By Rhonda Strehlow
She came sneaking into our lives on little cat feet.
We’d left the back door open because we were cleaning the garage.
We first learned of our invader when our dog, Buddy, started barking fiercely in the kitchen. Initially I thought one of those darn little chipmunks had sneaked in—that had happened before. But when I entered the kitchen, the first thing I saw was a tiny ball of fluff eating out of Buddy’s food dish. When Buddy approached to voice his complaint, she whacked him on the nose with a paw the size of a nickel. He backed off. She continued eating. When she was full, she decided to explore. We followed her from room to room. She ignored us.
“What should we do?” I asked my husband.
“Keep her?” He suggested.
“Did we want a cat?” I asked. Rescue dog, Buddy, was a handful. Abused by former owners, he was alternately scared or aggressive. We were still engaging the services of a dog whisperer to help him relax. Did we want to take on another potential problem?
Then I made the mistake of picking her up. She snuggled and promptly fell asleep.
“Please run to the store to get food and dishes and a bed.” I whispered.
“So, we’re keeping her?” My husband whispered back.
“It looks like it,” I said as she snuggled closer.
We live in the country. She had a long walk to get to our house. We checked with our neighbors, no one was missing a kitten.
When I took her to the veterinarian the next day and discovered she weighed exactly what my premature granddaughter weighed at birth, I knew it was a sign that we’d made the right decision. When the vet asked her name, I looked at her white paws and blurted out, “Boots.” That was a mistake. We should have named her Queen or Your Majesty since my husband, Buddy and I have become her loyal servants.