I’m asked frequently about various long-ago posts and what happened afterward. Usually, these questions are asked in the comments, often in the latest post rather than the old post they were asking about. I answer in the comments, but not everyone reads the comments (and it’s especially hard for someone new to my site to go back and find out where it was asked and answered), so I’m going to start periodically writing a post to answer these types of questions–for everyone. The most oft-asked question is whatever happened to the dashboard cat?
I wrote about the tiny kitten that became trapped in the dashboard of my car in this post, nearly two and a half years ago: She Can Poop Wherever She Wants Today.
Back then, we still lived in The Slanted Little House. My cousin’s cat, Fuzzball, had recently had a litter of kittens. I’d given all of them away, but had kept one kitten, my dear little Desdemona, who was a real favorite of mine. It was summertime and there was a hole in the screen door. Fuzzball kept getting in the house. She pooped in the house. She really irritated me, but it was hot in that old farmhouse with no air conditioning and that hole in the screen was daily trouble.
Then we found another kitten. Not Fuzzball’s. It was wild. Weston loves cats and he managed to get hold of it and bring it inside. He was the only one who could handle it. It was terrified of everything and everyone. I thought something was wrong with its leg and wanted to take this tiny, wild, terrified creature to the vet.
Here’s the story, and I’ll tell you the rest of the story at the end.
Original post: She Can Poop Wherever She Wants Today, June 28, 2007.
Mama Fuzzball with her last kitten, Desdemona.
We call her That Darn Fuzzball because she poops all over the house, making herself a most unwelcome guest, and it’s only her continued nursing of Desdemona not to mention the hole in the screen door that explains her presence at all anymore. I really didn’t think she could do anything to earn my admiration at this point, until–
Several days ago, we found a tiny stray kitten, only a few weeks old, too young to be motherless, and Weston has been taking care of her. Yesterday we decided she didn’t seem quite right so we loaded up to take her to the vet. Weston was supposed to hold her. She’s so tiny, you can hold her in one hand. Only he didn’t. He let go. And next thing we knew, she’d crawled up inside the dash of my car.
It was 91 degrees and a kitten was stuck in my dash. For SIX HOURS. She wouldn’t come out. We went back home. Two teenagers went to work trying to figure out how to get into the dash. We flagged a man on the road to help us. We called over a neighbor to help us. My cousin finally came home. We got nowhere and pieces of my dash were hanging out all over the place but we couldn’t reach her. We tried leaving her alone, we tried food, we tried everything. It started raining. It got dark. We were facing a really terrible situation. Either the kitten was going to die in my dash and make my car smell REALLY NICE or we were going to open the windows, let it rain all over the inside of my car in hopes the kitten would run out sometime during the night–and we’d never see it again, never be able to take it to the vet. It might die anyway….. Weston–my big football player–sat down beside the car and cried. Then we had an idea. Last ditch effort–Fuzzball. A mother cat, not her mother cat, but still a mother cat who sounds and smells LIKE a mother cat.
I got Fuzzball, shut her up in the car.
SIX HOURS we’d tried to get that kitten out of the dash. Fuzzball got her out in five minutes.
She can poop wherever she wants today.
Here is that tiny kitten now.
Weston had initially named the dashboard cat Gwennie, but later changed “her” name to Killer. As a joke. Because Killer was so terrified of everything and everyone, “she” used to climb inside Kleenex boxes to hide.
Two of Fuzzball’s kittens that I had given away, Wiggles and Squiggles, were returned after a few months. (Are people allowed to return kittens?!) I thought Wiggles was a boy and Squiggles was a girl. I also thought Killer was a girl. (Clearly, I am cut out to be a farmer!) The day I took Killer and Wiggles to be fixed, I discovered I was wrong. Killer is a boy and Wiggles is a girl. (Squiggles was fixed later. I try to only take two cats at a time to the vet! That’s enough to handle. Squiggles by the way, is a BOY.)
We still have Wiggles and Squiggles. (Below, Wiggles sprawled out on our back porch here.)
Desdemona, sadly, was hit by a car while we still lived at the old farmhouse. (I’m so glad to live on such a remote road now that the chances of a cat being hit by a car here are very, very low. No one can even drive that fast on our road anyway, and there’s very little traffic on it. Mostly, just us.)
My cousin had Fuzzball spayed after that litter. About a year or so ago, she disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to her.
We still have Killer (and we still call him Killer, though he is NO killer). By the way, nothing was actually wrong with him, so I’d been worrying over him and taking him to the vet that day for nothing!
He’s still a scaredy-cat, but he’s relaxed a bit. He lets me pick him up and pet him. Under protest. Weston used pieces of ham to train him to come when he calls. He would at first lead him with a piece of ham, snapping his fingers, then eventually he quit using the piece of ham. Now he just snaps his fingers and Killer comes running. Whenever Weston is gone, if Killer is inside the house, he’ll sit outside Weston’s door, awaiting his return. He’s Weston’s cat, through and through. He’s HUGE, the biggest cat we have, and gorgeous.
So that’s what happened to the dashboard cat!
P.S. We have 10 cats. They are all spayed or neutered (except for Kitten and Little, who will have their turn at the vet soon).
P.P.S. Read all my cat stories here.