"Shandor" The Starkitty

Shandor was born on a farm.  After a short but enjoyable life with his mom and sister, he was sold for a few dollars at a local flea market. Now, many of the peddlers at these small flea markets have their rules about selling. Yet, among the legitimate lurk a sordid crew of not-so-nice guys. They buy live animals to sell to owners of kennels who supply laboratories that test on animals. Its the very dark side of the "happy-go-lucky" flea market atmosphere.

Luckily, when Shandor was brought to the flea market to "find his forever home", he wasn't approached by this element.  He was picked out by a young girl who felt his loneliness. As most of us know, kittens are vulnerable. As all young things, they trust completely and they expect warmth, food and protection. Generally, a kitten will stay with their mom for at least eight weeks. Shandor was eight weeks when he was taken to the flea market - just starting to eat a kibble.

Destiny has it's way with us all. Shandor was no different.  The Sphere of Remel opens with this rather unusual cat's first encounter with humans apart from his farm. Animals face so many dangers when passing through the human world.  We follow him as he walks through a twirling menajerie of cats; cruelty and kindness; earthly barriers and magic. Shandor is the Starkitty!

:"Shador's Star Walk" @2011 Kim Cady


"Kemeny" The Wise One

I was named by Magigys Cigany, the Gypsy of Abbottsford Road. The name has Hungarian roots as a tribute to Magigys' ancestors. It literally means "hard". Hard is an apt description of my early life. I was found on the streets as a kitten with my brother. One day, you see, our mom never came back. Even as a kit, I had gorgeous long, silver fur which didn't go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, it caught the eye of some young, nasty humans. They plucked me out of my bed and swung me around their heads by my tail. I heard my bones crack, but, was so startled I felt nothing but terror. Two older boys passing by protested. Being bigger than the biggest in the roving gang, they took me away from the others. I know I would've died right there if those two hadn't spoke up. They found my brother and we had a new home.

The boys' father and mother were teachers who had come from a country they no longer could live in because of humans like the cruel gang that found me. This kind family built a place for us in their garage. It was wonderful to feel safe. Still, there were new dangers ahead. The family had always let animals roam as they wished, which I loved.

One day I was sleeping in the sunshine at the side of the road. A neighbor hit me with his car and didn't even notice. The boy's father saw me whimpering, trying to crawl. After a trip to the veterinarian (a place I suggest no one go to but the very ill), they found I broke a leg. The leg healed well. My luck held out.

As time went on, I realized couldn't compete with my older brother and the other bigger cat for food. You see, I was tiny. I just couldn't get enough mice to make up for the kibble that the others gobbled down before I could.

It was time. My leg and tail had mended. I felt restless and hungry. The dark woods behind our home attracted me. If I could make it there - I'd make it anywhere. If not, well, I had little chance of thriving with the others cleaning out the food bowl! After one long look back at the kind family that saved me, and a moment watching my brother playing in the garden, I leapt into the trees to begin my next journey.

I didn't know what I was in for. The first night, they were all around me. Their slobbering, drooling hunger surrounded me. High pitched yowls filled my ears as they ran from bush to bush searching for me. I climbed a small tree. Like a squirrel. I leapt across to another. They couldn't smell me up there. I saw their dark eyes - mere slits of silver reflected by the moonlight. Many nights I avoided them by staying in low branches. When I was asleep, I almost fell out of the trees. Hanging by a paw is embarrassing. Now it could be deadly. That tactic was no longer a choice.

I was exhausted. I'd been in the woods for almost two weeks. I lost so much weight; I looked like a kitten again. I caught bugs and an occasional vole; but, it wasn't enough to keep me going.

One night, a coyote's rancid smell was on my trail. I turned. He looked me right in the eyes and cried a piercing scream. I ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me. The monster was so close, his breath felt like fire on my tail. I took a quick turn. He barely realized it before I disappeared. He stopped and looked around. I had run headfirst into a fresh mound of coyote dung under a dense bush. This was not what I planned. But, I was so tired, I couldn't move. The creature was salivating on top of me, but, couldn't smell me. All he smelled were other coyotes. The dung hid my feline perfume.

That's how I survived the next few days. I'd roll in coyote dung whenever they came near. They would yip as one and gallop right past as I hid in the bushes covered in muck. One problem solved!

I still was not doing well and losing strength. Then came the morning I'll never forget. I thought I'd lay down for awhile. It was more than sleep that was nipping at my tail this time; it was complete surrender - a sleep of death. I was spent.

A tortoiseshell cat appeared before me. I thought I was dreaming. She looked at me and said, "You are a Wise One. By taking the hardest path, I heard your cries of desperation. Come with me." I rode with this beautiful cat in the Sphere and found myself with all my needs met on Abbottsford Road.

Well, that's my story. I'd better go now. There's a kitten who's not able to get at the kibble when the bigger cats are around. I'm going to teach her a few tricks!

PhotoArt by Kim Yvonne Cady "Kemeny;s Journey Begins" @2011