Happy 65: A Cat in Hand is Better Than One in a Bird Cage

I always grew up around cats, and it was a no-brainer for me to want my own after college. Three months after graduation, I was living in a one-bedroom apartment, in Selma, Ala., and my brother’s cat was pregnant. He told me when the kittens were born. I asked my landlord about getting a pet. Technically, I wasn’t allowed, but he had grandfathered other residents into letting them have pets. He was a forgetful guy, so I suggested I was grandfathered along with the others. He told me to pay him $100, and I could get a cat. 

When the kittens were born, I went to my brother’s house and got to see them. I held a tiny one with a little mustache in the palm of my hand and decided to adopt him. I named him Peekaboo and left him with his mama for six weeks.

When I came back, my brother talked me into taking another cat. He wanted to get rid of them, and I’m a soft touch. I wanted two cats of the same gender, so he picked up each of the other kittens and peered beneath them. He had determined Peekaboo was a girl, and the last one he handed me was also a girl. I called her Lil’Bit, with Lily as a nickname.

Three weeks later, I was at the vet getting their shots, and the nurse and I were talking about the beautiful girl cats I have. The doctor had Peekaboo’s hiney in the air, looks up at us and goes, “You realize this is a boy, right?”

Cue freakout and thoughts of cat incest. So he reached in the carrier, grabbed Lil’Bit and went, “Boy, too.”

How my girl cats became boy cats. My mom teased my brother over not being able to tell gender.


Not quite a year later, I was living in Tennessee. My ex-boyfriend’s sister lived in Memphis, and I living in Bristol. She fostered cats. One day, she called me and began telling me about two kittens. The kittens had been abandoned on the railroad tracks, locked in a birdcage, and left to die. Someone found them, rescued them, and took them to a vet. They entered fostering, and one of them was a lovely little girl who was addicted to laps. All I could think of was these poor kittens and agreed to take her. Sharon drove her eight hours across the state, and I named her for the cat demon in Inuyasha. Peekaboo, Lil’Bit, and Kirara.

Author: Megan Lavey-Heaton

Photographer: Megan Lavey-Heaton

About the Author:

Megan Lavey-Heaton lives in Pennsylvania with her three cats and a Scouser she stole from the UK and refuses to give back. When not setting the internet on fire with her awesome comic  Namesake,  Megan likes to knit, cook, experiment with new tech and explore the depths of 19th and 18th literature.

Have your own great story of an animal rescued? I'd love to post it! Contact me seeking shelter comic at gmail dot com