Two feral kitties found at a Boeing hangar learned how to warm up to one family.
Sara Caldwell felt a void in her home after her cat, Max, ran away. Her family decided that needed to change. They never expected that the Boeing factory would be their answer.
The family began trying to fill the empty space in their hearts by perusing shelters. They set their sights on two eight-week-old kittens, Zeppelin and Floyd, who had been rescued from a Boeing hangar in the surrounding Seattle area.
While the Caldwell family had only intended to bring home one cat, Zeppelin and Floyd were a bonded pair. The two felines had been feral, running rampant in an area marked with heavy machinery and high traffic. It had been a dangerous place to live.
When the cat rescue group, MEOW, scooped up the kittens to bring them to safety, Zeppelin got so spooked that he broke his nose on the carrier. As a result, he has a hook nose. Caldwell told Wide Open Pets that his adorable deformity made him "snort like a pig, especially when he was happy."
The Caldwells took a chance on the skittish kitties, noting that Zeppelin seemed to be the braver one, allowing the family to play with him during his foster period at their home. Zeppelin even became a tummy-rubbing connoisseur.
Floyd, however, would not go down the stairs. He continues to be scared of any and everything.
Sara told Wide Open Pets:
"Floyd is afraid of: plastic bags, sudden movements, noise that goes above normal talking, anything slightly out of the ordinary, strangers, people he hasn't seen in over a week, babies, strange voices he doesn't recognize, loneliness, loud voices he does recognize, animals on the television looking directly at the camera, my cat Neville looking at him or walking near him...there's probably more to the list."
Sara said Floyd has also mastered opening the broom closet, but from the outside only, which results in the cat frequently getting stuck.
Zeppelin and Floyd remained indoor-outdoor cats, spending their days roaming and their nights safely indoors. But one night, Zeppelin did not come home when called. When he showed up in the morning, he had a large gash which the vet surmised was the work of a bobcat.
While Zeppelin recovered from the scuffle, he still felt a calling to be out in the wild. Maybe his bravery got the best of him. One night Zeppelin snuck out and never came back.
The family still misses him, so much so that Sara wrote up a memorial to her beloved Boeing hangar survivor. She calls Zeppelin "the raddest of cats."
Floyd misses his brother, too. He took up howling at the moon after Zeppelin's disappearance.
All photos via Sara Caldwell.
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