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It Was Just A Little Camping Trip

by Pam Shirk, North Carolina, USA


We got back yesterday afternoon from our camping trip. We went to Morrow Mountain State Park near Charlotte, NC, leaving Friday morning and getting to the park around 10:30. The map that was posted at their web site is too wide to print on my computer and (if anyone knows how to adjust the width of a picture, so that it can all be printed by a standard computer let me know.) we were relieved to see an information hut (roughly 3X3m) made of stone with a fire place and a large map of the park set up inside. We left the kids in the van and went inside the building to plan our route to the campground using the map. We were discussing the route when a loud animal noise came from outside. It was dreadful, like a kitten crying horribly. I asked Rob what kind of bird that was, he didn't know. We agreed that it sounded like a kitten in distress, but there was no way, the only people living near were the forest rangers. According to the map, their housing area was almost a mile away. There could be no kittens at the information booth.

We walked out into the sunlight and heard the noise again. I ducked thinking that some horrible bird of prey was going to get me. Instead I saw at my feet...a little kitten in distress. I picked him up while Rob walked in behind the building to see if he could spot any more. He figured that mommy should be around, and if it was a dump off of a litter, there could be more that would need rescuing. The kitten had decided that he was P.C. (Pam's Cat). I carried him to the van where Amanda was immediately demanding to keep him. She's an easy target. Rob said not to get attached, we needed to see if Friday, belonged to any of the rangers. We drove down the road with a little kitten climbing all over the back seat, crying and trying to eat Jason's fingers.

We stopped at the ranger's station to find it a scene of controlled chaos. We'd seen TV copters and vans, the county rescue squad and police cars as we were driving through the park. However the ranger was very good about talking to us. She told us that they've received reports of a stray kitten in the park for over a week (I'm guestimating him at about 12 weeks old) and that no one had even tried to ask about his owners before. She told us that if we wanted him, we could have him. Amanda got excited until she heard me tell the ranger that I never thought I'd have to go to the mountains to rescue cats, as I volunteer with cat rescue at home. I said that we'd find him a good home, then gave the ranger our name, address and phone number and got us out of there as they were busy with what turned out to be a boater drowning in the lake.

We drove to the camp with the kitten, now named P.C. for Pine Cone as I'd promised to bring back a pine cone for our cat sitter. We set up camp with PC helping us out. I dug into the cooler as soon as it became available, realized that I'd forgot to pack the roast beef that I'd brought along for sandwiches and pulled out a hot d*g. PC ate the whole thing and was now being called Pig Cat. Rob made him a collar out of cord and put it on him so that we could follow camp regulations by keeping him on a leash. As soon as we got the basic camp set up, we had the kids stay at the camp kitten sitting while we went into town and bought replacement food for the lunch meat, as well as kitten food, a litter box, a couple of cat toys and a food dish for PC. When we got back to camp Jason had placed a folding chair so that PC could sleep underneath it. PC was charming Jason, but he wasn't admitting it.

Rob rigged up a shelter for us all, as he decided that I didn't need to get heat sick. Isn't he thoughtful? Besides that kitten has no sweat glands and can die from heat stroke. He then sat down and picked some ticks off of the kitten. We figure that PC had at least a dozen ticks hanging on him. He also has a bad case of ear mites and will be going to TED in the next day or so. Pest Cat, proved that he's also a garbage cat by trying to get our steaks off of the fire. We kept him from being burned, and he did get some chunks from us. He then proved that he is Politically Correct by charming Rob to the point where he was worried about him being scared of the thunder storm we camped through the first night. He did just fine. My legs have the pinholes to prove it.

Pin Claws, likes eggs as he kept trying to help us eat our omelets the next morning. We figure that the reason that he was alive was that he was mooching off the various camps. He is skinny, but not skin and bones as we figured that he'd be if he didn't have campers to live off of. He proved the next morning that he also likes pancakes as he tried to climb in the batter while I was cooking them. PanCake, also tried to steal chicken from the grill, but left the breakfast sausages alone. I should have as well. Pam's Conscience kept her company on the last day while I was sick from eating sausages (I love them, they hate me) and the rest of the group was taking down the camp. He still had plenty of opportunity to play in the tent while they were sweeping it out, taking down the loft and dividers and rolling up the sleeping bags. He loves Iams kitten food as well as whatever he can get from the rest of us.

So PC has come home with us. Our Cat sitter's father said that she can't bring in another cat as the two they have are enough. We'll take him in to TED for a check up and then be family hunting for him. It will be hard to give him up as he's a cute little bugger. He's white with brown/gray tabby splots on him. The one around his tail is very lopsided, and his tail is a light tabby ringed until you get to the top which is black tipped. He's a cute little thing, and will be really cute once he's no longer afraid of rattle noises, sudden movement, other cats and everything else. I was vetoed on keeping him in a separate room until we made sure he has no communicable diseases. I also get the feeling that we have a fifth cat. The other four cats and I don't agree on this however.


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