Going out the front door a few years ago I just about stepped on this kitten. He was dirty and looked sick. His eyes were barely open and crusted around the edges. He opened his mouth but no sounds came out. I didn’t have time, I had to get to work. Checking my email, my package was “out for delivery”. I was excited my part was ahead of schedule. I get home that evening and there’s my package, with that little sick kitten crunched beside it. It was cold out so I brought them both in. He was snotty and sneezing. He could barely hold his head up or his eyes open. I set him down to open my package. It was a small computer part in a lot of packaging. As I checked it out I heard him rustling in the box. Then he sneezed. I turned my attention away from my new stuff and picked up the box with the kitten in it. He looked terrible. I took a wet rag and wiped his eyes out. His ears looked clean but I wiped them out anyway. He didn’t seem to care what I did to him. He sneezed again, this time a bubble of snot hung to his nose until he could find the effort to breath it in. The sound of his sneezing was very distinct. The wheezing that came with the sneeze sounded exactly like the word “Ratchet”. That’s what I named him.
I picked him up. He was so frail and limp. I carried him up to the bathroom to clean him up. He just wanted to get in my shirt to get warm. I filled the sink with warm water and set him on a towel on the toilet seat. He looked like a beanie baby, he was so small and sunk in. I put him in the sink of warm water. He didn’t fight. His paws held onto my finger as he started purring. I dried him good, even with the hair dryer. I wrapped him in another towel and brought him downstairs. I only had tuna to give him. Not that cheap $1.00 stuff but White Chunk Albacore $6.00 stuff. He feasted on the tiny shreds I had fed to him. The only thing I had for a litter box was some playsand I used for an aquarium and the box he crawled in. I took him to the vet the next day. He had a lung infection and something else. Cost me $200. I guess he was mine after that. I kept him a few years then he just disappeared like the others before him. He loved plastic bags and catnip. Every now and them I can hear his raspy breathing next to me.