Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pepe Was a Fiesty Kitten

Pepe was a feisty kitten.

We’d had him barely three days. We’d just taken him and his brother, an orange tabby, to the vet. Our vet laughed and commented on their feistiness, smiled through the whole examination.  He said they were very healthy except for the upper respiratory infection which had settled in Pepe’s left eye. He said our rescue kittens looked better than kittens he’d seen that people had paid for.

The assistant remarked on Pepe’s colorings. A black and white kitten, he had tabby markings—black on black stripes. “Very unusual,” she said.

We hadn’t really named them. We were leaning toward French names because we’d just returned from our mission trip in Quebec. I’d suggested Pepe Le Pew, the cartoon skunk. When we’d picked up the kittens, an awful stink accompanied them.

We kept them in a dog cage while they acclimated to their new surroundings so that our dog couldn’t get to them. But, oh, how he wanted to. Claney loves baby animals. He’s enormous at 110 pounds; however, he’s gentle and patient with kittens and puppies.

Pepe had climbed up the cage (about two feet) to escape through the openings on top. Our sons put him back before they left for youth group. By the time we came outside to leave for church, Pepe had escaped again, relaxing on top of the cage.

I felt unsettled about leaving him like that, but my husband commented that he’d just climb out again if we put him back in. It was early evening of the third day. Surely, the get-to-know-everybody time was coming to a close.

We got the call from our sons on our way home.

The neighbor dogs, normally pinned up except for Saturdays, had killed Pepe. The kitten who wouldn’t back down or run for cover. He’d stood up to Claney’s bark with hissing and growling. Pepe, our black and white ball of courage, was dead.

“Sick at heart” is a phrase people use to describe how they feel after a senseless tragedy. I wish those words explained our feelings at the horrific end to our kitten’s life, but they don’t. We miss you, Pepe.