Having been rescued from the feral cat population at just a couple hours old, Oliver was bottle fed for several weeks. Still very particular about his food, he was very picky as a baby. If I failed to hold his bottle correctly he would throw a fit. I can still hear the piercing scream that came from his tiny throat. And he would wave all four paws up and down, wielding razor-sharp claws as weapons until I corrected my bottle-feeding form. Eventually I learned how to pin his front feet down while I fed him to avoid bloodshed.
While he was being bottle fed, Oliver went to work with me at the chamber of commerce. We had a good routine. He had a giant crate with a blanket and his stuffed cow to sleep with. He’d sleep and I’d work. When he woke up I’d feed him his bottle and help him…well…go. THAT was something nobody told me I’d have to do; believe me when I tell you that Oliver and I had daily arguments about who least enjoyed my helping his bowels move. Bleh. Afterward, he would play (ah, the glorious days when I had an office with a door) and I would work.
On occasion, Oliver would need to be “babysat” by the rest of the chamber staff when I had a meeting. It was pretty easy duty. I would feed him and set his crate in someone’s office. He’d fall asleep with Mr. Cow and never caused a fuss.
Knowing that he’d need a bottle when he woke up kept the girls at the office from bugging him. However, whenever I’d walk in the door I’d see somebody hovering by the crate. My presence was the “all clear” and they would swoop down and wake up the kitten for a snuggle. He was adorable. There was no blaming them for not being able to resist him. And they got five minutes of snuggle while I set down my stuff and prepared a bottle.
One day I had the bottle prepared but hadn’t taken Oliver yet when the phone rang. Never one to neglect my job for my kitten – and because our receptionist was cooing over Oliver – I answered the phone. It was a long call. Oliver started screaming for his bottle. I was content to let him scream for a couple minutes but I couldn’t hold him while I was on the phone (I’m sure that guy wondered what we were DOING to the cat) so I handed him to Julie. I didn’t see Julie take the bottle.
Just as I was finishing up the phone call, a ball of fluff and blood was thrust into my face. Poor Julie, silly woman who thought she was qualified to apply a bottle after raising children, had tried to feed Oliver. They both suffered from deep gashes. That’s right, Oli didn’t just cut HER fingers. He sliced his face from one eyebrow, down his nose and all the way to his chin.
They both healed an Oli’s scar is just a little black mark under his nose. But it is a fun reminder of our adventure in kitten raising, my friend Julie, and good times at the chamber.
Side note: Obi has come to sit on my lap while I type this blog. He thinks it is a real snooze.