Adopted: May 1999
Ariel debacle, Wendy swore off ever getting another cat. But, Sox
genuinely seemed lonely. One day, Wendy’s dad called to say that Kim’s horse
riding instructor was fostering a litter of orphan kittens. Since Wendy
had dumped an anti-social cat on them, they couldn’t take a cute, cuddly
kitten, but did Wendy want one. So, on Memorial Day weekend, we drove to
Marietta to pick-up 5 week old Orion. If you’ve never seen a 5 week old
kitten, they weigh about 1lb. and fit in the palm of your hand. We were
quite anxious about taking care of such a little kitten. Wendy was afraid
he was going to starve, so she made Craig stop twice on the way back to
Cincinnati to make up formula and feed him. She was also concerned that he
couldn’t get enough formula out of the bottle, so she fed him with an
eye dropper. That was the beginning of the end for Orion’s waistline.
Sox let Orion know who was boss right away with a hiss, then took to him.
Orion was still too young to poop on his own. The mama cat has to stimulate
any bodily excretions by licking her kittens’ strategic area. Not being mama cats, we
didn’t know this. After a trip to the emergency room for an enema (yes,
it was quite expensive), we learned that we’d have to do the job of the
Fortunately for us, Sox is a natural Daddy kitty. He quickly took over the
bum licking job and all was well.
Can you find the baby
kitten? This is Orion at 6 weeks visiting Wendy's Steele grandparents at
their former home in Beaver, PA. Little Orion went missing for a while
until Linda found him snoozing in a plant. We all thought the little guy
was too small to climb stairs. At dinner time, we left him safely in his
basket in the basement family room. About thirty minutes later he appeared
in the dining room. Orion had managed to claw his way up the carpeting on
each step and then make the long trek down the first floor hallway. He
must have been pretty lonely.
After we took Mama Kitty away from her kittens, they sought nursing
comfort from other sources...Eventually, they figured out that since Sox
and Orion didn't produce milk, but the boys apparently made great
pacifiers anyway. Doesn't Orion look so resigned?
2004 Episode: A recent Orion story that may be of interest occurred last
Thanksgiving. Wendy’s Mom was coming down the stairs just before
Thanksgiving dinner. The house was full of company including our exchange
student and one of Craig’s friends who hadn’t wanted to spend
Thanksgiving alone. Linda didn’t see Orion sitting on the steps until it
was too late. A metal plate and 9 pins later, Linda’s ankle is back to
new. As she lay in her hospital bed asking for more morphine, she had a
message for Wendy to deliver, “Tell Orion that I’m not mad and I still
love him.” This from a formerly self-professed cat hater!
It turned out that Orion wasn’t doing too
well himself. He seemed to have an abscess at the root of his tail. The
day after Thanksgiving (no emergency rooms for cats in Marietta), we took
him to the vet and discovered he’d been shot by a bee-bee gun. The bullet
hole had become very infected. He, like his grandma, recovered and is back
to his old self
2005 Episode (1 day before Wendy went into labor with Isaac):
Craig came home on Nov. 12th 2005 from flag football to find his 40+ week
pregnant wife not home. Frantically searching he found a cryptic
note from Wendy to the effect of "Went to the E.R. with Orion...finish
making dinner". Not to be shown up by Isaac, Orion has once again
succumb to a November disaster. When Wendy was holding Orion that
night, she noticed he had a funky smell. A few minutes later she
noticed a huge flap of skin hanging off of Orion's front paw, and a
gigantic abscess on his back leg. Craig made dinner and brought it
up to Wendy at the Ann Arbor cat clinic. 4 hours and $380 later we
had a good as new (actually somewhat frazzled) Orion.
Wendy only got two more days pregnant than
this...and she can still sit on the floor! These two kittens entertained
us during Orion's surgery. The gray striped tortie female spent the entire
time bossing around the socks kitten. Poor guy. He spent all his time
removing poop from the litter box to play with.