January 15, 2021

Our Button

     15 years ago, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in November, at 8:30 p.m., I heard a teeny meow coming from beneath the old Peck High School here on Amelia Island in north Florida. I had just finished handbell practice there.  It was dark and, with a flashlight retrieved from my car, I couldn't see the cat. The only thing I knew to do was call our local  Cats Angels adoption organization. (I tried the fire department first, but they were busy fighting a fire.) I left a voice mail on Cats Angels answering machine. Remember, this was 15 years ago, and I spent a restless night, worrying about the kitty.  Next morning at 9 a.m., sharp, I got a call from Cats Angels.  Sad to say, I don't recall the name of the volunteer with claustrophobia who crawled under the high school building.  The result was an itty-bitty calico kitten whose right front paw had been caught in orange construction netting.  She filled the length of my hand as I examined her paw for injury.  Thrilled there was none, her eyes just barely opened for the first time, she looked up at me.  You know that old proverb about if you save a life, you're responsible for that life? Well, how could I not make her part of our family?  And so we did, naming her Button, as in cute as a button, because she was so small. I remember swaddling her in a washcloth to keep her warm and to cuddle her.   


Hide and Seek

my helper

Button's kitty-whickers were good luck! When I'd find one, I would tape it to a piece of paper and snail mail it to our daughter, Barbra, while she was in college. 
 You can't have enough good luck in college. 

The truth is we mostly called  her "Kitty" 
and that was the only name she recognized.
Who's there?

a portrait

I'm ready for my close-up.

Button's beautiful coat
 We had another calico named Pansy. (Calicos are usually female, as I understand it.)  Pansy had a leg injury.  The vet shaved around her injury and her skin was different colors like the pattern of her fur!!! 

     You know how cats like to get into boxes and game board lids, right?  Button had a favorite cardboard box with a thick towel folded inside for comfort which we kept up on the foyer counter.  She spent so much time in it, our family made up a four word song we entitled Cat in a Box.  To no particular melody, we just sing-song the words cat in a box and then repeat them for as long as we can stand it. Talk about your ear-worm!  Button ignored us anyway.  (I never thought to take a picture of her in her box, but this is the position in which she watched us.

     Well, little Button has left us for a better place. I'm sure one dear cat lover who recently arrived in Heaven, herself,  has lovingly welcomed our girl and they are best buds already.  We are thankful Button aka Kitty spent her life with us. 
                                               - the Malcolm Family

P. S.  I nearly forgot to share the time we evacuated our north Florida home for an approaching hurricane.  Button never liked to travel in her big carry cage.  Covering the cage with a towel so she couldn't see helped to keep her from yowling and she settled down for the three hour ride to a pet friendly hotel in Tallahassee.  We made the large bathroom a safe haven for her once out of the crate, her bed, food and litter box all at the ready. Leaving only a nightlight on in there to keep her calm, we left her sniffing her surroundings while we left the room to grab a quick lunch.  Upon our return, I peeked in the bathroom and the kitty was not there. Maybe she pushed the door open because it wasn't latched sufficiently or the housekeeper ignored our Do Not Disturb sign we hung on the exterior door knob and let her out. The housekeeper said she hadn't been in the room.  Searching, we called "kitty, kitty, kitty" and nothing. I looked under the bed because I heard animals can find or make hidey-holes on the underside of the mattress.  I checked the cupboards, the drawers, everything and everywhere.  Finally, I looked under the bathroom sink.  No way!  Did I mention the room had been recently renovated?  And the wall beneath the sink was left unfinished.  I called kitty, again, and heard her tiny meow.  It was coming from inside the wall, between the wooden studs!!! What to do? What to do?  What if she chewed on the wires in the wall?  Hubby Bruce said to relax. (Don't you just hate that when you want to semi-freakout?)  Button would come out when she was hungry.  You know, he was right. Six hours later, there she was, as if nothing had happened.  After dining and drinking, she settled herself inside the crate, not her cozy bed.  Go figure.  Kitties, gotta love them and we certainly do, don't we. 

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