Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Clara and Alice: the beginning

I thought I'd start by recording what I know of Alice and Clara's beginnings, and of their years with me. I really don't have a great memory, so some of these memories may be a bit different from reality, having changed with each re-telling over the years.

Alice and Clara were likely born in or near a barn on a farm near Milton, Wisconsin in May or June of 1998. When they were about 1 month old, they were perhaps orphaned, because they approached the farmhouse together. Inside the house was Clara the human, the owner of the farm and who had terminal cancer, and Alice the human, Clara's long-time friend who was looking after Clara in her last months. The human friends had a couple of older house cats as well as some other cats/kittens they'd taken in--there were something like 40 cats that they fed from big bowls in the barn, too. Alice the human decided to give the two kittens who'd approached the house a bit of food, but Alice the cat bit Alice the human when she tried to feed her off her finger... thus resulting in Alice and Clara the cats becoming house cats while they were monitored for signs of rabies. Alice the human put them in a cage of some sort with food, water and cat litter in an empty Spam (or was it just ham?) can--the cats started using the litter box immediately and warmed their way into the humans' hearts. Because Clara the human was dying of cancer, they decided (a couple months later) to try to find permanent homes for all the cats in the house. I knew Clara's nephew, Dean, and somewhat by accident, ended up saying I would take the two kittens into my home--I'd really been enquiring about the kittens because my friend, Tinsley, had said she was thinking of getting cats, but then she decided not too, and I felt bad that it had fallen through, so I said I'd take them. And I'm very happy that I did.

This photo is likely by Alice the human and the miniature house in the center of the photo is from Indonesia, where Alice and Clara the humans spent something like 40 years of their lives as missionaries (with regular trips back to the States for fund raising). This is the only photo I have of Alice (in back) and Clara (jumping down) from before I took them in.

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