For those of you who do not reside in the United States, Sonic Corporation is the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. We have a Sonic restaurant located in our city, and FD and I have been known to grab a quick meal there once in a while when busy with an outdoor project and too tired to think about cooking a meal or even slapping a sandwich together. Years ago, before we cleaned up our diet, Sonic was one of our favorite hangouts. Nowadays, we rarely eat out, but have, instead, adopted a healthier lifestyle. We try to make better choices with the foods we eat. One look at the nutritional information on Sonic’s menu explained why FD and I were usually miserable after eating one of those quick meals. To be fair though, the food is tasty and the menu is unique when compared to other fast food joints.
However, this story is not about Sonic Drive-In or saving the Sonic corporation. A quick look at the Sonic website, indicates the business is doing quite well. No, this story is about a kitten. A kitten that threw the proverbial “monkey wrench” into my Memorial Day weekend this year. And the kitten “experience” just happened to occur on the highway, right in front of the Sonic Drive-In.
Sissy Jo, FD’s sister from Dallas, came to visit for the holiday weekend, and brought her two youngest grandkids, a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old, along with her. Despite shopping the day before, I realized we would still need to run to the local department store for a few pool supplies for the kids and some more food items. Sissy and I piled the kids in her Jeep and away we went, traveling less than a mile, to the local Walmart. We were just going over the list of goods we needed to purchase, when I noticed something small and fuzzy in the middle of the highway! Whoosh!! We drove past it before I could say anything to Sissy! Traffic was fairly busy, and as I looked behind us, my heart sank. Was it a kitten that I saw?
A car was approaching not far behind us and in horror I saw the fuzzy thing move right into its path! Exclaiming to Sissy that there was a little animal in the road, I turned around in my seat and spotted the critter at the curbing. I yelled for Sissy to turn the Jeep around. I am not sure how she managed in the middle of traffic, but she wheeled around, stopped to let me out when there was a break in traffic, and took off again to maneuver the Jeep around to pick me up. I kept to the middle of the road until it was safe to cross. The kitten I was after, was on its back, pawing in the air. Strangely, it appeared to be playing. After reaching him, I gently picked him up, more for my own protection, just in case he clawed me. The poor thing was limp as a rag, shutting his eyes tight as if preparing to brave the next trauma. I never noticed how Sissy managed to get turned around and pull up next to me, but I have to say, her driving skills were quite efficient that day! I jumped in the Jeep, along with my new responsibility. While I was glad we saved the kitten, I was not happy to have to deal with this type of rescue situation.
After pulling into the Walmart parking lot, Sissy and I examined the kitten. For the most part, the kitten looked fine. It was scared and trembling, and appeared to have a little limp in the hind legs. When the kitten tried to walk, the back legs would not cooperate. So, we cracked the windows and put the kitten in a little box Sissy kept in the back of the Jeep.
Inside Walmart, Sissy and I took off in different directions, hoping to tackle our shopping list in a short time. In my haste, I completely forgot that I did not have cat food on hand. Being a holiday weekend, the local animal control would not pick up the kitten until Monday. This meant I would be stuck taking care of an injured kitten for three days. Great.
I was in a huge snit about this when we got home. What was wrong with people who dump animals – and a kitten of all things? This tiny, ball of fuzz did not look old enough to be weened from its mother. And, on another less-important note, I am not a cat person. I am a dog lover. Why could this have not been a puppy? Cats are generally aloof and they spit and claw. Oh sure, I have known a few cats in my life that had good personalities and that actually liked me but, most of the time, cats were just too standoffish and weird for me. I will not even speak of the few that seemed to enjoy tormenting me! Friends who owned these cats tried to convince me that their sweet cat really loved me. Sure. Uh huh.
While Sissy ran back to the store for kitten chow and a few other kitty items she thought we would need, I retrieved a small pet porter from the storage building and cleaned it up. Handling the small ball of fuzz in order to bed it down after all this, softened my attitude a little. I felt sorry for it. I wondered what had happened to it. Did it just break away from its mother too soon, or had someone dumped it off?
For three days, we cared for the little fella, and he soon became very mobile. Perhaps the shock of the highway experience had rendered his back legs useless for a little while. But now, he was getting around fine, and he had a voice. Still, most of the time he stayed in the back of the pet porter, resting. I tried to convince Sissy to take the little fella home with her, but she already had two cats and four dogs. I could not blame her for saying “no”. Finally, I wrote an email to my friend, Ruthie, that night, telling her about the adventure we went through to save the little kitten. I was aware Ruthie had recently taken in Chubbs and Cutie, two kittens that a friend had rescued from a parking lot. And, I knew Ruthie also had four other barn cats that kept the mouse and rat population down on their farm. Happily, I was not surprised the next morning when Ruthie called to tell me she would take the kitten. She explained that Cutie had been hit by a passing car on the busy road near their home, and Chubbs had been lonely. She thought “Sonic” would be good company for Chubbs.
This past Fourth of July, Randell and Ruthie invited FD and I to celebrate the holiday with grilled burgers and such at their ranch. So, I took my camera along, hoping to get some photos of Chubbs and Sonic. Ruthie explained that the two had become fast, and best, friends. While Sonic seemed to have plenty of energy, Ruthie worried that he was not growing as he should, and I had to admit, he still looked very small. But it certainly was not as if he was lacking for food. In fact, Ruthie soon brought out a spread of food for Chubbs and Sonic, fit for a king!
In a short time, it was apparent that Sonic had found a good home. He had a loving and dedicated mother (Ruthie), and he had an older, big brother who put up with his playful antics and gave him special licks in spite of it all. His tummy never growled in hunger, and he had plenty of places to hide to escape rain and the hot sun. And there was no doubt that, before winter arrives, Ruthie will have Randell rig up some kind of special cat house for Chubbs and Sonic to take refuge in.
Fortunately for him, and thanks to a great team effort, Sonic is living the good life today. Successful rescues are such a joy…
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…