Flashlight Farmers
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Friday I worked late and had 15 minutes to kill while waiting for some files to transfer to disc.  I saw a kitten on craigslist.  Normally I can ignore kitten ads, but this one said he was only two weeks old and desperately needed someone who knows enough about bottle feeding animals to keep him alive.  Hah!  I can bottlefeed anything.  So Junior came to live with me.

Sally Dog wasn't real sure that she liked the new addition to the family.  She kept trying to sneak up behind him to sniff, but when he turned around to face her she jumped back like she thought he'd bite her head off.  Eventually she decided to put up with the little critter, especially since I firmly told her that Junior was not a squeaky toy and she'd better not chomp him.  Junior's belly only holds about an ounce of milk at a time, so I was up every few hours all night to give him a bottle.  I tried to keep him in a box on the nightstand, but he was lonely and cried.  He ended up sleeping on the bed.  I don't know how he made it through the night without getting squished.  When I woke up he was perched on top of me, purring away.

Coincidentally, one of my Great Pyrs had a litter of pups that very same day.  Seven fat white puppies.  Hmmm....seven puppies....eight teats.  This could work!  Calypso has a history of foster mothering.  When I sold her last litter I brought home two girl pups and Calypso instantly decided they belonged to her.  Maybe she'll just think it's a funny looking dog, I hoped.

Junior, meet Calypso.  Calypso, look, here's another puppy!  I sat in a corner of the stall a full half hour to be supervise, just in case a light bulb went on in her head and she realized her new puppy was somebody else's cat.  Nope, she fully believes that Junior is her offspring.  She feeds him, she cleans him, she guards him and gets nervous every time I pick him up, just as she does with her own puppies.  Junior is only a fraction of the size of his littermates, but he's already learned how to get past his bigger brother and sisters to claim a teat.  That little tan spot right above the head of the puppy on the left is Junior, perched on top of mom and diving in from above the rest of the pack.
Best of all, Junior now has brothers and sisters to snuggle with.  They'll quickly grow to ten times his size, but I have a feeling that he'll be able to hold his own and probably even show them who's boss.  And Calypso will always have a special bond with this barn cat, even if he is a little funny looking for a dog.

May 10, 2009


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