Jet Puff The Cheeto Hunter
I grew up out in the country, on a small farm that was surrounded by other small farms, and it was not uncommon to find stray cats in our barn. However, the story of Jet Puff, the little kitten that wouldn't quit, tops them all.
One day when I was around 15 years old, my younger sister comes running into the house to tell me she found a very sick, very small kitten in the barn. I went out to investigate and discovered a little kitten, all by his lonesome, who was skin and bones and barely hanging onto life.
He had lost most of his fur; what was left was just little white patches here and there. He didn't seem to have an ounce of extra body fat on him. I scooped him up into a blanket and took him back home, then left to a nearby farm feed store to buy kitten formula and a little bottle.
We started off slow, feeding him just a little bit at a time, because we did not want to shock his system with too much food at once. Man, this poor little guy didn't even seem to know what to do with the bottle. It's as though he had never nursed at all, even though he must have at some point.
However, as days passed, he drank from the bottle with more and more gusto...until we had difficulty even prying it from his teeny little paws. We would try to move the bottle away only to have him grab on for dear life, refusing to let go and trying to get the very last droplet out of it.
As he grew fatter, his hair began to regrow too, and we discovered that our little kitty was actually a longhaired cat. He was growing plumes and plumes of thick white hair. That's how he got his name -- Jet Puff, after the brand of marshmallows, because we could tell he was going to be a pudgy one and he was white as a marshmallow.
Nothing would ever stand between Jet Puff and his quest for food. Everything was fair game. I once found him tail-deep in a big bag of Cheetos, munching away happily. I pulled him out to discover his white fur was covered in Cheetos dust. I've never seen a cat so happy.
One time he got into a half-full can of ravioli...he was stained orange for a week! Neither were plates of food were safe. I set down a plate with two pieces of pizza on it and he promptly grabbed one and ran away with it, running with the slice of pizza flopping around on the ground beneath him. Chicken nugget on a fork? Forget about it. Ever seen videos of bears fishing for salmon? Jet Puff's paw would snap out at lightning speed and grab your food right off the fork, claiming it for his own.
It was highly amusing that this cat, once the skinniest kitten I had ever seen, ended up being the biggest cat I ever owned. He was over 15 pounds full grown, with, it sometimes felt like, another 15 pounds of long white fur.
He was also the sweetest; once he felt like he had eaten enough for the present moment, he was happy to fall asleep on anyone's lap or in anyone's arms. His whole life revolved around cuddles, food and then more cuddles and food. It just goes to show that every kitten and every cat is worth the effort...and the Cheetos.