You Become Responsible for What You’ve Tamed « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowYou Become Responsible for What You’ve Tamed

You Become Responsible for What You’ve Tamed
Published on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by

Corolla Feral CatIt began years ago in Corolla with Hotdog Kitty. There are many feral cats in the Outer Banks, and this orange cat was one of them. We threw a hot dog down to him and he raced to it, quickly dragging it behind him in to the bushes. From that day on he was called, “Hot Dog Kitty.”

One of his descendants, another orange and tan cat, seemed to be a bit tamer. One of the locals feeds all the wild cats, naming each of them. There is Grumpy Old Man, Tigger and of course Dusty, Hot Dog Kitty’s offspring.

My daughter, cat whisperer that she is, was able to gain Dusty’s trust and pet him. Our hearts were broken when we found out Dusty didn’t make it through the cold winter. We thought he did at first, spotting an orange cat running around here and there. But we discovered the original Dusty didn’t make it and this cat was fairly new and probably yet another descendant.

Some of the locals called her D.J., for Dusty Jr. But we suspected she was a “she” and called her Dusty anyway.

Every weekend this summer my daughter and I would get to the beach house and take a walk calling, “Dustyyyyyy! Dustyyyyy!” Eventually the dialogue began. “Dustyyyyy!” (from behind a bush) “Meooowwww.” “Dustyyyyy!” “Meowwww!”

obx cats

My daughter began to save money for what we suspected would be a vet visit at the end of the season. We had to put my cat down a few weeks ago. And then out of nowhere, Dusty became so tame she started to run to us, let us pet her and tried to take steps in to the beach house.

We could NOT, in good conscience, leave her. My mind kept going back to The Little Prince, who learned from the fox what it means to tame something. We, along with many Corolla visitors and locals, had tamed Dusty.

Sunday, just before pulling out of the drive, my daughter and I got Dusty in to the carrier. It was a long and stressful two hour drive, with Dusty meowing and scratching at the box the entire way. “Did we make a mistake?” “No Mom. But if we did we can bring her back next weekend.” “Mom? Did we make a mistake?” “Remember honey, we can always bring her back.”

cat rescue

I held my breath as we opened the door and let her out in to the room. Expecting the worst, we only saw the best. Dusty was just waiting for someone to save her. This wild, feral cat not only settled in to the first blanket she has ever been on, but asks for constant love and attention. Scratch my ears? Stroke my face? Rub my belly? Dusty finally has a home.

If only I could end this story with all good news. But sadly, there is indeed some bad. Our first vet visit revealed she has feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV. She most likely got it from a male cat’s bite, meaning a bunch of the Corolla wild cats probably have FIV. Dusty can live a normal life with it, but it will most likely be a shorter life. But not as short as it would be had we not saved her.

feral cat vet visit

After the Little Prince tamed the fox, the fox told him a secret about the rose the prince had been taking special care of as well:

“ . . . One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. . . . It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .”

Our rose is Dusty. And she is indeed important.

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