Calm Amongst the Chaos

Mama of 5 seeking calm in the chaos

About a year ago, long story short, we rescued some kittens. Little, dirty, angry kittens.
My sister and I split them up, she took two and named them Jack and Jill. We took two and named them Cinco and Mayo. Give you a hint what their “gotcha” day is 😉

 

Rescue mission
I love cats, I do. I can watch cat videos on YouTube all day long. We always had them growing up. My dad would say things like “I’m allergic”, or “they cause my asthma to get worse” all those little excuses for us not to have them, but they never worked. We always had cats. 
But myself as the mom of my family we had gone many years without a cat. I had become OK with the no cats thing, no litter boxes to clean out. No cat food to buy. I kinda have a lot already in my life with 3 kids, a husband and 2 dogs so yeah I was really OK with the whole no cat thing and totally honesty here, I wasn’t “all in” when I brought these guys home. I wasn’t super excited we had kittens, I felt dread that I had 2 more responsibilities to add to my plethora of responsibilities. 
Why did you bring them home then Kim? Well because my heart is often way bigger than my brain. It’s a thing.

But nevertheless I brought them home. I bought the litter box, I kept them in our closet because they were so used to a tiny space they didn’t walk right. They cowered with each step. They hissed at me all the time and I thought I was going to surely die when I tried to bathe them. They weren’t very nice. The kids couldn’t get too close to them and they thought this whole kitten thing was a bust. They were so cute, but man.. not nice. But we trudged on. Mayo slowly started to warm up to us, enjoyed playing and eventually snuggling. Then there is Cinco. 
Cinco is probably a cat that Satin had to let go.
A week into these little animals in our home I got them to the vet. 
Vet mentions some patches of missing hair and says something about ringworm but has to check a hair sample. Will take a week or so. I think oh like worms. Cat will need a de-worming medication. That’s normal with strays I’m sure. Note this was all internal dialogue. Had I said out loud my thoughts the vet would have said “Oh no.. ringworm is a fungal infection that will eat you and your family of of your home… YOU DO NOT WANT RINGWORM”
A couple days later my very good friend and neighbor calls me, she was just leaving the pediatrician with her daughter who was just diagnosed with ….. ringworm! Her Pediatrician asked my friend if her daughter had contact with any feral cats and what do you know.. yup she had Mayo all up on her with snuggles. Sweet little P had ringworm on her face, hands and neck and WAS DUE TO BE A FLOWER GIRL IN A FEW WEEKS. After that call I went straight to Google to see what the heck is ringworm and what do I see? It’s not a worm! It’s probably worse, it’s a fungal infection that won’t go away. Now knowing what I was looking for I noticed Andi had spots on her hands and I then I saw a spot ON MY NECK! I want to add my friend was so super cool about the whole thing and if it could happen to any of my friends kids, I am so glad it was hers. BUT still mortifying to say the least. And now we all had it. As a few days later Oliver woke up covered in spots.
As fast as you can say worm I was on the phone with our vet to say no need to wait for the test, we all have freaking ringworm. The vets office said I needed to bring them in weekly for sulfur dip baths for 6 weeks! It was $80 a visit! I went online to try to remedy it myself but realized I would be giving them baths every couple days and there is no way I would survive bathing these crazy cats so I sucked it up and took them in for 6 weeks to get these sulfur dips. 
They came home so stinky. 
One time I threw a towel they were on in the carrier in the wash with other towels and all the towels reeked like sulfur. It took so many washes to finally get the smell to go away. So we all had ringworm on our bodies. The dogs even got it. I had to throw things away, I had TO WASH EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF CLOTHING I HAD IN MY CLOSET THAT THE CATS TOUCHED… EVERY SINGLE PIECE. I have a lot of clothes. I vacuumed like never before and daily. I bleached what I could bleach and used apple cider vinegar on what I couldn’t bleach. And we had towels that smelled of sulfur. 
And not to mention we were on furlough from our friends. No one wanted to come over. It was like our home had the plague. Our home did have the plague.
It was awful. So seriously awful and I am not kidding, it took month, MONTHS to finally feel free of the ringworm. 
And all this for cats we really didn’t want, we certainly didn’t need, and one of them I am pretty sure is devising a plan for my death. 
But here we are nearly a year later and our family, EVEN Andrew, LOVES Mayo. He snuggles, he follows us around, he loves to be held and pet. He likes to go inside and out, but never goes far. He is the sweetest cat and we are all in love with him.

 

Cinco, well he’s OK. He and our little dog Teddy love each other, so he does have some feelings. I guess.
Lily and Mayo (after ringwormgate, for the record Lily never got ringworm)
A year ago I went really unsure into something that completely turned our life around for awhile. I was worried I just had more responsibilities by adding two cats, but I added huge expenses I wasn’t planning, super annoying itchy spots that seemed to never leave, embarrassment for feeling dirty. Andrew said when he was a kid he wasn’t allowed to play with a kid with ringworm and now we had kids with ringworm. It really was an awful experience. An awful experience we can kind of look back and chuckle about, because I mean if it were a dog we did all that for he would be all thank you. I love you. You are my world. But we did all this for cats. Cats that are like yeah.. so what. Feed me. Pick up my feces. Open the door. Pet me. No don’t pet me. Pet me. 
So why share this story? I mean who looks like the dummy here? Me, of course. Me who takes home kittens I don’t even want and then get caught up infecting our whole home with ringworm and then spending our hard earned money on getting rid of the ringworm. It sounds insane. I thought I was going to go insane. But I kept taking them to their appointments. I got them neutered. I got them immunized. Why. Because they have beating hearts. Because without us they are helpless. Because they became OURS. 
I can’t help but look back at all this and wonder if our God has a really odd sense of humor. A strange way of opening our hearts and worlds to things we never expected. 
I wonder if all that happened so we can take a new step into a whole new direction that is so frightening. 
Andrew and I are half way through foster care classes. If all goes well and on track we could be licensed and fostering by this July. 
Why? Because the numbers of kids in care is astounding. Because we own a house bigger than we need and have an empty room just sitting there waiting to be filled. Do we have a lot of responsibilities with Lily and Andi Jane and Oliver? Yep. Do we still add more to our plate so a child can not sleep in a shelter? Yep. Do we have any idea what we are opening ourselves up for? Nope. Do we let fear make that decision for us? Nope. 
Am I scared? Holy crap yes. I am in tears as I write this. Because I like that our youngest is 7. I like that we have passed the baby and toddler years and as hard as it is having a tween right now emotionally, I remember how hard it is physically to have a baby/toddler. Actually I don’t really. I think I blocked it all out. I like how neat our house stays now. I don’t really care to be anymore inconvenienced than I already am in my life. I honestly don’t really have baby fever either, this isn’t for us. This is for a child who wasn’t lucky enough to be born into this world by an organic only eating mom who plays by the rules and does everything to keep her child safe. These classes are teaching us stuff I never have to see or even think about in our safe Gilbert, Arizona bubble. The statistics are awful. Heart breaking. Stomach aching. Our goal is to keep a child safe in our home while their parents do what they have to do to make their home safe. Is that how it will go? I have no clue. Could the road lead to adoption? Maybe? Do I want that? Not necessarily. We don’t know.
Sometimes God says take this step and you do it. It’s scary. I keep feeling like if I take my eyes off him for one second in this I am like Peter sinking into the water. I can think of all the reasons to say no. I have a lot. I say them to myself all the time. But what if we just keep saying yes anyway? 
Jesus said take care of the widows and orphans. That’s what he said. He said to love others as ourselves and even if that means bringing in ringworm, or lice, or numerous sicknesses and kids in care are under extreme stress are often filled with sickness… even then? Especially then.
I am sharing this because we want support from friends and family. I realize people will say but you guys work, have Lily, etc, is this really the right thing? Best thing? Do you know what can happen?? Yes. No. Maybe so.
One step at a time with open hearts we say yes. 

 

Please be in prayer with us. We want you to be on this journey with us. 

2 thoughts on “The Cat’s Out of the Bag

  1. I love this Kim. You are such a role model to your kids and so many mom's. I admire your big heart and can't wait to hear how it goes. Big hugs. 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Such a great post! I also love cats. Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs. 🙂

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