They Call It Puppy Love…

…but they should call it KITTEN LOVE! In case you missed the dozens of pictures on Facebook, we adopted a kitten a couple of months ago Chez Crane. That wasn’t my idea, by the way. Our old cat, the infamous Chaps, passed away at the beginning of August. I was in no way ready for another cat. And then…

Kimba Oct 2013 017…one day while I was off celebrating a friend’s birthday, a girl (now grown-ish) who grew up with our girls in the neighborhood found a recently-orphaned kitten outside the building where she works. Its litter-mate was dead nearby and, obviously, the mother was gone. Probably hit by a car. This tender-hearted lass brought the tiny orange-and-white bundle to her parents’ house in our neighborhood. Her mother took one look and gave her a concrete-firm, “NO!” So she called the Crane house, a den of soft-hearted and impulsive creatures who can’t resist an orphan. She quickly got a yes.

Kimba Oct 2013 008Not from me, mind you, but from Mr. Crane and my youngest, who was home from college on Fall Break. Now, I love cats and I am as susceptible to an orphan as the next person. However, I had reservations about taking on a kitten. See, my father was a veterinarian and I grew up around tons of cats, dogs, birds, fish, rodents and reptiles. I am not at all starry-eyed about animals. I looked at the kitten and knew it was only a few weeks old and probably not fully weaned. In other words, an incredibly high-maintenance little bundle of fluffy goodness.

Kimba Oct 2013 003But of course, one look and I knew for sure we were keeping it. Him. His official name is Kimba the O.G. White Lion. He was named by my son. Why he got to name the kitten when he hasn’t lived with us in 9 years, I have no idea, but he tossed it out there and the girls loved it. So Kimba he is. He was obviously the product of a feral mom, who taught him a lot in his 4-1/2 weeks with her. He has great grooming habits, learned to eat canned and dry kitten food in short order and possesses a ton of personality. He fits right in!

Of course, I’ve spent the past 8 weeks driving home at lunch every day to feed him, since he needs to eat at least 3 times a day. He has already been to the veterinarian 3 times and is costing us a fortune. And since it’s Thanksgiving this week and we always spend it out of town? A pet sitter for two days that is costing us over $100 and my husband is returning Friday night rather than Saturday or Sunday as he thought, so the baby won’t be alone or lonely.

Kimba and Jombie Q Nov 2013 077Is he worth it? You bet! Because we’ve all fallen prey to the Kitten Love.

Tell me your favorite baby animal story! Many of us have rescued an orphan or suddenly-homeless pet and we would all love to hear about yours. If you’ve not had a pet, what kind would you like? For some reason, I dreamed my son was little last night and adopted a lizard of some sort with a fungal skin infection we had to treat. Where does my brain get this stuff??

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  • Shannon says:

    I lost the last of my shelter kitties on 4 July. I adopted “Julia” and “Robert’ when the shelter informed my ex and I that they were on the “list” because no one wanted two older kitties that had been declawed all four feet. We ad to sign extra waivers that they would never, ever see the great outdoors. Like you, I’m not ready for another kittiy, but I know that sooner or later one is going to call my name and to mix metaphors my number will be up. I’m just grateful with my current situation, I didn’t have to find a pet sitter and then promise her a fortune when I found I was going to be staying longer.

    BTW, if I get the GR, can he visit the wild turkeys again? He can also strut his stuff before the new buck. There’s disagreement on whether he’s a four point or a five point one. He’s a canny one; there’s no hunting in this suburb.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Shannon, for better or worse, you have the GR today. I’m sure he would love to run with the wild turkeys, but is that safe so close to Thanksgiving? He might end up on someone’s menu!

      Then again, he is a bit canny, like your 4- or 5-point buck, so he might do just fine. 🙂

      Good friends of ours just lost the last of their cats about a month ago and they went about 2 weeks ago and adopted two more cats from a shelter. They got older ones with issues that made them really hard to place. One, it turns out, had a fractured jaw that had never been treated (and was hard to diagnose) and it got infected and the kitty ended up losing a couple of teeth. $850 later, the kitty’s jaw is healing. I really admire them for taking these cats on. And you, too, Shannon, for taking on your older cats!

      When you are ready, there will sadly be LOTS of cats in need of homes. I’m sure one will call your name before YOU are ready, but then you will be. 😀

    • Shannon, congrats on snagging the GR! Put him to work if he gives you trouble.

      I’m sorry for the loss of your kitty. It’s always tough when a four-legged family member goes.

      • Shannon says:

        Unfortunately, our dinner guests got up, cleared the table, and did the dishes before I could put him to work.

        PS: He was pleased that it was roast beef on the menu, not chicken.

  • Becke Turner says:


    We adopted a four year old Moyen poodle two years ago and within a few weeks he was part of the family. The good news is we didn’t have to suffer through potty training, chewing, and night whining while he adjusted.

    Since this was our second adoption, we have gone through the baby animal stage. It takes patience and perseverance so kudos to you and your family. However, the effort is well worth it.

    Since I’ve already told the stories of the baby squirrels, birds, and possums, I limited my post to Sammy.

    And of course he’s traveling to Florida to welcome my son home from deployment and visit my mother for turkey day.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Becke, you are like Dr. Doolittle at this point! I love your baby animals stories and you have so many! Our dearly departed Chaps was about 1-1/2 when we adopted him and I was so happy we didn’t have to go through the baby stuff with him!

      Honestly, when your kids are grown, it’s tough to gear up for all those developmental stages, even for a kitten where they don’t last long. We are currently cutting teeth and learning (daily) what is okay and not okay to chew on. I’ll be so glad when he’s down to 2 feedings a day!

      And I’m so happy you and your darling Moyen are going to FL to see your son and your mother! I hope his travels are safe and you all have a joyful time together!

    • Becke, congrats on getting your boy back!

  • Connie Fischer says:

    I adore kitties! After finding one under the porch of our rented cabin in NC, we took it to the vet for treatment only to lose the baby that night. When we got back to Florida, I went out and adopted a little kitten and then adopted a second one a few months later. I could easily be a Crazy Cat Lady if my husband wasn’t around to sit on me! 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, Connie, how heartbreaking! When we got Kimba, I was (being me) doing lots of research on the care of young kittens. One of them made me laugh, because it said if your orphaned kitten doesn’t make it, don’t blame yourself because many of them don’t. If your kitten does make it, don’t congratulate yourself because it had nothing to do with you.

      At first, that seemed a bit harsh, but then I realized it was absolutely true. We are so fortunate that Kimba was the strongest of his litter and made it despite the odds. And your little angels you adopted in FL are so fortunate to have you as a forever mom!

      As for the Crazy Cat Lady thing, I think you, me and Joan could all be in danger one day. There are probably others, as well. Like Catslady! 😀

  • catslady says:

    Oh, so glad you took him in. I have a million stories lol. At the moment I only have 5 inside cats (3 were my daughters which is a story in itself) and I had 3 females that I had fixed outside but I am now down to one 16 yr. old and the males that come and go. I had one of these females have two litters one summer and another female had another
    one (that’s when they both got fixed lol). One night I heard these horrible and quite loud cries from my back porch. It ended up being the tiniest kitten covered in motor oil. Like you, vet visits, but this one still needed to be nursed so I fed him every few hours with a baby doll bottle. He would settle down on my shoulder under my long hair lol. He turned out to be my alpha male and we were very close. I had him for only 13 years – Ollie. (named by my daughter – she also name Kitty, Chloe, Chee Chee and Dementie lol. Good luck with Kimba – he looks like a cutie.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Catslady, I had a feeling you had lots of kitty stories to share! I am so grateful Kimba was just past the time he would have needed bottle-feeding. I would have done it, but I am getting too old for all that! 🙂

      I can’t believe you found Ollie covered in motor oil on your porch! It makes you wonder whether he escaped a terrible fate or just fell into an unfortunate mess, doesn’t it? There are so many horror stories about people (mostly young men) tormenting helpless animals. I can’t understand how anyone could hurt an animal, especially a baby or geriatric one with no defenses at all!

      It certainly sounds like your daughter inherited the Cat Gene from you. One of my sisters left her (pregnant) cat at my mother’s and the one cat turned into three! She already had one cat, so we had the four of them for YEARS. My sister never came back to claim any of them, either. Figures! 😀

  • Hey Caren,

    It would HAVE to be puppy love for me. As cute as Kimba is, cannot breathe around the furry little buggers! Now puppies…yeah, they melt my heart. And the comfort of a big grown dog, the one that trails after me all day long and happily greets me when I get home? Yeah, love those guys, too!

    The day we brought our late Rocky home was a hoot. We walked in the door and let him down. Hubby said, “What’s that?”

    I grinned and said, “Our new dog.”

    Hubby, “Didn’t know we wanted one.”

    Me, “We not only wanted one, we needed THIS one.”

    End of story. 🙂

    Hubby now seems lost without Rocky, so I suspect we will be looking for another puppy to love soon.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, Suz, I know you guys are missing sweet Rocky. Actually, Mr. Crane can’t breathe around cats, either, which is why Kimba is in training to be an outside cat. Well, our definition of “outside” is debatable. It isn’t in the house, but it’s far from huddling in the cold.

      Kimba has the (rather cluttered) garage as his personal play area and living quarters. There are no cans of gas or anything fume-emitting (those are in the pool house’s garage area). He has work tables and benches, shelves, bicycles and some light gardening tools, as well as coolers and, currently, the very back seat of our ancient van in there.

      He also has a covered bed sitting on two rubber-backed woven mats, filled with towels, t-shirts, layers of other insulating textiles and a low-voltage pet bed warmer (covered with a tightly-woven cotton blanket, naturally). He also has a stuffed angel snowman in there that’s as big as he is.

      There is an old buffalo lamp with a bare, old-school incandescent bulb to emit heat for him, as well. And his play area is a large, tightly-woven cotton area rug I had in the house years ago. Every time I go to feed him, I have to round up all his toys and stuffed animals and put them back in his play area. The back side of the garage (his kitty pad) also has an outside window, which is insulated with thick layers of clear plastic to cut drafts but let in sunlight. He has a pet door in the side entry door, too, but that will remain closed until he is older.

      He is free to go in and out these days when we are home, but he must be inside at night (coyotes) and while we’re working. Eventually he will be able to come and go at will, but he’s only 12 weeks old, so not yet.

      I can’t wait until you get a new puppy and we get to see pictures. I know Tawny has a new baby doggie and I hope she hops on to tell us about her today! 😀

  • Helen says:


    I have been watching Kimba on facebook and he is so cute, this is the longest we have ever been without a pet of some kind and we have rescued many because I couldn’t say no and been through a lot with them all. WE have had many dogs and cats over the years they are so much a part of the family but at the moment we have decieded that we won’t have anymore but I know what I am like and if someone asks me to help with an abandoned one I would 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Caren Crane says:

      Helen, I am not surprised you have taken in many animals in need. Who could say no to an animal in need of a forever home and lots of love?

      I’ll admit, I enjoyed going on vacation in September for a week and not having to worry with pet care issues. I never expected my animal-free break to last such a short time!

      I’m sure some irresistible critter will find its way into your home and heart one of these days. I’ll be watching FB for pictures! 🙂

  • Kimba is such a cutie – they do steal your heart with a look, don’t they?

    My story – We had our pound puppy, Oreo, for about 16 years. Loved the dickens out of her, but the time came when we had to put her down. It broke my heart, but two years later – I wanted to get a new puppy. The dh and I went to a number of local shelters but we couldn’t find a dog to fit. At the last shelter, my husband suggested we look at the kittens. All these years – and I’ve been married 40 – I thought he was allergic to cats. He said – he didn’t know if he was or not, he’d never had one.

    So we got a little black kitty that we named Shadow. Bandita Anna Sugden had told me that people don’t adopt black cats so they have a higher chance of not leaving the shelter, so naturally we adopted one. Loved her but she was determined to get outside at every opportunity. One day she succeeded and we never saw her again. Heart broken again – I collected all her toys to put away when my husband surprised me with another black kitty. This one is Coco. Coco is a true scaredy cat. She’s afraid of everything including open doors. We’ve had her for a little over a year and we love her to death.

    It’s funny the two little kittens had such different personalities – even to the preference of toys. But they both managed to snuggle into our hearts so very effeciently.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Donna, it broke my heart when you lost Shadow, and I was so happy when the DH surprised you with Coco! Black kitties are tough to place. Around here, they won’t place any after Sept. 1, because they are afraid people will do mean things to them around Halloween. In November, they begin to place them again.

      I’m so glad your Coco is scared of being outdoors. Actually, we’ve been fortunate that Kimba is frightened of almost all noises. He runs back into his Kitty Cave all the time! He knows where his safe place is and he hustles there whenever anything scares him. He is most unlike our previous orange tabby, Tiger, who was 16 pounds of muscle and scared of NOTHING. He thought he was a fierce jungle cat! 😀

  • Had to laugh – here’s the quote for today sent to me by another loop:

    There are two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats.

    ~Albert Schweitzer

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Your Kimba looks like a sweetie and he’s clearly pretty tough! Hope you all will be happy together!

    I often say we never asked for any of our pets, although that’s not strictly true. First we had a neighbor who abandoned his cat when he moved to a no-pets apartment. Everyone in the building fed her but when it came time to have kittens where did she go? Yep. She had two litters of kittens in our bathroom before we decided to officially adopt her, but the day we were going to take her to be spayed, she disappeared and we never saw her again. I also had a lovely lynx-point Siamese kitten follow me home one day; he stayed the winter with us but when spring came he slipped out the door one day and went on his way. The only one who had the good sense to stay was our rabbit Oreo, who just showed up in our front yard one day (we suspect he was somebody’s Easter bunny that they got tired of.) He knew a good thing when he saw it and was with us for eight years. He was a little high-maintenance in that he had a malocclusion which would have killed him in the wild, and we had to dremel his teeth once a week, but he put up with it with a good grace. We still miss him but can’t afford another pet right now.

    • Caren Crane says:

      EC, isn’t it funny how all your pets have adopted you? I really think that’s how it works most of the time. My brother and SIL always have a motley assortment of dogs and cats, most of which simply wander onto their property and stay. They have anywhere from 4 – 5 cats and at least one dog at any given time. 🙂

      Having to Dremel the rabbit’s teeth is the oddest thing I’ve ever heard of. And every week?!? You guys qualify for sainthood! I hope better times are on the horizon and that they arrive before the next pet shows up! (((hugs)))

    • Joan Kayse says:

      Dremel teeth?

      A cold chill just went down my spine!

  • Kimba is a doll, Caren! Sounds like he has the fanciest kitty condo in existence.

    You all know I have a menagerie of rescued dogs and cats. Well, now it is just one cat. I have lost my three male senior cats in the last year. I lost the brothers, TIgger and Pooh within two weeks of each other. I worried after Tigger died and I was off to Atlanta to Nationals three days later. My niece pet sat for me and Pooh was fine. A few days after I returned from Nationals I woke up to find Pooh peacefully gone at the foot of the bed with two of the dogs lying next to him to keep him safe until I awoke. I had those boys from the age of 5 weeks until they passed at the age of 14. They’d never been apart in all of those years.

    Now the feline queen of the house is my 7 year old Miss Rebecca Marie. She was dumped on my attorney’s doorstep at the age of @ 8 weeks and because the attorney had just adopted two feline hating dachshunds she asked me to take Rebecca. She was raised by my late Great Dane, Glory, and thinks she is a dog. Even runs to the door and stands on her back legs to be picked up when I get home from work.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Louisa, I’m so sorry to hear about Pooh and Tigger. (((hugs))) Not surprising they couldn’t live without each other for long, though. What a sweet story and what long, happy lives they had.

      I’m certain Miss Rebecca Marie had the best foster parent ever in Glory. I can only imagine how large and in charge she believes herself to be! And it’s entirely too funny that she stands on her hind legs when you get home from work. “Pick me up, woman, I’ve been waiting for you ALL DAY!” 😀

      Somehow I don’t doubt that other kitties will find you. Probably come springtime when all the critters are having babies, you’ll suddenly have a bunch of hungry kittens meowing at your door!

      I’ll admit, I went and added more hand towels to Kimba’s bed today. It was in the 30s last night and all day today. It’s supposed to be 20 tonight. Brr!!

  • Awwww, Caren! He’s totally adorable and completely worth all your time and money! (Ha! Easy for me to say!) I have no personal tales to tell of raising baby animals–except in my books. In my new mystery series, my protagonist has the most darling orange striped cat that looks so much like your Kimba, I’m getting a little choked up. 🙂 But since she’s fictional, she’s no expense or trouble at all. Yay!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Kate, I love it that you have an orange tabby in your book! You can totally rip off any Kimba-isms you like. I’ll happily share tales and pictures and videos and…hey, do you want Kimba to come visit for a while? He’s no trouble at all. Really! *eg*

  • Caren, so sorry I’m late to the party! Got a book in last week and still trying to get my brain out of deadline panic and back to real life.

    Oh, man, I’ve got such cat envy. Kimba is gorgeous. Actually I LOVED Kimba the White Lion when I was a little un. Such a great show. Really think the Lion King ripped off the story.

    Laughing at you falling prey to the lure of those big eyes! Don’t blame you. I’m pet-less at the moment – every so often I see a sign up at the local shops of someone trying to pass off some kittens and I have a moment of madness but then common sense strikes again. Sigh, my lap would love a kitty to share it, though!

  • Caren, what a great story! All our pets have come to us as adults, so we really don’t have any baby animal stories.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Nancy, you are very wise to adopt grown animals. Grown, trained animals are even better! Dealing with all the baby stuff is much like having an actual baby. That was kind of my least-favorite part of motherhood, so having a baby animal is more than a speck challenging for me. I’m sure we’ll all survive, though.

      It’s supposed to be 20 F here tonight, so I am looking forward to getting into my warm bed and snuggling in. Kimba is already in his kitten chateau on his pet bed warmer, surrounded by towels, t-shirts, blankets and stuffed snowman angel. He will emerge warm and sleepy-eyed sooner than I care to think about! 😀

  • p226 says:

    I pulled mine off of doggie Death Row in Georgia. There was an animal control officer on one of the gun forums I frequent, who had taken to putting up pictures of dogs in kill shelters in hopes that a member would come adopt them. I saw this picture of a thin, nearly emaciated, but still beautiful cinnamon colored Husky. I couldn’t help myself.

    It was a race against time. She’d overstayed her welcome on death row, and Tuesday was her execution date. All this stuff is set by policy, and there’s little the shelter workers can do. So, 4AM Monday, I hopped in a rear-wheel drive mustang and headed south. It started snowing in the mountain. The entire states of Virginia and West Virginia were snow-covered. In North Carolina, it turned to ice. And all they have to treat the roads there is sand in the low-land counties. It was the longest white-knuckle drive I can remember.

    I made it with one hour to spare before the shelter closed.

    She rode silently and calmly in the back of the muscle-car while I hammered home on the thawed and dried roads.

    It took us months to get her back to a normal weight. She’d been dropped at the shelter after just having a litter of pups, whose fates I never knew. Vet checkups, some weight-gain kibble, and pretty soon she was integrated to the family.

    She’s a beautiful, and very sweet dog. Dumb as a box of rocks, but she’s so sweet everyone forgives it. Just dumb, happy, and pretty. I should be so lucky.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Awww, P226, what a great rescue tale! I’m sure your sweet, loving cinnamon Husky is super-happy to have you as her human. Sometimes the dumbest animals are the best pets, too. My sister’s extra-dumb cat, Bas-tet, was actually a great cat. She really was the dumbest cat I’ve ever seen, but so sweet!

      My mom has a similar story about her rescue Pit-X, Duchess.

      Mama saw her picture on some rescue website while she was visiting in Nashville. She and my sister decided to swing by the rescue place on their way home to Charlotte to get her and another Pit-X my sister planned to adopt. They drove way the heck out past Tellico Plains, TN (the boonies) and that, as Mama says, “…is where the road ended.”

      It is a harrowing tale involving barbed-wire fences, burned out trailers obviously used to cook meth, door pounding and dealing with drug dealers who also happen to rescue animals. Duchess and the other Pit-X were incredibly happy to get out of there. She is one of the smartest, sweetest dogs I’ve ever seen. She had had a litter of puppies at some point, probably too young.

      She’s been a wonderful companion to Mama and really tries to watch out for her. She is also very wary of men and delivery trucks. Which probably tells part of her tale.

      Thank you for your rescue heroics, Keith. I know your far lady appreciates it!

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Welcome Kimba!

    SO sorry to be late to THIS blog cause…yanno…I have this thing for CATS 😀

    I love my 2. They were both rescues through the local Humane society. Cricket had to have lost her mother young cause she would “nurse” on my shirt. She still does it.

    I used to think I would not go for a black cat but have totally changed my mind since getting Grayson who is so dark gray, he might as well be black. Have I mentioned lately how much I love these two? 😀

    I also adore volunteering for Kitty Comfort at the KHS. The kittens especially LOVE to be petted and snuggled. I croon to them, and encourage them that their forever Mommies will come (Anna C……) So here’s to Rook, Trickey, Salem, Snitch, Emma, Ivy….