Kismet and his 9+lives

By Tara

The story of our Kismet should really begin with a reminder of the meaning of his name. Without that knowledge, the story misses it’s bullseye.

Kismet in short means fate. That out of the way, wait until you hear how Kismet has oh so creatively used a portion of his lives.

Kismet’s life began when he was squeezed out of his mother "Junior" while she was at a dead run.

His two siblings born immediately prior to him had suffered a quick death by the very one who birthed them. My sister of the heart who was Junior’s keeper rushed out to see what all the screeching and mewling was all about.

Junior was thought to be a male, thus the name Junior. Mikey saw the tiny corpses and rushed to save the tiny kitten from the same fate. Luckily Mikey’s barn cat had birthed a litter two weeks prior (erringly we thought Junior was the FATHER).

The barn cat nursmaided the tiny white ball fluff. When the other kittens weaned, so did Kismet…a bit early.

We attributed many of Kismet’s odd behaviors to this. And was Kismet ever odd. He had so many behaviors that made him so very unique! Well, Kismet got bitten by a rattlesnake and got quite ill….but survived! The only remnant was a puckered scar on his neck and a spot of dark orange hair that grew over it.

This is important. Kismet survived through the arrival of a great dane in the family…and became his best friend…actually we think Kismet was more like a mother to Shadow. Kismet would bathe him, especially his ears…and Shadow loved every minute. Well, one day Kismet was on the roof moaning and mewling for a little help down. I rue the fact that I didn’t take the time to fetch a ladder, instead I braced myself and used the bumper of my car to boost me up a bit…just high enough to gain a little purchase on his furry foot. He slipped out of my grasp and in true Kismet style did not land on his feet. He landed flat on his side and jumped to his feet with a look of shock and surprise before looking at me with a growl in his eyes. He ran off into the field that adjoins our property and did not return home. Not that night. Not any night after.

My assumption would be that there were some internal injuries and he did as cats do and went to find the right place for him to pass to the next life. Speaking of the next life…..

We did our grieving and made our memorial and months passed. The mice were invading us. Living next to the aforementioned field we were in a position to really need a cat. After family deliberation, we decided to visit the animal shelter. Three times we tried to go and three times we had some incident that prevented our trip from being successful. On the fourth trip, upon arrival a good two hours before closing, the volunteer was locking the door as we walked up due to a short staff problem. My children both began to cry silently and the volunteer took pity and let us in.

The only other human there was the "catcher", the man who drives the van and picks up the strays and reported animals. He was very busy with a hellcat at the end of the row of cat cages. When he finally secured the demon cat, he allowed us into the area to look at the available cats. We chose a long-haired dark calico with amber eyes, the opposite of our orange-pointed white short-haired Siamese with big blue crossed eyes. When the man left the room, I ventured over to the demon cat and lifted the big red sign that said "caution, extreme danger". I leaned down to look at the hissing ball of fur in the rear corner of the cage and did the typical "kitty, kitty, kitty". The man re-entered the room and freaked out that I was squatting anywhere in the vicinity of the demon cat.

By this time, said demon cat was purring and rubbing against the cage door. The next part all happened in slow motion in my mind. I reached for the latch on the cage, the man was pulling on his leather gloves that were necessary to handle this cat, I opened the door as my kids watched in amazement, the man yelled "noooooooooo", and lo and behold Kismet jumped out of that cage right into my arms…purring and rubbing his face against mine. The kids rushed over and I told the man that it was OK, this was our cat, missing since October.

It was now February. The story goes on that the cat had been picked up right before we got there and was set to be euthanized due to it’s dangerous nature. He would have been put to sleep right after the volunteer had locked the door. Timing was everything in this case. Thank the gods for the three attempts to visit the pound, and the three incidents that prevented it! Well, as if this story isn’t long enough or odd enough already, it gets better. We took Kismet home that day and returned him to his place in our family. He was the same old Kismet, cleaning Shadow’s ears and all. Sometime after his return home it occurred to us to give the traveler of mysterious places a bath. Kismet loves a bath, Really !

So, he luxuriated in the tub and I lathered him with flea and tick bath….just in case. In this process was I ever surprised to feel little testicles back there….Kismet had been neutered at the first opportunity! My mind raced and I made allowances and excuses for how this could be. Then during the drying process as my daughter rubbed his ears and I blow-dried him, my daughter was mumbling "ouch, ouch" and I noticed him kneading her calf as she sat cross-legged. No big deal, except KISMET WAS DECLAWED!!!

I called the vet. It’s impossible. Maybe a little vasectomy was done and I never noticed the testicles in there, and YES nails can grow back if the stem cells are left, but ONE, not a whole set of TEN!

So, here’s Not-Kismet with the little spot of dark orange fur on his neck directly over the place where there used to be a puckered scar. Here’s Not-Kismet loving his bath and cleaning the great dane’s ears.

Not one to take something like this lightly, I called upon a friend, my Wiccan friend who is amazing with healing energy. She came as soon as she could to do some healing on the imposter Not-Kismet. What she discovered was that our cat had passed in body, but his spirit lingered to find a way back into our lives. He took the body of a cat that was similar enough in appearance so that in addition to his antics, we would recognize him, which worked. The catch was that the cat whose body Kismet took was not quite ready to relinquish the physical and Kismet forced him out. Leaving us with a quandary. The hanger-on had to be moved on to the next life, and the healing began. Kismet will have to work out his own karma for THAT one. Funny thing is that our automatic cat box goes off at the oddest times, absent of any presence….visible that is. We’ve discovered that the other little kitty spirit won’t leave, and although we’ve made our peace with it, it’s still a bit discomfiting when it makes it’s presence known. We’re glad to have our little fated kitty back home though!