Australia's Ozzi Cat Magazine Shares Paul's Story of Finding Abandoned Kittens in Below-zero Weather

Originally published in Ozzi Cat Magazine
Ozzi Cat Magazine summer 2013 Bus Stop. Winter.
Abandoned Kittens... Finding a Home

I am startled awake from the paw batting my nose in complete darkness. I shake my head awake. Dazed somewhat. I glance over to my dresser. 3 am. Letting out a small sigh, I groggily say to the kitten that's sitting on my chest "hey, I am not ready to play, I need to sleep before filming tomorrow."
Scooping up the small orange tabby, I gingerly lift her up & set her on the floor. "Scoot," I tell her. "You go find your cousin and wake her up. Sorry but I can't have bags under my eyes tomorrow, and my nose isn't a toy at this hour." I roll over and think to myself that it's a cruel person that would abandon kittens in a box at a bus stop in -20 degree weather.

Earlier in the day...

I am bundled up. I mean really bundled up. Complete with long underwear, a heavy down jacket, scarf & hat. It's that time of the year in Minnesota when the weather dips dangerously low. Like 20 below zero wind chills. The wind can freeze your eyelashes- if you let it.
I am walking down the hill from my place to the bus stop to go to another audition. Being an actor, it requires a lot of auditions. I've timed it out so that I should have plenty of time to go to the audition and catch the bus without having to dash like a crazed man along the way.

paul cram in ozzie cat magazineWalking into the bus shelter I stand for a moment and stomp my feet, trying to keep them warm while I wait. I think to myself that I ought to have put on not one, but two pair of wool socks. That when I hear it. A small sound. A sort of rustle. Being that it's windy, I don't think too much of it.
Not until I hear a little high pitch mew do I glance behind me. Nothing there. I hear it again, and look down. Shoved under the bench of the bus shelter is a tattered cardboard box.
I crouch to my knee and look inside.
Inside is a bath towel, an orange kitten, and a white dappled sorta-kitten/cat. The two are huddled together. It's the smaller of the two that lets out a mew and hops towards me.
I put out a gloved hand and the orange one comes right up to me. I look at the white dappled. She just tilts her head and looks back at me like she is thinking the same thing I am.

I look up and turn both directions on the street to see if anyone is nearby that would be the owner. Nobody is around. Earily so. It's just cold. White. Wind.

At the end of the street, I see bus pulling around the bend.

Looking down at my watch, I sigh, and decide what to do.
I wave the bus away, pick up the kitten and put her in one of my oversized jacket pockets. Then I do the same with the white one, but she doesn't like this idea as much as the orange.

ozzie cat magazine paul cram actor
I start walking up the hill back home. I make it a quarter of the way, when the white one looks up at me, then leaps from my pocket into a snowbank. I stop. She looks at me. Looks to the left and right, then just kinda sits there as if she realizes there isn't anywhere to go that's any better than the warm pocket she just jumped out of.
I reach down, pick her up, and put her in my pocket again.
By now the little orange one has dipped her head out of the pocket, but just so she can watch while I walk.

I start again up the hill. Glancing down I see the same look on the white one's face. Thinking she's gonna jump again I speak to her saying that I am just trying to help her out. She decides to stay. Well, sort of. She doesn't stay in my pocket. Instead she climbs up my coat, and perches herself on my shoulder while I walk. She digs her claws into the jacket, fortunately for my shoulder, I have a lot of layers on.

As serendipity would have it, a mom and son pick this moment to come heading down the hill.
The son stares at my shoulder in awe. White cat just holds her head high. When I pass, I hear him saying to his mom "Mom, mom, I think I saw a parrot on that man's shoulder."

When I get home, I bring the two into the laundry room, set down some newspaper, a small bowl of water, some canned tuna, and dash out the door to make it to the audition. Which goes fine.

Ozzie cat magazine
Having grown up out in the country, I am used to cats living outdoors. So I wasn't sure what to expect when I got back home. I found the two cats just relaxing and playing. They were so docile. I noticed that the larger white one never lept up onto counters or table tops. Which makes me assume that she and her little orange friend are rather domesticated.

That night, I wasn't really sure what to do with them. So I just brought them into my bedroom. The white one curled around my feet, and the orange one. Well, she nestled up to my neck and fell asleep while I read a novel. Then she woke me up at 3am batting my nose.

In the morning, I wasn't really sure what to do. It didn't seem like the cats were accidentally left at the bus stop. I didn't really want to find whoever put them there to start with. So not sure what to do I started calling some shelters in my area to ask what to do as I can't have cats inside long term. They all said that they wish they could help, but were over run as it is. And went on to say that it was a terrible time of year for animals as so many people seem to be abandoning them.
So I wound up calling my sister who still lives out in the country. She wound up picking them up and brought them up to live with a farmer. I suppose it's not the ideal transition, from being a dignified domestic city cat, but I like to think that they made friends with a few of the other animals that live in the barn and are alright, well fed, and warm.

OzziCat.com.au

Ozzie Cat Magazine Actor Paul Cram

Comments

  1. Thank you so much, Paul, for saving little ones and sharing it with Aussie cat lovers!! You are the best role model! xx Natalie

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