The Story of Mindy/Ratty Catty/Bunny

25 11 2005

The above mentioned names are actually the name of one cat. And yes, it is the cat that I mentioned in the squirrel post. The one who was frozen solid in a pan of milk.

So here is how that all went down….

On our ranch, when I was young, we had a few milk cows that were milked every morning and evening in our barn. I remember them well, one was red and short and one was huge and black and white (a Jersey and a Holstein I believe, for all you cow breed buffs). They were nice and all, but there were two things that were extremely cool in my pre-school mind. The milking stool and the barn cats.

The milking stool was this hand-made, rough-hewn stool that was crafted out of a log and a plank. It was heavy and old looking. It fascinated me. You sat on the plank (of course) but you balanced on the one log. There were no legs, per se, just one big log that was a bit rounded on the bottom. I think it was especially nice for milking because you could tip forward and nearer to the cow. Mobility is especially important in cow milking (I guess).

The barn cats were my absolute favorite. I loved them. There was Mamma Kitty and Gray One (and if you haven’t read my post about him – you must do it). Mamma Kitty was always having kittens. Outdoor cats don’t have a huge life expectancy, but she kept us supplied with great mousers for a very long time.

This particular day, she had a litter that was up and running around. Not tiny, but not ready to be out on their own either. She would bring them down for milk every time we milked the cows. We had a pan that was about 10 inches across and a few inches deep that we would pour milk into for them. It was warm and steamed in the below 0 degree air. When we left that night the kittens were happily lapping up the warm milk, filling their tummies for the night.

In the morning, it wasn’t such a pleasant picture.

One of the smaller kittens had obviously fell into the milk during the pushing and shoving the evening before. It was so cold outside that the milk froze quickly, obviously freezing the kitten along with it. It was terrible. We chipped the kitten out (I think it was my Dad, sister and I) and cried and cried (just my sister and I, not my Dad). He agreed to take it up to Mom (I’m sure it was just to appease us) to see if she could “save” it. I think he was hoping that the act of trying would be enough to mend our broken little hearts a little bit.

My Mom grabbed the kitten, tapped on it’s frozen eyeball with her finger, and grimly said that there was little she could do. But, she wrapped it’s stiff little body in a towel and placed it in front of the fireplace. I am unsure whether this was done in an attempt to really save the kitten, or in an attempt to make us feel better. The kitten would be more comfortable in heaven if it wasn’t a frozen block of kittenish cuteness, right?

Hours later, when Mom went to bundle up the kitten and begin funeral proceedings, she was amazed to find that it had enough life left in it to kick itself off the ledge of the fireplace and onto the floor.

It was alive.

It was now our indoor cat.

I named it Mindy – after Mork and Mindy (Hi Squishi!). The name was a terrible one, and she eventually became Ratty Catty (from my Dad) and ended up being Bunny (not sure why). She was an odd cat. She started out short haired, and when she was a few years old morphed into being long haired. Her litters of kittens were patterned like a SAT question. One kitten, then three kittens, one kitten, then four kittens, one kitten….I think it stopped there. And she would lay in front of the fireplace staring and purring at her own personal God for hours.

I guess her quirks were understandable after all she went through.

And the best part? Her almost amazingly short life span was increased by more than just a little bit. Bunny lived to be in her twenties. I’m not exactly sure the exact years, but she was born in 1976-77 and died around 2000.

Cool, huh? (No pun intended)




5 responses

25 11 2005

I love that story. That poor kitty! But it sounds like MindyRattyCattyBunny ended up having a good life. 🙂

25 11 2005

A very very lucky kitty indeed.

26 11 2005

What a story – a kitty messiah resurrected from milk and going on to lead a full and happy life…

26 11 2005

i was sitting there going “ahhh” and “ooooh” throught that story, then I laughed.

There’s NOTHING wrong with naming something Mindy! hehehe


You should have called him “lucky”

6 12 2005

i don’t think anybody in poor mindy’s sitch would label herself ‘lucky.’ lol

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