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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Minerva's Story

Last month, I put up a blog post about the "kittens," Magic and Mystic, on the occasion of their tenth birthday. And I promised to come back and tell you a little bit more about their mother, Minerva. (Pictured above.)

I went looking for pictures of Minerva (or Mina, and I sometimes call her) and realized that there were a LOT more of the other cats than there are of her. In part, that is because she is very shy, and runs away when she sees the camera. In part, it is because she is usually curled up with one or the other of her babies, as you can see below. (With Magic.)

Minerva's story is a sad one, but it has a happy ending. When I first saw her, she was at the shelter with four kittens--the kittens were in great shape, but she was sickly and terrified. The volunteers who ran the shelter told me that she'd been brought in by some "white trash people" (their words, not mine, although you do get a certain mental image from these phrase...) who handed her over, still large with the kittens inside her, and said, "This damned cat got pregnant. You take her." I just hope these folks didn't have teenagers...

[Pause to insert: PLEASE have your animals spayed or neutered. Thank you.]

That was a couple of months before I met her, of course. The shelter kept her until she had the kittens and they were old enough to adopt out. But the shelter workers were afraid that no one would want the mama cat (then named "Patsy" if you can believe it) because she'd had a rough time during the pregnancy and was sickly and very skittish. They thought it was possible she'd been abused, too. When I decided to adopt Magic and Mystic, they offered (pleaded, really) to throw in Minerva as a "bonus"--waiving the usual adoption fee and charge for shots.

I said I'd think about it, and make a decision when I came back the final time to pick up the kittens. But I really didn't intend to take her--not until I got back there and saw that they had moved the remaining kittens (my 2 and 1 other that was being picked up that afternoon) to a separate cage, right next to hers. If you could have seen that mama cat, alone in her cage, terrified and gazing with longing at her babies...well, SHIT, you would have taken her too. Yes, I know. I've got a neon sucker sign in the middle of my forehead. Those shelter people clearly saw me coming :-)

So I brought my little family home. (By way of a visit to the vet for tests, and medicine for poor Minerva.) I think it is very possible that the shelter folks were right about her having been abused, since she was extremely skittish and untrusting. It look me TWO YEARS to get her to sit on my lap. Of course, these days, she always wants to be there, so I'm guessing she's adjusted okay.

Minerva still doesn't come out of the bedroom when strangers are here (and strangers are anyone she doesn't see on a regular basis), but she snuggles with me all the time, and still adores her babies. I've never regretted bringing home my "bonus kitty." And I'm pretty sure she's okay with it too.


  1. I know this all too well. I am a sucker, too. I just recently adopted a stray who selected my deck to live on. She soon came inside because I do not like cats outside especially in the winter. She is currently recovering from her shots, wormer (a real mess)and whatever else she has reulting in another round of meds. I hope that she will soon join the other two cats. It will be nice to have her out where she can play with them and explore. Plus I need my office back so I can use my PC and not this laptop. We are both suckers, Deborah. I sometimes think there is a "sign" outside for other cats that says"sucker woman - stop here." LOL.

  2. Aw, she's so pretty. I'd have brought her home, too.

  3. Yup. And suckers are often nice people :-)

    And she is pretty. I'll tell her you said so.

  4. That brings tears to my eyes. Lucky Minerva!

  5. Very sweet story. You two (or four) were meant to be.

  6. We have five. The tortie Cleopatra, our eldest, was a six year old with a giant gaping oozing wound on her head - obviously, we had to adopt her because no one else would. She is the delight of my soul. Kiki was about 4 weeks old and a wild child and my friend said "I have a birthday present for your daughter" (at the time we had three dogs and two cats already, AND I was pregnant). SIGH. Thomas Malory showed up and adopted us. He's such a gentle giant. We went in for Raven and came out with Raven and Ariel.I understand the "sucker" thing all too well... But, I'm so glad I do because they are my darlings! :o)

  7. Thanks all.

    And Melissa, you deserve a prize. Maybe I can have pins made up for us all that say, "Yes--I have a neon sucker sign on my forehead. And your point?"

    Of course, it would have to be a pretty big pin.

  8. Oh she's beautiful! And such a good mommy, I'm glad she was able to come to the home where two of her bebbies were at. What a gift you've given them all.

    It's fascinating to see skittish or semi-feral cats slowwwwly become more trusting over time.