Change Yourself…Change The World.

The Best Little Kitten
May 16, 2013, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

I never had cats growing up. My Dad and sister are both allergic (and supposedly I am as well, though that theory has since been tested false), and so we’ve only had dogs. Therefore, I never really got the ‘cat thing.’ I didn’t consider myself a cat person, and I never knew what to do around my friend’s cats.

So imagine my surprise when I unexpectedly got paired with a kitten as a sort of ‘end-of-service’ surprise!

One Friday night about a month ago, I was getting in my daily exercise by jogging down my favorite running trail (P.S. in Paraguay ‘running trail’ means ‘dirt road to someone’s house’). This running trail is my favorite place to jog; the road is small and winds through fields, passing a tranquil pond that looks spectacular when the sun sets, and eventually ends at a family-owned horse barn. It’s quiet, and there are barely any motorcycles or cars that drive by to kick up dust (never a fun time trying to run while choking on red dirt).

As I turned a bend, I came upon a tiny black kitten in the middle of the road. He was bone-thin, with matted fur, and small enough to cup around one hand. But he was very much alive- he immediately jumped on my shoelace, wanting to play.

Before his first bath

At this exact moment, a rare car passed by, with the owner of the farm inside. Disoriented, I picked up the kitten.

“Is this your kitten?” I asked him.
“No, sorry,” replied the man.
“Do you know who’s he is?” I looked around the path. There were no other houses in site, and I was totally confused as to how a kitten that small could have gotten out in the middle of nowhere.
“I’m sure that people threw him out here to die,” the man said nonchalantly. “When people don’t want dogs or cats, they usually leave them here.”

Angry, but unsurprised (I’ve heard plenty of similar stories), I resolved to bring the kitten back to my house so that he wouldn’t die once the night became cold.

Originally this was a short-term plan- I would take care of him for the weekend and then give him to my city’s vet on Monday, so that she could find him a home. But over the weekend, I completely and unexpectedly fell in love with him.  Perhaps it was the constant climbing into my lap to snuggle, or the purring of contentment every time I petted him, but I soon became completely hooked. And after I gave him a good bath and some medicine and cat food, he completely transformed from a mangy little thing to an adorable kitten. I named him Harry.

Harry’s first weekend at casa Brittany.

There’s something about having a kitten that just makes life so much better. For the past month he’s been my wonderful companion and snuggler. He is a very sweet and gentle cat- he loves to cuddle, drink milk, and play with the variety of DIY ‘cat toys’ I made him (twisted pieces of tape and balls made from paper). He also loves hide and seek.

Harry likes to sleep by my lamp at night.

He also likes getting his belly rubbed.

My windowsill is one of his favorite places, since it’s sunny there all day.

Harry hiding in my covers

After living with him for a month now, I have officially become converted to ga-ga over the moon catdom, and I totally get it now. I get all of those LOLcats and ‘I can haz cheezburger,’ and those ‘crazy cat ladies’ stereotypes. I love having a cat. Or more importantly, I love having Harry. One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. I still can’t believe someone would throw a little kitten out into a field to die- but their loss is my gain.

I promised myself I would never get a pet while in Paraguay because I become so attached to them. And this has proved true- I am absolutely attached to this little guy. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons I can’t bring him back to the United States (for starters, my parents have banned any other pet addition after I brought a puppy back from India– and rightly so, since I left her on their doorstep while I traveled around the world!) Fortunately, another Volunteer who loves cats and lives close-by is happy to take him when I leave.

So for the time being, I feel so grateful for Harry to have entered my life – even if it’s just for a little while. He’s a great friend, and he has made the end of my service in the Peace Corps wonderful.

I love you Harry!

7 Comments so far
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I’m so glad you let this little guy enter your heart!! I LOVE KITTIES TOO!!!

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