The firefighter walked into dispatch about one in the morning. "Anybody want a kitten?" he asked.
Seeing a big, strong firefighter cuddling a very tiny little cat would melt even a heart of stone, and we all know my heart is made of much softer stuff.
"Ohhhhh, it's so tiny!" I said. "Where did you find it?"
"Outside on the wheel of my truck, squalling its little head off," he said.
You know I claimed the little thing as mine.
My partner and I gave it a slice of deli ham, two slices of deli turkey, and a saucer of water. The kitten consumed all that and then went to sleep on my lap. I worried about the 35-minute trip home, but the little cat slept through that, too.
When I got home, I gave the furbabies an inspirational speech. "All three of you are rescues. You were once the new kid and didn't know anybody, and were scared. I expect you to remember that and be kind."
Louis, who was rescued from the intersection of 40 Highway and 7 Highway in Blue Springs by a nice police officer, was not impressed. He pretends the new cat doesn't exist.
Gracie, who was found outside the very same fire station in the dead of winter, hissed and spit at the newcomer and then retreated to the kitchen to talk things over with Louis.
But Libbi, who was saved from Death Row at a vet's office, welcomed the new kitten with an open heart. She crawled right up in the cat tree with the baby cat and snuffled all over him (her?). The kitten started rumbling a purr.
I call the new cat Florian, after the patron saint of firefighters. It seems like a good name, given that it was found at a fire station and on a day when we had such bad news from Arizona.