July 22, 2010
Julie says: At church one Sunday a friend of mine asked if school was out yet for me. (I'm a teacher.) I said yes and she said, "Great! How would you like to nurse a kitten for me?” A friend of hers had given her an orphan male kitten to care for, since normally she does that kind of stuff, but she was just too busy to attend to the two-hour feedings. I said I would do it, knowing that my daughter Emily, home from college, would be in love and I wouldn’t have to do much. We would only have the kitten for about three weeks and then we would have to find it a home because I knew our cat, Cally, would not tolerate another cat around the house, although I thought she might accept a kitten for a while.

So the work began. We fed the kitten milk replacement formula from an eyedropper, and then afterwards we would clean him with a warm wet paper towel to imitate the licking of the mother cat. This also induces kittens to eliminate, since they can’t do this on their own yet. I was thinking (hoping) that Cally might adopt the motherless kitten, but when we showed the meowing babe to her, she stiffened, hissed at it and took herself outside. But all was not lost. Gradually we introduced kitty to Lucy, our dog. No one, not even a dog, can resist a kitten. Her interest was fanatic. Eventually we let her sniff him and she was in love. When we felt it was safe, we put the kitten on the floor. Lucy laid down next to the little thing and assumed the nursing position, getting in occasional gentle licks. That was it; Lucy finally attained motherhood. Kitty was her "puppy" and she began caring for him in every way that she could. Even claws and sharp little teeth didn't deter Lucy's desire to be a good mother. Under Lucy's care, Toby grew and thrived. He became very playful and grew to love sandals, his "sock buddy," and anything he could get his teeth and claws into, including my leg.

Still, he needed a new home. I tried to remain a stauch supporter of my husband's declared position of "no new cat." But he was the one who fell in love and caved. So Emily won again, just as she did in 1994 when she convinced us to keep Cally.

Toby is now a total member of the family. He has learned to be more careful with his claws. Cally still hisses and growls whenever he comes within two feet of her. Lucy no longer mothers this full-grown boy, but they are friendly. She routinely shares "her" chair with him. And when he sees Lucy crossing the yard, he crouches, races across the yard and leaps at her, occasionally using her back as a springboard.

All Photos Courtesy of and ©: Julie Falk
Julie's photo blog Framework of the Heart is not to be missed, especially her photos of snowflakes!!

Comments and LOLs:
Gina -
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I love Toby's story, especially since it has a happy ending. Toby looks lie a sweet little boy and I love, love Lucy's expression in all the pictures.
Gina -
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Thank you dad for "forgetting" the "no new cat" policy!
Leonie -
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I love these kinds of stories; when an animal of one species adopts a baby of another, and thus gives the little one a chance. It's so heartwarming. ^_^ It takes a special kind of dog to adopt a kitten. :)
Smooch -
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Smooch
gold kitten points
612 points
Oh, I had to vote for this picture as I used to have a cat called Fluff who looked just like this! She was a pale grey, white and ginger tortie and I have a shot of her with those big ears! Toby is gorgeous and the photos of him with the dog are adorable. I can see why he was hard to resist!
Smarsh26 -
Smarsh26
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48 points
Aww! Looks like my cat Ashton Patches (Well actually, he went to live on a farm when we moved)! He died very recently though. :(
amycats -
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amycats
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534 points
Toby is tops!...Lucy is lovely! ...and I hope Cally comes around!
amycats -
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amycats
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534 points
and love this picture, too!
Tracee -
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Tracee
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115 points
Awww - they are soo adorable! =)
Shirley -
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Shirley
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261 points
Look at that little face. So glad dad decided to keep this little guy.
paulajeanne -
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paulajeanne
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537 points
love the adoring mommy look on Lucy's face!
celinehoran -
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celinehoran
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59 points
"Phew! It took me hours to get him down, I'm shattered!"
Jackie -
Jackie
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91 points
What a beautiful story. Good on you Lucy! You are a great Mum. Toby is a cutie I can see why you couldn't part with him.
CareAboutCats -
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CareAboutCats
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321 points
So sweet. Great story!
Manicat -
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What a sweet, loving expression!
mma -
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mma
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708 points
What a lovely story; these photos are wonderful; glad Dad caved!
Natthecat -
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Natthecat
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1678 points
Yes, I loved the story and the pictures. It was all so nice, I felt like a kid at bedtime. "Mama, please tell me the story again!" Toby, you are a lovable imp! And Lucy is cooler than cool. Of course Cally is miffed--she wants to know why you needed another cat! That's how I felt when my sister was born--it took a few decades, but now we see it's a good thing after all.
Reg -
I can see why there was no resisting this little sweetheart! Even for the dog. Pure adorableness!!
Boodie -
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boodie
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111 points
*sigh* It's really hard being as cute as I am
Snowysmom -
Snowysmom
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395 points
Toby is absolutely adorable - easy to see how he won the hearts of the whole family, including Lucy! I'm sure Cally will come around, sooner or later, too, because he's irresistible!
Amy -
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Amy
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This bowl of food is bigger than me! I love how Toby won over your family. I'm sure Cally will realize resistance is futile very soon ;)
Amy -
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Amy
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Susan -
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Susan
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66 points
Such good friends! Wonderful!
Gabby -
Gabby
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132 points
What a cutie, wonderful story and home for a kitten!!!
docsquid -
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docsquid
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642 points
Oh, he is a little poppet, a true little star. Lucy sounds like a great mummy and Toby was obviously the perfect "puppy"! So glad you could keep him.
demiller -
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demiller
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286 points
Shelley -
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Shelley
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455 points
vicgag -
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vicgag
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171 points
This little kitty looks as if he is reading a good book.
dol -
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dol
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81 points
he is so cute! no wonder no one was able to resist him ;)
MoreKittens4Me -
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MoreKittens4Me
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131 points
It's a good story and a nice happy ending. Although I feel a little sad that Lucy didn't get to be a mommy to a litter of pups. She obvously would have made a great one and it looks like she really wants babies.
Thanks for helping and adopting Toby!
texasmom -
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texasmom
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83 points
just the cutest pose!! : )
kibblegirl -
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kibblegirl
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841 points
What a beautiful story. Too bad that humans can not live together as simply as these precious animals. Toby is a handsome little cattie. Wonderful photos of the whole family, Thanks
Dancing Cat Hill -
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"My kitten!" says Lucy!
catiam -
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catiam
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220 points
This is such a cute picture. What a heartwarming story. You have a beautiful human and animal family.
BirmanMama -
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BirmanMama
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884 points
How could you not keep Lucy's "puppy" after all of that love and work? Your story is so sweet and the two of them are so cute together.
skelter -
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skelter
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33 points
demonesque -
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demonesque
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5 points
skelter -
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skelter
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33 points
skelter -
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skelter
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33 points
skyeltd -
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skyeltd
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249 points
Mary Grace -
My dear Hobo was adopted by my yellow lab Honey. Oh, I know. I had to pay the bills, but she was always her kitten. Hobo looked so much like this little doll ~ but she was probably a lot fluffier!
forkboy1965 -
A lovely story. The world needs more folks and dogs like you and yours!
Rattler -
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Rattler
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244 points
Rattler -
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Rattler
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244 points
Metmarfil -
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Metmarfil
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71 points
charlie122 -
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charlie122
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58 points
that is the second most cutest thing i have ever seen in my life!!!!!!!!!!
xxx
MissyofMissylandia -
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MissyofMissylandia
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779 points
Nancy -
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Went back to check this story since the new Daily Kitten is about these kids. What a great fur family you have! :)
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