Kitten Kaboodle and Staying in the Moment

March 9, 2008

Outside, trees and shrubs tugged at their moorings. In a riot of branches and pinecones, it seemed as though they really wanted to get away in a hurry.

It was a weekend after a bad week, one of missteps and worries. Now the sky had gone from gray to black. Wind howled and hurled things at the house. Rain hissed on glass.

There was not a lot of rain, but the wind bulled its way up from Texas and other rowdy areas in a way that indicated what it thought of Yankee landscapes.

The kitten, Kaboodle, purred like a Cummins diesel and chewed on my hand.

She was naked.

Kaboodle is one of the semi-feral cats that lives outside, bumming around on the deck and looking for – and getting – regular handouts. There’s an ongoing project to spay and neuter the population, but, well, it could be going better. Hence, Kaboodle, and Autumn and Agate and Amber, (this is the Year of The A’s) and a few more.


 Kaboodle is inside because she came down with some bacterial equivalent of the Mongol horde and was clearly dying. We scooped her up and took her to see Doc Dodson. After a couple of weeks of dosing her with medications and special food, she’s bouncing off the walls and full of mischief.

She is also, as I noted, naked as a new bird, and warm as a fresh biscuit.

Well, nearly naked. She’s normally a long-haired cat, but her feeble condition left her unable or uninterested in personal hygiene. By the time we intervened, her coat was a filthy mass of felt, impenetrable, full of burrs and dried feces.

There was nothing to do but to have it all clipped off, and keep her inside until the weather warms up and she has some protection. By that time, of course, she’ll be part of the household and probably never be an outside cat again.

I have to say that there wasn’t a lot of cat under all that fur. The groomer clipped off everything but the fuzz around her face, the end of her tail, and her feet. She looks like a rat in a lion costume and fuzzy slippers.

Outside, the wind was hitting gusts of up to 60 mph. Now and then something thumped against the wall, as though the wind were hurling small children at the house. With each strike Kaboodle turned toward the source of the sound, and stopped purring for perhaps a full second.

I leaned back in the recliner, watching the front move through, clawing at the world as it passed by. I played with Kaboodle, who returned the favor, and at the same time tried to show me how to live in the moment.


© 2007 Marsh Creek Media,

Gettysburg, Pa.

“Burger to Go” is a product of me and my company, Marsh Creek Media and, as such, I am solely responsible for its content.

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