name is Ramps, and I was born on the Outer Banks in Avon in late August
of 2016. This is my sad but true story about the beginning of my life.
My poor mother was not someone's pet and nor were my brothers and
sisters. We all had a very hard time surviving the first three weeks of
our lives. Living under dark houses or spending the night in the
mosquito-infested marsh grass was the only home we had. Wherever our
mom could carry us each day would become our home. Very little food and
desperate conditions made me very unhappy and unhealthy -- unlike
pets with good intelligent owners.
I was mostly afraid of the barking dogs, but then came the
dreadful Labor Day Tropical Storm named Hermine. When the wind
switched, the sound water rose rapidly and flooded everything. This is
when my brother and sister were the only two left -- along with
me -- as our mom tragically lost some of us in the chaos. We climbed up
and under anything we could find to avoid the rising water and all the
worries below. The I-beam of a big truck seemed to be a safe
place to live for a while, but it began to move one day without
The noise, the motor, the wind, and bumps were terrifying. We were
going so fast and so far but to where? After 15 minutes we started to
slow down and went down a bumpy, gravelly road over a high ramp onto a
beach. There was a line of trucks in the front of us and behind us.
The new smells and sounds were petrifying as thousands of large hungry
gulls sat looking. We were all shaking violently as the road turned
into sand and the bouncing truck made it harder and harder to stay on.
Nearly at the tip of Cape Point I made the decision to jump onto this
desolate piece of sand. It nearly cost me my life.
My four small paws hit the sand where few kittens have ever been.
Seconds later, the man in the truck behind us watched the rear tire of
the truck in front press me firmly into the sand. It flattened me all
right and squeezed every bit of life-giving air out of my tiny lungs. I
could not breathe. It hurt so much! My eyes, ears, nose, and mouth were
stuffed with rough coarse sand. I didn't know where I was as I shook
and wiggled in horrific pain.
The man in the truck behind glanced over to see me stretched
out on a rut three feet out of the tracks the trucks were driving
in. He thought I was dead. I was called the "luckiest cat alive" by the
next driver to come by. His name was Kevin, and he just happened to be in
the right place at the right time. Sadly, at this same time, my brother
was run over and killed as he too jumped from the bottom of the moving
truck. A dog leaped from the bed of a pick-up and killed my sister when
she jumped. I lost my mother, brother, and sister all in 15 minutes.
I couldn't move but managed to get out a small meow when Kevin's gentle
hand first touched me. It was the first hand ever to touch me. He
carefully brushed some of the loose sand off my face when he realized I
was somehow still alive. As the brushed sand fell back onto Cape Point
beach I was placed onto the front seat of his truck.
The slower ride back through the sand was not as bumpy as I rode over
the National Park Service access ramp numbered 43 once again but in a
different direction. I know I was supposed to be one of those wild
feral kittens, but I just sat quietly on the seat and meowed once in a
while to make sure I was alive. I was also very thirsty, afraid, tired,
and sore with no idea what was to be next in my short little life
that had been so hard.
We drove about 10 minutes to a house tucked into the woods, and I was
greeted by another pair of friendly hands. Her name was Kim. She
cleaned me up even more and feed me milk made just for kittens. I
almost died twice the first night as she forced water mixed with the
milk down my sandy throat. She petted my bad memories away and spoke
kind words like I never heard before.
I learned earlier that day how to catch my breath and had to do it
twice again that night to stay alive. Some of my pain began to slowly
go away but I had other health issues that were found when they
took me to the veterinarian to get the sand out of my ears and eyes.
Living in the stressful conditions I did as a kitten is not very
healthy. I had to take medicine for 40 days through an eye dropper to
cure me from diseases kittens can get in the wild. I hated it every
time they gave it to me, but it made me better. I'm now the healthiest
Today I'm 14 weeks old and so thankful my owners Kevin and Kim took me
in to their home. They say they love me and that makes me purr loud.
I'm very cute too. They also say I'm good when I'm good and bad when
I'm bad whatever that means. All I know is they love me so much they
brought a real tree in the house for me to play in this December. It
even had lights and bright glass balls on it that I swatted and bit
Other people come over to see me and admire my gray stripes and
spots. Please don't tell me to go to sleep when I want to
play and vise versa. I'm a kitten with a home now.
today something is going to happen next month I might not like but has
to be done. They call it spaying or neutering. It should happen to all cats and
dogs that are household pets. It is so sad to see all the animal
shelters filled with dogs and cats with no home or like I was -- no
food, no love, or no hope.
The bottom line is there are just too many unwanted animals. People can
simply reduce our numbers by getting their cats and dogs fixed. There
are also groups out there that pay to have it done. Please pet owners,
be responsible and do this. I got very lucky but so many other animals
are not. Help reduce our population by simply getting us fixed.
Thank you, Christinia Hicks, at the Coastal Animal Hospital in Buxton
for helping me. The Friends of Felines in Avon at 252-995-4725
can help get us fixed at no cost. Please don't be lazy -- just call and
get it done.
McCabe is a writer, fisherman, outdoorsman, animal lover and one of the
founders of the Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Project. He and his wife,
Kim Mosher, an artist and animal lover also, live in Buxton -- with
Ramps, of course.)