There is something wrong with Frankendrolleke. He’s small, and remains small. He’s potbellied, and despite anti-worm therapies remains potbellied. His pelt is scruffy and sparse, and despite the freezing temperatures outside and the fact that all other feline denizens are sporting magnificent coats by now, remains scruffy and sparse. For many weeks he would rarely play, sleep a lot, and not show the characteristic curiousity of kittens. In all… he looked wan and sick, barely able to live. And in the Outdoors he would have died by now. He’s a runt.
Grumpy Man has the opinion that Frankendrolleke is a typical product of inbreeding: his probable dam is Frankinneke, his probable sire the indomitable murderer Almost Franky. Who is also the probable dad -and granddad !- of Frankinneke. How, one wonders, would Drolleke call the one who is not only his father, but his grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-uncle as well ? Über-dad ?
Yet the tyke has been showing some promise lately. He has been observed playing with the toys The Mistress so generously strews around for her feline babies to disport themselves with. He has been seen attacking the single toy on top of the scratching pole that the others haven’t been able to tear off yet. And a few days ago he has even been spotted romping about with not only his probable dam Frankinneke, but with Isegrim too ! Wonder of wonders…
So small as Frankendrolleke is, so huge are the pair of lungs he has tucked away somewhere in his tiny body. Step on him (not so difficult when his pelt sports the same colours as the tiled floor) and the siren goes off. Is Isegrim a bit too rough with the tyke during their play ? The entire world will know, what with the banshee-shrieks being emitted from that tiny tiny muzzle. But the quiet determination with which he stalks the eating simian and with which he will endeavour to steal your food is a more interesting wonder to behold. No shrieks there, no plaintive yowls… only the huge moist eyes that stare forlornly at you, telling woeful tales of breaking hearts and clenching stomachs… whilst unseen his tiny paws are busy trying to drag away whatever happens to be in reach and he can retreat with a triumphant erect tiny tail and his mouth full with the spoils.
As young as he is our Frankendrolleke is already the accomplished thief and swindler, the jaded accumulator of pity and treats, the experienced Casanova gleefully burrowing his way into your heart and arms. How can one resist that tiny furry body worming itself into your embrace, having climbed up his way, settling himself into your arms and looking up at you with those enormous pleading eyes and the faint hopeful smile tracing on his bedraggled muzzle ? How can one remain cold-hearted and aloof when he so clearly places his tiny trust into your care ? Who can stay unmoved by that tiny body emitting purrs so thunderous yet radiating such fragility ?
And that is what he is counting upon for his survival: the huge eyes, the mischievous yet at the same time melancholic expression on that fuzzy muzzle, the enormous ears giving him a Gremlin-like appearance, the potbelly that turns his gait into a joke showing off his vulnerability, the tiny and thus clearly fragile paws beseeching protection and care, the small defiant tail that will quiver with indignation when he is turned away… He radiates cuteness in the mega-watt range. His bedraggled tiny state triggers all of the right buttons in our hearts. It is as if Mother Nature has designed him to be as most appealing as can be to the simians.
Aside from all that he’s a nuisance that urinates and defecates in the house, steals our food from our forks, and will trip you whenever you are occupied in the kitchen – preferably when you have something dangerous or fragile in your hands.
But AARRGGHH !! He’s so cute !
And now he’s ill. Not just a bit off, or feeling a tad down. No, he’s really seriously ill. He’s pathetically-lying-in-the-couch-all-day ill. His eyes are swollen shut, leaking a foul-smelling substance. His tiny pink nose runs too, but not so foul-smelling. At first he sneezed, but now… His breathing is belaboured and he emits a worrying GNARFL-GRRRUD noise. All in all… he’s got a cold. Or it could be the dreaded Cat Flu. Is the blood now and then leaking from those little pink nostrils just a sign of irritation of the nose, or an indication of problems far more sinister ?
It’s a viral thing. So it’s no use really to give the tyke antibiotics. Yet his eyes need drops and for good measure the Man In White has prescribed (anti-biotic) nose drops as well. Which our runt does NOT want to take like a man ! Oh no ! The Mistress has to wrap him tightly into a towel, keep a choke-hold on the tiny head, and administer the drops swiftly lest she be bitten. Yup, the tyke has teeth, and knows how to use them. One time, when Grumpy Man was watching, the tyke retreated his head a bit, took careful aim at the nearest finger, opened wide and… GNAP! That hurt. Grumpy Man rolling over the floor laughing his head off hurt too. And I did mention his good lungs earlier, didn’t I ? We had occasion to marvel at their strength during the past few days because he would use them to greatest effect every time he got wrapped up for his drops. “IEH ! IEH ! IEH ! IEH !” It was worse than a Hitchcock movie soundtrack. And every time again the other feline denizens came over to admire him. They recognize prime pathos when they encounter it. And take notes.
Need I comment that Frankendrolleke managed to perfectly wrap the Man In White around his tiny pinky claw ? Confronted with the latest addition to our feline troop that grumpy no-nonsense simian was smitten all over again: “Oh but he’s a lovely boy isn’t he ?” “He’s a runt sir.” “A bit small for his age, I concur,but look at his attitude !” The Man’s fingers were being bitten off, but he just kept beaming at the tyke.
For some strange reason this happens with all of our furry friends. I don’t know how they do it. But then, our late woofie managed to charm him as well. The Man In White may be a misanthrope, but animals have dibs on his heart.
The other feline denizens of the House of Chaos are sneezing, coughing and sniffling too, basically shrugging it off as just a common cold. They’re only giving Grumpy Man and The Mistress cardiac arrests with every coughing fit. I can assure you that a cat’s coughing is NOT a nice sound. He’s choking and gagging and trying to breathe and endeavouring not to fall dead on the spot but all you can do is sit by and listen helplessly.
Fortunately -so far- only the runt has been taken down by the nasty virii. The Mistress shudders when she contemplates giving full-grown felines like Loup-Garou or Bean-Sidhe the drops. We don’t think a restraining towel would help here. Or that a band-aid afterwards would suffice.
Picture below: misery in tiny package
It’s weekend, it’s snowing, and the Feline Denizens would rather not go out… Yet, social duty calls… the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Imeowza), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Meezer Tails), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by Nikita), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.