When you find a kitten in a magic tree….
Yep, JoeJoe found a little tiny kitten lost and abandoned, all alone and very scared, stuck inside the bottom of a deeply hollowed out tree stump. This wasn’t just any ol’ tree stump — this tree stump was half-a-tree tall kind of tree stump. It was way too big and tall for a teeny tiny kitten to keep as a home by herself. I suppose this tree-house kept some versions of field predators out, but also, there was no food or water for this tiny baby, and the weather in Texas had been unusually hot those weeks.
I’ve been calling this a magic tree. It looked like a big empty hollow tree, but nope! It wasn’t just any ol’ tree. That tree was hiding a kitten in there! A Magic Tree!
And as you saw in the first part of the story — JoeJoe Kept Sniffing a Tree — Guess what He Found?! — this pretty little kitty was very tiny, was just starting to cut her teeth. She was able to walk, with a wobble, and not too fast. She wasn’t very strong on her feet, but she could walk around a little. And cry.
She cried a lot.
I’m sure she was hungry. And scared. And sad. And lonely. So she cried.
She wanted her momma, and she didn’t like being by herself.
So she cried. And she cried.
When JoeJoe found this little crying kitten, we looked and looked for her momma. We called out for her. We gave her time to come rescue her kitten from the tree.
But after a chunk of time went by, and there was no momma coming back, little tiny baby kitten came to my house. Yep, back home with me she came. I wasn’t gonna leave her to starve or dehydrate in a tree, not even a magic tree.
So now…. NOW, I have a cat.
NOW, I have a cat.
Well. I have a tiny baby kitten who will one day become a cat.
But I also have three big boisterous, super busy kelpies who have next-to-no, none, zero, zilch, zip, nada experience living with cats. CATS, as far as they are concerned, are intruders, and must be chased out of their yard or far up a tree. Cats must surely be like skunks, or raccoons, or armadillos, or rabbits, or neighbor dogs — anything that moves and moves fast, must be fussed at, ran at, and barked at by a kelpie. INTRUDERS must leave. Kelpies rule.
At least that’s been their point of view.
So bringing home a teeny tiny baby kitten who could barely walk…. how was THAT going to go over?
Would that pack of kelpies accept this baby kitten? Or try to eat her? Would they scare her? Or chase her? Would they understand that a kitten was their friend — could be their friend? Would they gang up on her? Would they play nicely?
I had a million concerns, but at the same time, I couldn’t leave that tiny little helpless kitten alone in the tree — not even if it was a Magic Tree.
But at first, little tiny kitten was only scared.
She wanted to hide, she wanted to cuddle. So for most of the first two days, little tiny kitten stayed wrapped up in blankets or towels. She slept a lot. She peeked out every now and then, but mostly…. she stayed tucked inside and snuggled up, and didn’t venture too far out in the world.
I didn’t have to worry too much about the kelpies while I was keeping little baby kitty in a blanket. This little one clearly needed to sleep, to rest, to get situated in her new house.
She loved to be held, and stayed close, not straying far, even when she was playing. And the good news was that little Tiny Kitten would purr almost every single time when I petted her, or patted her gently, even when she was hiding in the blankets and towels. She welcomed gentle touch, and responded with the most content little tractor purr. Hope! There was hope!
These first couple days, when Little Kitten was awake, she still talked a lot. Teeny tiny meows, but lots of them. Was she crying? Maybe, or maybe just calling out still. Was she still looking for her momma? Was she talking? Was she going to be a noisy chatty cat? She certainly had a lot to adjust to, living in a new house, far away from wherever she lived before the Magic Tree. There’s no wonder she had a lot to say.
The first two days in her new home were difficult for this little one. She was completely safe, and well fed, and absolutely cared for, but everything was new for her. She had to get used to all of us gigantic not-cat things gawking in at her. She had to figure out how to eat-drink-lap her milk (kitty formula). We were all fortunate that Little Kitten quickly learned to lap up milk, and she didn’t have to be bottle fed. I tried a variety foods for her, and the kitten formula was her favorite.
Baby Kitten also had to figure out where to sleep since she was not in the Magic Tree, and not with her momma or littermates.
The first two nights she stayed with me, Tiny Kitten was up wide awake in the middle of night, looking for more milk. But only two nights. Every night after that, she has slept soundly, hiding under one pile of blankets or another. She’s been very kind to be a good sleeper.
As you can see, little Kitten was still learning how to manage her paws, her claws, and was trying to adjust to her new world. Little Kitten was so young that when she ate, she stuck her little fuzzy tail straight out, and it would wiggle and quiver and shake while she ate.
See her short little bitty legs? Not to worry about that out-turned paw — do you see that in the picture? She was still learning how to stand on carpet and got her little tiny claws stuck in the carpet for a bit. Her little legs and feet are completely fine. No twisties!
The first days, with this little one, she was adjusting, but still sad. See her little face? She has lots of wonderful whiskers everywhere. This picture was one of the first pictures of Baby Kitty outside, not wrapped up in her little towel or blanket. She wasn’t very confident — everything scared her. She did not like being by herself, not even a tiny bit.
Hey, did you see when Little Kitty came out of the Magic Tree, she had that dirty nose, with lines of dirt all across her little nose — do you remember that? Now that Little Kitten doesn’t live in a tree anymore, her nose is bright and pink! in this picture, her little fuzzy ears were still low though, so little Tiny Kitten was still adjusting. She’s not smiling yet, not in this picture. But the cuteness is starting to show…..!
In the picture below, with Little Kitten in the grass, I set her down for a few minutes in case she would enjoy being outside. She came from outside after all, so maybe she would feel comfortable in the grass?
I quickly realized that no, no, no, she didn’t. She was still too frightened and worried about being separated and left alone, that even a couple feet away from her new set of people and on her own in this weird pokey grass, was still too much for her. “Meow! Meow! Don’t leave me here!” she said. At this point, she wasn’t yet ready to be independent. She still wanted to be held close.
I picked Little Kitten up and held her close for a few more days…. She was ready to explore inside, but still way to worried and far too scared to explore outside. “Okay, Little One. You can stay inside a little longer.”
What about the Dogs?
So now there’s a kitten in the house, and three dogs as well.
Kelpies vs a kitten. A kitten with the kelpies. How was this going to work?
The first days, while Baby Kitten stayed wrapped in the towels, the dogs did very little but sniff her a little bit. Well, sniff and sniff, and sniff, and sniff. Except for Joe. Even though JoeJoe found this little one, he wanted the least to do with her. He stayed outside, he purposefully did an extra wide circle walking far away from the kitten when he came in, and he did his very best to ignore her when he had to get around her.
Pinky — the momma kelpie — was, by far, the best suited for being the first dog to accept this little kitten. Pinky has had four litters of pups, and she was a very good momma to all 34 of her pups. I was hoping that Pinky would recognize this little abandoned kitten and be willing to take her under her wing.
Would Pinky be able to be a momma to this little teeny tiny kitten?
Pinky is 11 years old now. She’s a calm soul, gentle-natured. I kept telling Baby Kitty. “Pinky is your best bet — let’s make this work.”
And you know what? Pinky was absolutely wonderful with Baby Kitty. Pinky just crouched down… stayed quiet and gentle, and she just looked at little kitty. All day. For a few days. All day, for days. Pinky didn’t bark. She didn’t growl. She didn’t sniff too close. She just looked quietly, and calmly at the Little Kitten. And she let Little Kitten look back at her. Pinky kept a little space between them, but she focused her eyes right on this Little One, watching, ever so gently, but always watching to see where she was.
Pinky looked and looked and looked and little Baby Kitten.
Tiny kitten just looked and looked and looked at Pinky.
If little kitten moved, Pinky had to know exactly where she was. If Pinky went outside to do her business, or go for a walk, the first thing she did upon her return in the house was search for little kitten. “Where’s the baby? Where’s the baby?” Pinky was completely focused and centered on this little tiny cat.
At first, when Little Kitten was ready to come out of her blankets, she still found places to hide. She was still only 12 – 14 ounces in weight at this point — a teeny tiny thing! She found all the spots that only little bitty teeny tiny kittens could fit.
One of Baby Kitten’s favorite first places to be was to hide under the bottom of my chair. She would tuck herself underneath and peek out, just enough to see a little bit of the world. I put a big cardboard box to the side of the chair to help Tiny Kitten feel a little more blocked and protected from any surprises from the side. As you can see, Pinky would come and look at little Baby Kitten. For long chunks of time, Baby Kitty and Pinky would look at each other. I’m guessing they were talking quietly to each other with their eyes.
Pinky was quiet, and calm, and she put herself in non-threatening positions. Pinky was excessively interested in this little kitten and would not stop checking on her. Pinky took her job as new kitty-momma very seriously. At all moments in time, Pinky had to know where Baby Kitten was. Must. See. Kitten. Pinky’s motto for days.
Little Kitten responded to Pinky’s gentle ways.
And once Baby Kitten finally got brave enough to start walking around the house, Pinky continued to look at her, look for her, watch her every move. Pinky was very focused on Baby Kitten. Carefully, watching her. All eyes always on Baby Kitten!
And you know what? Little Tiny Cat was okay with that. She felt safe with her new Pinky-dog-momma.
Even more than that, Pinky began guarding her new Little One from the other dogs. Pinky wouldn’t allow Pixie or Joe to come close. She would give them the snarly curly lip or the serious stink eye if they even tried to come close. This little kitty-cat was becoming Pinky’s baby! Pinky was protecting this teeny tiny little one and no one was going to hurt her — not one little bit.
I was so relieved once I saw that Pinky had taken over a protective role of Baby Kitten. I knew that Pinky has been such a fantastic puppy-momma, and once this little kitten became “hers”, then Little Kitty would not be chased, or bit, or pounced on by anyone. Pinky was going to keep this little tiny one safe. AND, she was going to teach the other dogs as well. She was leading the way in saying…. “This kitten is part of our pack. She is not a snack!”
Day by day, little baby kitten was feeling more and more comfortable. With the protection of Pinky in place, I also felt more and more comfortable. We were working things out! Little Kitten was eating regularly, growing and gaining weight each and every day.
Eventually, Baby Kitten was getting more and more comfortable. She was learning to run, to play, to be comfortable in her new environment.
By day 3, Little Baby Kitten was much more settled. She began to play. She began to walk more comfortably around a few rooms of the house (not the whole area, but in the places she knew). She began to jump around, and pounce on toys. She started to play!
And she stopped talking as much. She still had plenty to say, but she wasn’t crying out for them all the time. And as I mentioned earlier, by the third night, this adorable Little One began sleeping through the night. She know longer woke me up. She crawled under the blankets, found a warm little pocket, and just slept and rested. What a good sign!
So…. with such a bright little button coming to life, and clearly with the kitten and the kelpies becoming friends, it was clear that this little baby cat was here to stay.
Time to give her a name?? Absolutely time!!
I had kept telling JoeJoe this was his kitten, that he found her. Also Pinky has Pixie. The two P girls — Pinx and Pix. So JoeJoe aka Joez deserved a namesake as well. I wanted a J-name for this little bundle of energy. Little Kitty was a J-girl.
So we needed a J-name.
For this fun and feisty little cat.
Jaynee? Juju? Jozie? Jaxi? Jazzy?
JAZZY. That’s it!
Jazz ma Tazz.
And you know what? Within a day of calling this little kitten by her new name, she would come running to me when I called her. “Jazzy! Jazzy Cat!” and there she would be!
Little Jazzy Cat. JoeJoez’ Jazzy Girl. She must approve of the name!
The Moral of the Story?
There are lots of morals to this story! When I think of all the ways you could apply this story to your DID System work, I come up with these ideas. Start here, and feel free to add more to the list when you think of another one!
- First of all, be kind to your little ones.
- If you find a lost or abandoned little one, bring them home with you, to a safe place near you. Don’t leave them out by themselves in scary dark places, alone and scared.
- Be brave, consistent and persistent like JoeJoe. If you have a sense that someone is hiding somewhere, keep checking until you find them!
- Take good and gentle care of your people, tending to their needs. At all times.
- Be patient and extra gentle with the scared ones — let them connect gradually, as they slowly feel safe to do so. If they need to hide for awhile in a safe spot, and just peek out for a bit, that is okay.
- Learn from Pinky, and watch them closely, but gently, keeping them protected from harm, slowly building their trust.
- Also, like Pinky, guard them from anyone you may feel is a threat to the new little ones. Little ones need extra protection.
- It’s okay if your new ones have emotions, and cry a bit, or show hesitancy and fear or anxiety. It’s a big giant step to move over into your world, and they will have big feelings about having done that.
- Let your littles play, have fun, enjoy freedoms with new positive experiences. The world is a big place. Let them explore and expand their horizons.
- Give them a name that is positive, playful, and appropriate to their personality.
- Welcome them into your little family, and let them belong too.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Thank you for reading, and I hope you are enjoying meeting Jazzy Cat!
When I see Little Jazz, or pick her up, or hear her purr, or see her sweet little face, she just warms my heart. She makes a difference, already. She’s happy. She smiles. She purrs. So quickly she brought such a positive lovely change to my life.
I hope you have a bright little light that cheers you up each time you see her — on the inside, or the outside. Keep looking, and find a pretty little face that beams sunshine to you too.
I wish you and your littles a lovely healing journey, full of little Jazzies!
Copyright © 2008-2023 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation