Sunday, February 13, 2011

Management Team, Part V: Dora

This is Pandora Grace Diane, or "Dora" for short.  She came into our lives about 1-1/2 years ago, back in July 2009.  I had lost Gus and Isis within less than 10 days of one another the previous March and had thought I might get a kitten or two the next Spring.  I had a speaking engagement at Stone Cottage Gardens in Gladwin, Michigan, run by my good friends David and Mary Moore.  They have a lot of outdoor kitties that folks have dumped on their property; they do the best they can (they're both deadly allergic) in terms of feeding and vet care, but it's a challenge.

Back in July 2009, they had had a number of litters and Dora was among the kittens.  I actually met Doni, whom you will meet next week, first, but it was Dora to whom my heart went out.  When I met her, aged about seven weeks, she had a severe upper-respiratory infection, with her entire nose caked with mucus so she couldn't smell anything, and so was not eating particularly well.  I spent some time cleaning her up and treating her with some silver nitrate Mary had on hand but she was very sad nevertheless.

I decided I would take a kitten home.  But to decide between Dora and Doni was difficult, if not impossible.  Then I thought about the environment from which they were coming - highly social, outdoors, in the country -  and the one to which they would be going (especially as they would both have to be quarantined until their health stabilized)  - isolated, indoors, in the city; I decided to take them both.  My friend Theresa Dearhamer had made the trip up to Gladwin with me; she had the dubious privilege of carrying the two kittens in their carrier on her lap all the way back to the Detroit area.

The "kids" went to the vet on Monday, two days later, and we started to treat them.  Interestingly, although they had prize-winning ear-mite infestations, neither had any fleas.  The upper-respiratory infections were the biggest challenge, especially with Dora, but they both began to recover and then flourish.  When I let them out of their "room", Dora was the first to begin exploring, so I named her Pandora.

She is also the sweetest cat I've ever known.  It seems impossible for her to do anything that is not adorable, including (believe it or not) having a hairball.  So, I named her "Grace" as well, for her grace of spirit.  And she is a great hunter (she brings the mousie back to me so I can throw it again - when we play "Throw" - "Fetch" is a *dog* game) - so I named her Diane as well, which also happened to be my Mother's name.

Because Dora *is* so adorable, we have added a new word to the English language:  "Pandorable".  And she is, thus far, universally acknowledged to be so.

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