**Kinda long, kinda mushy**
Nauti was a fitting name for the little girl, in the sense that she was always getting into everything...but the name is actually short for "Nautical", because she was born in the bilge of a winterized speedboat to a feral mom in the dead of winter.
Nauti was the runt of a litter of 3, a tiny, sickly little thing. Her mother would accept food and water, but touching was totally out of the question!! I had a reflectorized cover over the boat, so I put a small lamp with a fairly powerful bulb under the cover, to warm things up a little, just so that it wasn't so bone chilling cold in there.
Then one morning, in early March, feral mamma and the two more robust kittens were gone, having departed on their journey, on which I wish them well, wherever they are. But little Nauti was left behind, apparently still to tiny to travel. So, with some tuna juice and KMR and a couple of hours of just sitting and chilling, little Nauti was finally coaxed out of the engine compartment of the boat. As soon as I could get her calmed down and into a carrier, we were on our way to the vet.....where she ended up staying 3 days. As it turned out, little Nauti was allergic to too many things to list. The vet was very understanding, but also very honest that Nauti might now make it, and it might be kinder to let her go...but I didn't. I don't know why, I really didn't need a kitten; but she came back home with me.
At the time, Turvy Demeter and Diva Etcetera were the only residents here, and Turvy took to her right away. Turvy never had a litter of her own, but has always acted as "mom" for the wayward jellicle that has turned up since then
We worked through the allergies, sometimes with a scare or two...we ended up with glass bowls, refrigerated filtered water, foam wrapped in a towel washed only in water as a bed.....
Nauti was with us for a little over 3 years. Her favorite spot was to sit on a window table where she could see the birdfeeders in the evenings, and watch till she fell asleep. One morning I got home from work, and she was still there. According to the vet, something had triggered her allergies, and she had simply stopped breathing. She looked as though she had never woke up, still as though sleeping on her table.
I really don't know how I would categorized myself spiritually. I don't belong to any churches, but I feel that there are things in this world and surreal that are far, far beyond our understanding, and we should just simply accept and appreciate that...... I think that when Nauti left us that night, she left on a mission, one thing that she had left to do.
Almost 80 miles to the north, a tiny litte red kitten, cold, alone, and nearly starved, was headed south with determination. A co-worker of mine saw her on his cattle farm 3 times that day, headed south. The last time he found her trying to gnaw pieces from a feed block made for cattle. He split a chicken salad sandwich and bottled water with her, and took her home. Once there, he thought of seeing if I would take her the next time he saw me at work. This was the same day that Nauti has passed away. He told me that his city and county had no shelter and he could not keep her, so I agreed to take her to the shelter her and turn her in as a stray. Over the course of an 80 mile drive, things changed, and we never went to the shelter, we went to the vet instead. And then, Baby Rumpleteaser came home to join the tribe....a last gift to her, and to me, from little Nauti. I still miss my little goober.