Megan Again: The Tale of Zippy, the Jungle Cat
By Megan Wirts
Four years ago, a legend was born.
He roams my neighborhood and keeps it safe from rodents and vermin, while occasionally being carried around in a basket and has been spotted wearing a funny little bonnet. His name is Zippy and he is one of the coolest cats I know. He is so awesome that when you get my friend Rob and I going on the topic of Zippy, it’s hard for us to stop. We love that cat so much, it’s stupid.
Zippy belongs to my best friends and neighbors, Faune and Rob, but I really feel like he belongs to all of us in the neighborhood. He is a beautiful tabby cat with unique markings, that lead you to believe he may be part jungle cat. His coat is sleek, shiny and I’m pretty sure he knows how beautiful he is. You can see it in his eyes, he knows he’s a big deal.
His life didn’t start out easy. He was born to a single mother, named Midnight...
...who my friends had gotten from a farm. She was a young black cat that was friendly and sweet, but in serious need of some love and affection. When they brought Midnight to the vet to get her caught up on vaccines and to make sure she was healthy, they discovered that she was pregnant. Most people that think they are getting just one cat probably wouldn’t be very happy to find out that their new fluffy friend was about to birth a whole litter, but not my friends, they were thrilled!
Because who doesn’t love a cute little kitten? I mean, really, you must be a cold hearted soulless goblin if you don’t feel at least a tiny little twinge of “aww” when you see a ball of fluff.
A few weeks later, while my friends were away on vacation over Memorial Day weekend, I was on “watch Midnight to make sure she doesn’t give birth” duty and guess what?
She gave birth.
On my evening rounds I found Midnight in the throes of labor. I ran home to get my then 9-year-old daughter so that she too could witness the miracle of birth. We sat there in awe and a little disgust as we watched Midnight become a mother. Midnight only had two kittens and right away I could see that something wasn’t quite right with one of them. I called my friends and told them the news. There were only two babies and one of them might not make it through the night. I could see that it had what appeared to be a hernia and its intestines were exposed. Ew, I know!
The next day my friends arrived home from their trip and their two daughters were excited to see the new members of the family. Luckily, the little one that didn’t seem to be doing well was still alive, but it didn’t look good. Faune called the vet to see if there was anything they could do. They told her that bringing the kitten to them would likely kill it because it wouldn’t survive the trip, and there probably wasn’t anything that could be done to save it. They gave her some advice and after a follow up google search, Faune and I decided that we were going to save this kitten’s life!
Armed with superglue and some antibiotics purchased from the local farm store, we became backyard veterinarians. Not only did this kitten have its guts popping out a hole in its stomach, its eyes were also bulging and its head seemed large and swollen. I wasn’t sure if this was going to work, but we had to try.
Gently, we pushed its guts back in and superglued the kitten back together. (Ew, I know!) Faune and her family diligently cleaned the wound and gave the kitten antibiotics and after a few weeks it seemed like we had worked a miracle. The kitten was going to live! And he had earned his name, Zippy, because we zipped him up and put him back together, plus it sounded better than Gluey. His sister was named Mrs. Loudy because, well, she was loud, according to an adorable 4-year-old.
Then, tragedy struck. At just 5 weeks old, Midnight lost her life in a tragic car vs cat accident. Everyone was heartbroken and now there were two motherless kittens, one of which was still recovering from superglue surgery. Thankfully, both kittens took to eating regular food quickly and both were thriving. Zippy was growing and his eyes were no longer bulging out of his head. He looked like a healthy kitten, until he had his poor little tail broken in multiple places after being accidentally stepped on by a grown man.
Now Zippy had a large scar on his belly and a tail that was crooked and bent and yet, he persevered.
Mrs. Loudy and Zippy enjoyed the high life together. They were loved on and snuggled constantly. They both became excellent mouse catching machines and always brought “gifts” to their family. Then 2 years ago, Mrs. Loudy was taken from her family too soon through mysterious circumstances (we still aren’t quite sure what happened). This left Zippy, the kitten born with all the odds stacked against him, as the lone survivor of his immediate family.
Zippy is laid back and chill, while also letting us know that he is a fierce predator that is not to be messed with. It seems that his favorite things are spreading out in the grass to lie in the sun for hours, snuggling up with his girls on the couch and catching mice in the field next to his house.
He will let the kids pick him up like a ragdoll and carry him around for hours and not seem to mind at all. In fact, he kind of loves it. I have also seen him stalk through the fields searching for his next “gift” to leave on his family’s doorstep. He is the most cuddly, sweet and beastly jungle cat I have ever met.
He is one lucky feline.
And I’m pretty sure he knows it.
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