Re: [gardeners] new kitten -- long post

penny x stamm (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 23:47:18 -0400

Barb, My grandson Greg has a 4-y-o indoor cat which has been
his boon companion ever since he rescued her from pure neglect
after a car accident which had left her mamed. She is totally wild,
would walk across the ceiling if she could, and he calls her 'Boo!" 
because she is so skittish. They lived alone in a one room pad in
the outer suburbs of New York while Greg went to Community 
College and worked his every spare hour at an auto body shop to
support himself. 

At the age of 23, he rented a u-haul, stuck his few posessions and
two big beds and bureaus inside, and of course, with Boo on the seat
besides him and his girlfriend following behind in her own jalopy, he
set off for life down in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he hoped
he would never again see a flake of snow. They rented a clean 6-room
house in the woods, newly painted light beige from top to bottom and 
end to end, and with fresh beige carpeting on all floors, and moved in.
A bed and bureau went into one room, and a bed and bureau went into
another room, and the other four rooms held absolutely nothing except 
a tv on the floor in the living room, and a tv on the floor in the extra
room, and his computer & chair in the last room. They enrolled in the
state university system, she with a major in police work, and he with
a major in math. She got a job as the pretty girl at the perfume counter 
in a nice store, and he rented a huge empty garage, and went into the
auto body repair business....   

When we went down to visit last May, Greg had bought a used lawn 
mower and a pair of large hand hedge clippers, and he was trying to
get the place in shape so the landlord would not carry on about all
the car carcasses strewn across the back yard..  There was a 3-stall
barn which served as a garage. The left stall housed his auto tools, 
spare parts and collected junk. The middle part held a 1956 truck 
which had not moved even one inch in 25 years. The third part he 
reinforced with plywood and insulation, built a door on hinges, and 
that's where he kept his current car being repaired. 

We wondered why there was an old lawnmower in the middle of the 
back yard, just sitting there...?? Oh, laughed Greg, Diane had 
decided she would cut the "grass", but had quit after a few minutes
because the wild bees were after her. Their house is in the middle of 
a peach orchard, of course. So under Grandma's baleful eye, Greg
grabbed the mower and did the job himself. Diane had tried to prune
all the old nameless shrubs around the house, but the gnats chased
her away. Greg, meanwhile had cleared out the wild brush from the
front door, and left some promising empty flower beds. Of course,
they'll never get planted -- not unless Grandpa and Grandma do
it, not likely....    

He showed us around pridefully... over the parts side of the garage
was a concord grape flourishing without care, a delicious discovery 
he had made. Between their "lawn" and the farm was a 200 ft long 
planting of wild flowers. Behind the garage were rolled bales of hay. 
There was only one house to be seen for miles -- just woods and

But at least it did not snow.

Greg was in 7th heaven, but Diane was awfully lonesome. They both
got home every day about 9:30pm, grabbed some dinner which they 
ate sitting on the floor, showered and collapsed into bed. 6:00am he
was up so he could get to the gym before school. All day weekends 
he was at the auto shop. And not even Boo gave her any solace, 
for that cat flatly refused to he held and petted! 

And then one day, Diane heard a very faint "meow" at the back door...
The rest, of course, is history. She found the tiniest kitten hiding back
there, picked it up tenderly, and brought it inside. The next morning 
she made the time to bring it to the Vet, got it all checked out and
okayed, and Boo now had a companion. Well -- no, not exactly. Boo
had a rival. In fact, Boo was extremely upset! She chased that little
thing back and forth thru the empty house for hours!  Eventually, with
Diane's intervention, they learned a modicum of proper behaviour, 
and could be left alone glaring at each other while the kids went off
to work and school.  It was no use to close them in separate rooms,
for Boo could open all the doors in the house. So now, when Greg
gets home, one cat will be sitting on top of the TV, and the other cat 
will be lying on the farthest windowsill..  and Diane is allowed to walk
around cuddling that kitten night and day. Greg says this seems to have 
answered some maternal instinct within her, and she is much more at

My hubby and I looked around and said to each other Good Grief, 
Charley Brown, what a life for two kids brought up in suburbia!  But 
we do remember what maveriks we were  -- can you believe it, 
fifty-five years ago when we struck out to become independent, and
wanted no help from the old folks..  And we have to add, thank God for
wildflowers and concord grapes -- and kittens! 

Penny, NY

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]