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The Adventures of Deaf Kitty
Deaf Kitty happy to be home with the dog

I have a deaf kitten. He was about six weeks old when a friend of my husband's brought him over to see if he we wanted a cat. Some mama cat had kittens in his mother's neighbor's backyard or something to that extent, and the kittens were tame, but needed a home.  I wasn't inclined to take one, first, because I already have two children, a dog, a bunch of fish, and a husband, and second, because the kittens were all white.  My whole childhood I had pets upon pets- dogs, cats, guneau pigs, gerbils, even a tarantula, but the white cats were always the worst. They were not cute, they tended to be spastic, and they never listened. Not that cats in general are known for their great listening skills, but the white ones flat out ignored me.

When my girls saw the kitten, of course he was staying. And I had to admit, he was awfully cute, and not just for a white cat. He had big blue eyes, little bitty ears that folded forward, and the most animated face.  And he was calm, which clenched it for me. His very first act was to try to nurse on the dog, an Australian shepherd/border collie mix.  My dog, a female who was spayed before ever having puppies, didn't quite seem to know what he was doing, but tolerated it. She immediately took to the kitten, my guess is not quite knowing what it was, but recognizing it as something little that needed protecting.

Fast forward four months. We have since learned that white cats are often deaf, and my prior experience with white cats who ignored me was likely more the result of the cats not being able to hear than from an evil cat mentality.  When it became apparent that Kitty had more than just an amateur knack for ignoring me, I tested him by popping a balloon behind his head.  He didn't so much as move a whisker.  So Kitty was deaf, and I started learning other ways to discipline and call him than using words. 

This weekend, Deaf Kitty went AWOL. We don't know how he escaped, but when I woke up Saturday morning at the crack of nine, he was nowhere to be found. We searched the entire house to no avail.  He sleeps incredibly sound, so we had to look everywhere.  Finally, I made the husband take the girls through the neighborhood to look for him. 

The first round they found nothing. The girls were devastated. I myself was a little concerned about all of the potential tragedies that can strike a deaf cat.  My husband couldn't understand why the girls were mad at him, but he is the only one that goes outside at all strange hours of the night to let the dog out or to lock the car or to get the newspaper.  No one else had opened the front door since we had last seen the cat. 

Feeling guilty I suppose, my husband walked the neighborhood with the dog by himself. Around the corner, he spoke to a neighbor, who is a fellow dog and cat owner, and discovered Deaf Kitty had indeed found himself an adventure. It had rained all night, so apparently he had spent the night in the rain.  From the look of his fur when he returned, probably under a car.  That morning, the neighbor had her garage door open, and Deaf Kitty ran in and was immediately assaulted by the lady's pit bull.  She is good people, so she rescued Deaf Kitty, and put him in cat carrier, i.e. kitty prison, planning on knocking on doors to see who he belonged to because he was so friendly she knew he had to be a pet.   Since the hubby saved her the trouble, she drove Deaf Kitty home for us, depositing him in my arms.

Kitty was traumatized, and took a while before he was back to normal.  My 8-year-old daughter thinks she and I should colloborate and write a children's books called Deaf Kitty's Big Adventures.  Of course, she wants to be in it herself, but says she wants to pick  a "stage name."

I may give it a try, to make my daughter happy at least, but my stuff is usually pretty dark and grim, and I'm not at all sure Deaf Kitty's Big Adventure won't come out sounding sinister and nightmarish, more Tim Burton than Disney Channel, and not something most people want their little ones exposed to.  Maybe if I let her do most of the writing...

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Holli, I really enjoyed your

Holli, I really enjoyed your story and am glad that Kitty is safe at home. I didn't realize that white cats tend to be deaf. We once had a white cat in our family with big blue eyes that was deaf. He grew to be quite large and fluffy. He was loveable and always wanted to lay on my chest when I was reading a book. When we moved, we couldn't take him, so my uncle adopted him. For the life of me, I can't remember his original name. My uncle re-named him Boom-Boom.

That would be great to write a story about your kitty--as you say--with your daughter doing most of the writing :). Hopefully, his personality reveals a new name for him.

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Deaf Kitty

Rebbecca,

We played with names, Snowball (my choice), Cobain (my 11-year-old daughter's choice after Kurt Cobain), Fluffy (my 8-year-old daughter's choice), but since he can't hear and doesn't respond to his name, it seemed kind of pointless to fight about it. We pretty much call him Kitty, which is awkward because I have a friend named Kitty, but at least we all agreed on it. My cat also likes to lay on my chest, especially when I'm sleeping, and he's getting heavy so one night I woke up thinking I was having a heart attack or my lungs were collapsing and it was just the way he was sleeping on me.

Incidentally, we brought Kitty to the vet today to get the snip-snip, so I don't think he'll be trying to escape as much in the future.

Holli