Romeo Asad "Lion"
(The Wild Mountains)
My handsome boy with his white
Asad means "lion" in Arabic. This is a very special and very lucky boy. I found him in the middle of the night at a McDonald's drive-through in a bad part of town. I was with my boyfriend, and after hearing a kitten cry when I pulled up to place my order, I parked the car and started searching for the source of all the crying.
I saw a tiny little face and two huge ears with long black tufts wobbling just above the grass next to the "Place Your Order" speaker. The lawn was freshly cut, but little Romeo was so tiny, he could barely keep his chin above the grass.
When I walked over the pick him up, he bolted and hid inside the spinning hubcaps of a gangster's car that was waiting in line. I begged the guy to stop and not go forward because there was a kitten in his wheel. I crawled under the car and got the little guy out.
He fit in the palm of my hand, stretched out and exhausted. His eyes were gummed shut and leaking fluid, and his fur was crawling with fleas and beatles as big as my fingernail. He couldn't see, but I massaged him and talked to him and he managed to sniff out the can of fish flavored wet cat food I bought at the 24 hour Walgreens down the street.
He was painfully thin, so I fed him in the car, on my lap. I refused to drive any further without getting him fed and re-hydrated. He ate, lapped water mixed with juice from the wet food, and fell asleep.
His belly was swollen and I was worried about his health. It was a relief when he went to the bathroom for the first time (and made a fuss untill I got the mess away from him--he's been a very clean kitty his entire life) but I was appalled at what came out of him. It looked like he had been eating the same bugs that had been crawling through his fur, even though his teeth were still very small and he couldn't really chew them up much.
I took him to the vet the next day, and was told the bad news. Baby Romeo was probably about 4 weeks old, and it was nothing short of a miracle that he was still alive.
He had a cold, a tummy full of parasites, and so many fleas that he was horribly anemic. He was so anemic, he was having heart palpitations. It was the most severe case of anemia the vet had ever seen. He expected Romeo would die within a matter of days.
He was too small for any flea medicine, and the vet could only guess at the dosage and frequency for antibiotics and iron supplements for such a tiny kitten.
It was very fortunate I didn't have a job for the next few weeks that summer. I gave him as much food and water as he would take (the vet's orders), gave him his meds in tiny doses every four hours (even through the night) and gave him a bath three times a day, picking the bugs and fleas off of him by hand, and gently wiping his eyes clean every time they gummed up.
He slept with a teddy bear that was twice as big as he was (it's still his teddy), inside an open carboard box that I kept with me 24/7. He had good days and bad days (he went into a coma once and I revived him with an eyedropper of diluted maple syrup--then he had diarrhea and got really dehydrated) but every day he kept on eating and growing like he knew his survival depended on it.
The day I knew he was going to prove the vet wrong, I woke up in the gray dawn light to tiny little paws walking up my stomach and a squeaky little voice telling me hello.
His eyes were clear and bright--for the first time I could see the line of creamy white fur around them. He wriggled up to my ear and started licking and sucking on my earlobe, purring and "huffing" right in my ear.
He grew up while I was in college and stuck by me through some terribly tough times. After many different homes, dorm rooms and cars, he and I have come home to the Rocky Mountain west where he is now the king of the mountains, stalking and chasing anything from deer to neighborhood dogs.
He is the most loyal, loving, tolerant, intelligent animal I have ever met.
About The Breed