Meet Jasper, the newest member of the Jenkins family.

Also, the youngest:

He's, quite literally, a handful. Click to embiggen.

I rescued him yesterday from the parking lot at work. Apparently a few of the engineers here like to walk the circuit of the lot as exercise after eating lunch (it’s a huge lot that’s mostly empty) and they spotted him in the back near the water tower floundering around and looking lost. For some reason they thought to send me an email when they got back in the building letting me know about it and I was surprised that they had just left him out there. It had been raining most of the morning as it was and while the temp outside wasn’t freezing, in combination with the rain it wasn’t exactly balmy.

You’d think being the amoral, heartless, cruel, and miserable atheist I am I would’ve just shrugged and left him out there to fend for himself, but I couldn’t do that. So I trudged out there in the misting rain to see if he was still there. By the time I got to the back of the lot the mist had turned into a moderate shower and I was getting soaked. I didn’t see anything so I turned around and started walking back up the opposite side of the lot along the treeline in hopes that it would cut down on the amount of water I was being hit with. About the time I started thinking of what an idiot I was going to look like walking back into the office soaking wet I heard a plaintive mewing and saw something small and white flop over and start moving in my direction as quickly as it could manage. He was as soaked as I was and it was clear he was looking for help in the way he dragged himself toward me.

So to cut a long story short, I didn’t look quite so much like an idiot once folks in the office saw what it was I got soaked to save. I made an appointment at the vet and left work early. Doc says he was probably out there on his own for a few days and was thinner than he should’ve been as a result and dehydrated. They gave him a little food, some de-wormer medicine just in case, and injected fluid under the skin of his back for re-hydration. He has a wound on the underside of his left hip that has scabbed over that suggests he may have been grabbed by a larger animal and carted off. There’s a known stray calico cat that hangs out near the back of our lot on a regular basis so the popular theory is that he’s one of hers that got separated.

Between the trip to the vet and then to Pet Smart to pick up a couple of supplies to take care of him we’re down to $10 in the checking account until Friday. Sometimes doing the right thing is expensive, but we do it anyway. Melvin was completely uninterested when we brought Jasper home, but Cuddles had a hissing fit. Doc says to keep him separated for at least two weeks to give him time to recover and grow a bit. Due to take him back for a followup visit next Monday. He doesn’t act like a feral cat, but we may have gotten lucky and rescued him before that instinct kicked in. He was curious and playful this morning so that’s a good sign.

Whether he’s a permanent addition remains to be seen in the weeks to come and will largely depend on how well he integrates with the other two cats. I don’t want him to be stuck in a miserable situation if the other cats refuse to get along with him, but for now he’s safe, warm, and dry.

16 thoughts on “Meet Jasper, the newest member of the Jenkins family.

  1. You went into the rain to rescue a feral kitten? You must have rocks in your head, and a heart as big as the sky. He came after you? That is a good sign. Hope he gets along with the other family members.

    Peace.

  2. He’s perfect! And I’m envious. (I thought that tabby and orange mixes were usually female?) Serendipity.

  3. Got this information about tri-color, or calico cats online:

    Can a calico cat ever be male? Yes, in rare instances. In this situation, the cat has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome (XXY). Cats with this chromosomal configuration are usually sterile (not able to breed). This is similar to a condition in humans called Klinefelter’s syndrome, or XXY Syndrome.

    You can find it at: http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/catbreed1/f/FAQ_calicocats.htm

    You may not have to “fix” Jasper. One less vet bill. Good luck.

    Peace.

  4. Oh what a sweet dolly you have there. If you keep this up I will have to buy you a Crazy Cat Lady’s statue! This reminds me of when your dad would find a kitten on a construction site and bring it home to us!! It must be catching!!!

  5. Quick update on Jasper: He’s definitely looking much stronger after just a couple of days. He’s exploring the room, has managed to climb up onto the futon a couple of times (no small feat for him), is eating well, and is using his litter box. Still a little wobbly, but much better than he was. He’s considers himself ready to leave the confines of the spare bedroom and explore the rest of the apartment, but that’s still a bit in the future.

    I do want to take a moment to thank all of the folks who threw a donation our way via Paypal and in person. It’s great to know so many folks want to help us with our new charge.

    MAP wrote:

    Are you married?

    Indeed I am. Just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary back in April.

  6. @ leguru:

    It certainly sounds like Jasper has some unusual genetics going on. I used to laugh at the “Stray Cat Strut” song because they talked about a “black and orange stray cat” being a “ladies man”, and I knew it was much more likely to be a lady… or perhaps a male unlikely to be interested in being a “lady’s man”–

    –but it seems that some are fertile… and interested in mating (or at least marking): there’s more here: http://www.messybeast.com/mosaicism.htm But this article says that male calico’s are always infertile: http://www.cat-world.com.au/cat-myths

    Although you can clone cats; you can’t clone the calico fur pattern. Males with the coloring are thought to be good luck because of their rarity. I hope Jasper brings much good luck to his new home.

  7. Aaaaaaaah, how cute. Want cats again. As a second best, I just gave you guys a small donation to help off-set the vet bills. Hope he can stay.

  8. There’s some debate between the wife and I on whether he’s a true Calico. She argues that what I see as orange is really brown so he’s white and grey and brown. Plus he has stripes similar to a Tabby instead of patches. I haven’t been able to make out if he has the signature M marking on his forehead that would definitely make him a Tabby. According to this color chart, he may be best defined as a “patterned calico,” “calico tabby,” or “caliby.”

    Ingolfson, thanks much. Always appreciated!

  9. “He may be best defined as a “patterned calico,” “calico tabby,” or “caliby.”

    I think he’s best defined as a kitten. Or as cute. But then again, the two are interchangible 🙂

  10. Hay, Les, for just a few thousand dollars you could get a chromosome test to see if Jasper is a true XXY male. Oh, wait, that checkbook balance. Here’s a few more to defray that vet bill.

    Peace.

  11. Just want to add that I’ve done a lot of research on cat colours for a story.

    Cats only come in two basic colours, red and black. (White is not considered a colour, but it does serve to make orange, brown, grey, blue, etc) Colour is determined by the female (X chromosome), where either Red is “on” and Black is “off” or vice versa. In order for a cat to have both red and black, it needs two X chromosomes, one with Red “on” and one with Black “on”. That is why most multi-coloured cats are female (XX). Only the (XXY) calicos and torties are male. XXY is rare, in cats as in humans. Whether he can breed or not falls outside my area of study. Hope my useless trivia is of some help! And thanks for rescuing him!

  12. Pingback: And now for a bit of positive cat blogging. | Stupid Evil Bastard

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