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We lost our last kitty after 18 yrs. In our 70s, we decided we shouldn't adopt again. However, we were asked to "just look at" a family of 3, and were quickly presented with a Calico mama and two Tuxedo babies, 6 mos. old, who had been born at the clinic after mama was rescued in the wild. Our vet would let them go only as a family.The boy had a badly deformed leg from birth. Their only chance was probably to become mousers on a ranch. She wouldn't let that happen. What to do? Well, she knew us well. She said she would amputate the boy's leg as it would bother him badly as an adult, and they had their shots, and were all neutered.

So, home with us they went to meet their new siblings, a Bijon and a Cocker who took to them immediately. Gypsy (Mama) was cautious. Rovena ("Veena"), the pretty girl on the left, is a "born to be wild" baby coming in for food, short reassuring cuddles and to sleep with us at night; oh, and to yell about her adventures in the neighborhood. Bandit grew to a handsome, long-haired (with white guard hairs), boy with round, expressive eyes, and the best purr we've ever heard. He was a big. bold, cuddly boy who quickly made himself boss of the "hood", climbing trees and jumping fences with his three strong legs and letting any foreign cat know that they were not welcome. He was heart-breakingly lost to FIP. He is sorely missed by all. Mama Gypsy taught both of them the "ropes" of outside living such as catching mice, dodging cars, and strong self-defense. Gypsy took her time to be sure that this home and family was indeed going to be permanent, and after making sure her remaining baby was safe, she is now the most relaxed and domesticated feline we've ever had. While Veena screams out her tales of the day, Gypsy "chats" softly, telling us what she wants or just saying hello. They're a treasure we might have missed.

Jesse Farmer-Lowell
Salmon, ID

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