From my house into town, I drive eight miles on this two lane, 55 mph highway, mostly through farmland. I drive it every day unless I stay home. One August day in 2001 when taking my daughter to a 4H meeting, a tiny kitten runs out in front of the car ahead of us and dodges back to the ditch. My daughter wanted me to stop, so I did, cautioning her that this is farm country with lots of feral cats and he probably wouldn’t let us pick him up.
Well, there he sat, in the grass, meowing loud enough for us to find him. So, we have our first cat ever! We fittingly named him Dodger. Home he goes with us and to the vet the next day, and we have a healthy 8-week-old male.
So, about ten weeks later, I was headed to town for a bunch of errands on this same highway, and I see a tiny orange kitten in the oncoming lane, dodging cars. One car straddled him, as I passed and held my breath. In my rear view mirror I saw him run back into a field. I found a place to turn around and thought, if he’ll let me, I’d pick him up.
Well, no sooner did I get out of my truck, this cat found me and ran up my pants leg. So, here we go, into town to finish my errands. Later at the feed store, he gobbled up some cat food samples. He was a mess, with bloated tummy, crawling with fleas, a scab over one eye, and a tail missing most of its fur. Next day at the vet, he was declared healthy, just full of worms and only 14 ounces.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
We brought him home to the other cat, now accustomed to our three large dogs. We had never had cats, but now lived in the country with so many mice, we needed some. Over the years the two boys, Dodger (the grey one) and Bubba, have been both rivals and snuggle buddies. Bubba was the bossy one, and Dodger just put up with it.
Once, when a new puppy was annoying the the cats, Dodger just moved himself to the barn with the horses and barn cats. A couple of years later he made peace with the puppy, and moved back to the house.
For 17 years, they were a joy to watch, always enjoying our back deck in the sun and waiting for an empty lap in the evening. Neither of them played with toys. I think their beginnings were too traumatic to really act like kittens.
Bubba died last year, and we worried Dodger would need a companion besides the dogs, but his personality has completely changed without Bubba bossing him around. He is obviously enjoying being the only cat, with his routines he insists on. He meows loudly on the bed until my husband settles in and invites him to his pillow. He demands fresh food if it has been sitting on the plate for more than a few hours. He has multiple health issues now, and gets subcutaneous fluids twice a week.
We will enjoy him for his last years and his demanding bossy ways. Funny thing is, I’ve never seen another stray cat on that highway. Only that summer, 18 years ago, and ten weeks apart. They were meant to be brothers, and meant to be ours.
Story submitted by Diane from Chehalis, Washington.
Dodger and Bubba’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →