control of her bladder and gave the first indications of the severity of her worsening condition. It was also apparent that the newly found kitten’s white hind leg stockings and forepaws were strikingly much like Frye’s, as well as her being of the same breed; a long haired domestic with a high nose bridge, whereas most cats exhibit a shorter snout and flat nose.
In addition, when the orphan was brought home and introduced to the other, much older cats, she was received as though her inclusion were almost anticipated, with no resistance and only a small amount of curiosity. Normally, the regulars would have been ready to do battle with any stranger, so much so there was an initial reluctance to bring her in at all.
It was only then after the kitten, who finally came to be known as Peanut, was accepted, did Frye’s condition worsen with alarming speed. A week later, the cat count was the same as the week before.
Frye’s offspring were clearly aware of their mom’s passing, and on the morning of arranging the grounds for burial, two of the four sat solemnly on either side of their mother’s lifeless body as though they were absorbing her vibrations.
Throughout the following week, the moods of Frye’s offspring took sudden turns. Popper, one of the females, sat almost exclusively where her mother had spent the last two weeks, on a phone desk in the kitchen. Bear, the only surviving male of her two litters, who is usually high-strung and constantly seeking attention, wandered the house in an extremely docile state, sniffing the house and lying in all of Frye’s favorite spots.
Then something amazing began to take place. Whether from the sudden separation from both of their mothers or some other anomaly, Bear and Peanut ‘adopted’ one another. They became, within the week, nearly inseparable, and one evening when they both lay at the back screen door, it was noted, with much incredulity, that Peanut was actually attempting to suckle Bear.
Our experience with cats during their mourning period was non-existent up to this point, and this revelation was surprising and inexplicable to us.
As of this writing, a period of adjustment seems to be upon us all, and each of us deal with the loss of Small Frye in our own way; but given the extraordinary conditions and situations that both Frye and Peanut were found, the way in which their lives almost seamlessly overlapped by only the one week, and all of the other similarities, it is no small wonder that it has been traditionally rumoured that these mysterious animals have live nine lives.