Dash was an accidental cat. He was born under the deck in late October, 2007. His mama was an exotic longhaired beauty, and his daddy evidently was a handsome traveling man. I had seen his mama a couple of times as she furtively slid along the side of the house and under the woodpile. It being Fall, I didn’t think about kittens until I heard a tiny but determined “mewp, MEWP, MEEEWP!!” one evening as I returned from work. It had snowed a few days previously, but there hadn’t been any cat prints in the snow in all that time. Realizing that it was likely that misfortune had befallen his mama, and that the cold and lack of food would soon doom him, I went out to the barn and brought a live trap up to the house. I speak fluent “cat”, and thought that I might lure the kitten out with just my voice, but nothing doing. He answered my calls, but remained hidden and unaccessable. I set the open trap, baited with canned cat food, right up against the opening under the deck, and went inside to wait. About two minutes later, CLANG! I had him! Itty bitty as he was, I’m not sure how he tripped the lever. Blue eyes, tiny ears on the sides of his head, no teeth, just little bumps of teeth-to-be. He could hiss though. And arch his little back although he wobbled on unsteady legs. I reached in and picked him up in spite of his threats of mayhem and bloodshed. I brought him inside, sat on the sofa, and offered him some warm skim milk from a syringe. “Hey, it’s warm in here! And there’s food! And I don’t think that this big clumsy thing is going to kill me!” We were friends from that moment on. Dash dashed everywhere, always. And he talked, and discussed, and chatted, and pondered, and demanded, and talked some more. He was never cold, or hungry, or lonesome, ever again. His life was far too brief, a mere 8 years. But they were good years, happy years, warm and cozy years. Dash, Dash! Dash on!
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