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Stray Kitten Rescue on Tour de Cowpens

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Stray Kitten Rescue on Tour de Cowpens

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Old 07-18-05, 08:55 PM
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Ostuni
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If you're a cat person, read on - this is a good one....

Early Saturday mornings I do this 60-mile loop that goes out into the countryside around Cowpens, SC...

This past Saturday, at about the 15-mile mark, I'm going up a long hill on this quiet country road with nothing but thick brush on either side. It's about 8:30 am, but already hot and muggy. As I'm huffing and puffing up the hill, a little orange movement in the weeds on the side of the road catches my eye. It's a tiny kitten. Scrawny and muddy. And yelling at me to stop.

I come about, say something like 'Hey there kitty..', and then continue on (as I already have two cats and got no business bringing home another)... As I resume the climb I look back and see this: the kitten has come out of the weeds and is running after me down the middle of the road at full speed, meowing like crazy...

So I come about again, circle around, and the kitten is following my bike like he wants to hop on. Against my better judgment I stop, and the instant I unclip and put my foot down, he is hugging my ankle and won't let go. At that instant I knew he was coming home with me....

I pick him up and he hugs my neck (which seals the deal). Problem was I'm 15 miles from home, and carrying him - eventually into some traffic - might be a bad idea.... So I start walking the bike and the kitten up the hill and around a corner where there are some homes. Figure I'll ask someone to hold the kitten until I can come back with the vehicle...

No one answers the door at the first house, but two large (seemingly nice, easy-going) dogs come out from the back yard. The cat jumps out of my arm and up a tree, falls down, and gets snapped up by one of the dogs before he hits the ground. The dog - a golden retreiver? - is shaking him violently and running around as the other dog is trying to get a piece of the cat too. You can imagine the noise the cat is making. And I'm chasing after all three yelling like a madman trying to get the cat literally out of the jaws of death... Dog drops cat, cat runs up tree again, cat falls out of tree again, and other dog snaps up cat before he hits ground....

Repeat pandemonium. I'm screaming bloody murder at the dogs, they're pretty excited, and the cat is making noise like the end of the world as he's getting violently shaken by Dog #2.... Cat shakes loose, I manage to snatch him up, cat bites down hard as he can on my index finger, and now the dogs are smelling (my) blood.... Fortunately, the dogs are domestic and well fed, they calm down, the cat is grateful to be in my arms instead of a dog's mouth, and I walk my bike off the property (and the dogs have invisible fence collars so they don't follow...)

Next house down the road a ways is a ramshackle looking place (think of the shack the Beverly Hillbillies had behind the mansion) and no one answers the door. Next home is even worse off, and obviously abandoned. But it has a mailbox out on the road. A big mailbox. Kitten goes in mailbox, I pump home as fast and hard as I can, return with truck and pet crate, fortunately he's still in there (and very glad to see me), we go straight to the vet, he gets a shot, a bath, a big thermometer crammed up his rear, and a clean bill of health. (Vet estimates age = 8 weeks). When we get home he eats like a horse, drinks up milk, then crashes on my bed for about six hours....

Name = Leon (but open to suggestions)....

He is now the happiest and most pampered kitten on earth...

See him sleeping off that long day:
[I should have put something next to him for perspective. This guy is tiny. Could easily sleep like that on a racing saddle...]


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Old 07-18-05, 09:04 PM
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bleh....I hate cats. I've rescued 2 turtles, but sure as heck didn't take them home w/ me.













Just kidding (about the hating cats part). That's one of the greatest stories I've heard on this forum! I'd name him "Postal" though .
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Old 07-18-05, 09:11 PM
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What a cutie!!!! Great story; I'm so glad you brought him home. No telling what may have happened had you not done so.
I like the name Leon. I named my cat Ed, in honor of Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:18 PM
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Thats a great story, i love cats, and would have done the same. However i would have been afraid to leave him in the mailbox. I carry a cellphone around, maybe i coulda got someone to come out and get me
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Old 07-18-05, 09:23 PM
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My wife says that you did the right thing! Great story. I was strictly a dog person until about 2 years ago when we got a kitten from the animal shelter. They do grow on you.....
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Old 07-18-05, 09:26 PM
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Thats a very nice, compassionate thing to do... He looks like a chick magnet ... I dont have a nice name but for Max..
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Old 07-18-05, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ostuni
But it has a mailbox out on the road. A big mailbox. Kitten goes in mailbox,
If he didn't have a stamp on him you broke Postal regulations

Good on ya for rescuing a deserving kitty, but 3 cats in your home

We have one and two dogs, which is exactly one dozen less of each than my daughters have begged me for
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Old 07-18-05, 09:34 PM
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awww, he's beautiful.

sorta similar to how i got my beloved Rogue, who was hanging around the back of the place i was working in the middle of winter. i said, if he's still there in the morning, i'll take him home. he was, and i did. he was crawling all over my arms, chest and shoulders as i tried to drive home safely, he was so happy to be taken in.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:57 PM
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I LOVE that story!! What an adorable kitty, lucky as heck he ran into (after rather) you! Cats choose their owners and he obviously chose you. That's the best way to get a kitty. And an awesome story to boot.
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Old 07-18-05, 10:37 PM
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He'll be your friend for a very long time.
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Old 07-18-05, 10:47 PM
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That kitten looks almost exactly as my cat. Hopefully it's not as crazy.
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Old 07-18-05, 10:48 PM
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Boy, that cat has 9 lives! You're definitely the Hero of the week.

Leon's a cool name for that lucky kid
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Old 07-18-05, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ostuni

Name = Leon (but open to suggestions)....
I dunno... the mailbox part of this story has to tie in with a cycling/USPS Team reference. I'd call him "Eki".

BTW, ^ awesome story. I was driving last year and saw a kitten on the side of the road I should've rescued but I kept going (there were some pedestrians nearby). By the time I got home it was bugging me so much I drove back to the spot. By the time I got back to the spot there was no kitten (and no evidence on the road that it met a untimely end) so I hope someone else scooped him up.
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Old 07-19-05, 12:28 AM
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cats good
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Old 07-19-05, 05:55 AM
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If you have a Trek 1200, maybe you could call him Alex (like the rims) or Bonty (for Bontrager). Kinda keep the bike theme going...

Its funny how cat owners always think they have the right number of cats in the house all the way up to the point where they find a stray! There's ALWAYS room for one more! Excellent work and good luck!
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Old 07-19-05, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nomo4me
If he didn't have a stamp on him you broke Postal regulations ...
funny. and speaking of, his full name is leon15321 (the number that was on the mailbox)...
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Old 07-19-05, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cycleprincess
...Cats choose their owners and he obviously chose you....
it was like an ambush. he might have been hiding in those bushes with binoculars, seen my stupid face, and thought 'perfect! this one looks like an easy mark!'
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Old 07-19-05, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by duane041
...I named my cat Ed, in honor of Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver.
hilarious. can't wait to tell my gf that one - we've been on a 'eddie haskell' nostalgia kick lately thanks to tvland....
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Old 07-19-05, 06:28 AM
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If you found him on a ride, and he could sleep on a saddle, then that should be his name: "Saddle"

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Old 07-19-05, 06:35 AM
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OMG. Flashbacks to a time I was involved with two dogs mauling a cat and the outcome was NOT that happy.

But also flashbacks to a little kitten who jumped out of the grass and attacked my feet as I was walking by four years ago. I was in college, reading the Iliad at the time, so I named him Manslaying Hektor for his bravery.

Congrats on your new friend!
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Old 07-19-05, 06:39 AM
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Cute kitten. Everybody is a sucker for a kitten.
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Old 07-19-05, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rufus
...sorta similar to how i got my beloved Rogue, who was hanging around the back of the place i was working in the middle of winter. i said, if he's still there in the morning, i'll take him home. he was, and i did. he was crawling all over my arms, chest and shoulders as i tried to drive home safely, he was so happy to be taken in.
that is the fun part: seeing how grateful and happy a kitten (or puppy) are when they realize they've got a nice home....
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Old 07-19-05, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by F1_Fan
I dunno... the mailbox part of this story has to tie in with a cycling/USPS Team reference. I'd call him "Eki"....
good one. i was thinking along the same lines about bikes, but did not make the mailbox/usps team connection!
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Old 07-19-05, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
OMG. Flashbacks to a time I was involved with two dogs mauling a cat and the outcome was NOT that happy....


p.s. hektor is AWESOME...
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Old 07-19-05, 07:11 AM
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Not a cat guy.
But a great story.

How come you didn;t just stuff the little guy in your jersey pocket in the first place?
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