Security Guard Brings Stray Cat Home And Then Realizes She's Hiding A Surprise
“We had no idea what was about to happen next ...”
Michael Klein, a security guard in Florida, was at work one night doing his usual patrol when he was joined by a stray cat who wouldn’t leave his side.
“She kept following me,” Klein told The Dodo. “I fell in love with that cat. Something about this cat just made me happy.”
Klein called her Tree Kitty because she was super active and he would often find her climbing trees at his job site. “She was always happy to see Michael,” Alexandra Ashe, Klein’s partner, told The Dodo. “She would brush up on his legs and head-smash into his hand.”
After spending quality time with Tree Kitty on the job, Klein decided to take her home. “It was just a relief knowing this cat’s finally inside the house," he said.
But what Klein and Ashe didn’t know, however, was that Tree Kitty was expecting.
“We thought she was just well-fed,” Ashe said. “We had no idea what was about to happen next.”
According to the vet, Tree Kitty was very healthy and pregnant with at least three kittens. But about a month after Klein brought her home, Tree Kitty gave birth to five. “The thought of helping these beautiful, innocent creatures come into the world … It was very humbling,” Ashe said.
Ashe and Klein found amazing homes for four of the kittens (Ashe’s brother took in the fluffy orange kitten) and get updates on how they’re doing on a regular basis. “All of the kittens are happy and playful,” Ashe said. “And they love water. All of them are obsessed with water.”
Klein and Ashe decided to keep Tree Kitty’s fluffy white-and-gray kitten, whom they named Willow.
“Willow is a lot shyer than her mother,” Ashe said, noting that she’s a bit timid about trying new things. “She loves to be dangling. Like, she likes to be held with her feet just hanging around. [She’s also] very curious and very smart.”
“Her best friend, without a doubt, is our Bengal kitten, who was born a week after her,” Ashe continued. “They wrestle and play.”
Willow also pals around with Norman, a genet who was raised with housecats. Ashe is the founder and CEO of Kinkatopia, a nonprofit permanent sanctuary for captive kinkajous and other wildlife species that are victims of the pet trade.
As for Tree Kitty herself, her life has changed so much since entering Ashe and Klein’s care.
“She owns the place! She watched over everything,” Ashe said. “And she is very loving toward Willow. She doesn’t climb trees anymore. Those days are over. Her favorite spot is Michael’s lap, and she is a big fan of group hugs. Or really any hug in general.”
Tree Kitty has also developed a close relationship with Norman. “They wrestle every morning and they wrestle every night. They are hilarious! He sits on her head, and she gets stuck on her back,” Ashe said, adding, “Oh, I guess we should mention that she’s put on a couple of pounds.”
But Tree Kitty is still closest to Klein, her rescuer. “She loves to cuddle up on his lap, especially before he goes to work,” Ashe said. “She loves to wrap her front two legs around his arm — she’s a hugger.”