Yesterday I saw the news that Michael Clarke Duncan had died and I was SO sad. His part in The Green Mile had really left me feeling like I knew him. As an actor he’d stepped out of himself and let the character fill him. In other words, he did a damn fine job and I really, truly respected that. Geoff and I both, when we heard the news separately, felt like we’d been socked in the gut.
This kind of news, however, I could read all day.
This Aug. 21, 2012 photo shows Ni Hao, the stowaway kitten from Shanghai at the Los Angeles County Animal Care Control Carson Shelter in Gardena, Calif. Ni Hao traveled from Shanghai to Los Angeles in a freight container on a shipping boat. Ni Hao means hello in Mandarin Chinese. The orange-and-white short-haired kitten traveled 6,500 miles without food or water. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A stowaway kitten who survived a three-week ocean voyage from China to California trapped in a storage container without food or water has found a new home.
Los Angeles County animal control officials said Friday that the cat, which has been named Ni Hao (NEE’ how) or ‘‘hello’’ in Chinese, will leave the animal hospital he’s called home since turning up in the U.S. last month to start life next week with a family in the LA suburb of Redondo Beach.
The family has not been further identified, but officials say it was chosen from more than 80 serious candidates who applied to adopt the stowaway.
The now 5-month-old kitten was found July 11.
It couldn’t walk, see, or make any sounds.
An officer said the kitten had shallow breathing and was ‘‘curled up in a ball with his eyes shut,’’ said animal control official Aaron Reyes.
‘‘And he actually appeared deceased,’’ he added said.
The cat was rushed to a care center where veterinarians say he has thrived.
The only lingering sign of trauma is a limp, which Reyes describes as ‘‘his own strut.’’
The kitten suffered considerable muscle atrophy on the journey, causing him to walk with a ginger, unusual gait, Reyes said.
Ni Hao is ‘‘still a bit wobbly’’ and ‘‘may end up being a special needs kitty for life,’’ said Reyes, deputy director of the county’s animal control department.
But, Reyes said, ‘‘he’s gone from this shriveled up little kitten with shallow breathing and knocking on death’s door to this curious, playful, bouncy, affectionate, patient, little furry kitty.’’
Ni Hao created a media buzz while at the center. Dozens of news outlets from all over the globe have visited. At one time, there were so many requests, the shelter set up a media day to handle them all.
County shelter workers have a couple of theories to explain how Ni Hao survived, Reyes said. They think he ate or drank something just before wandering into the container, he said, or ‘‘he is so young his resilience is off the charts.’’
This reminds me of when Lucky Bucky The Miracle Kitty was stuck in the wall. We’d called the Fire Department, the MSPCA, the ARL… pretty much everyone we could think of. Finally Carron had the genius idea to call the media as the people who could help us wouldn’t. At the same time I decided to call my vet for help.
As I was talking to my vet at some godawful hour of the morning I’ll never forget what he said to me. “Kelly, if you can hear him meowing (I could) then he’s probably fine and you just have to concentrate on getting him out. Cats are tough little desert creatures who can go a long time without food or water if they have to. Have you called the media yet? If not, do it. Then find a way to get through that wall. He’ll be fine.”
And you know what? He was right. Cats are tough little creatures which is, no doubt, how they came to have a reputed 9 lives. Good luck little Ni Hao, the hard part is over.