Abandoned kitten brings joy and mischief to the household

Susan Manzke
Susan embraces the now full=grown Car-E.

On June 3, 2020, a little ball of fur came into my life. That’s the day Car-E was discovered in my car's wheel well and had to be removed by a kindhearted mechanic.

I never could figure how or why that barn cat abandoned her kitten inside my car engine, but I was glad she did. I never found her other kittens, even though I looked for them.

Some say Car-E was a gift from Bob. I’m not sure about that, but that darn cat could have been a joke from my late husband.

Car-E started out so cute and cuddly, just the sweetest thing. At first, we thought it was female, but found out at the vet’s office that my new cat was a male. The name stuck. He was found in a car after all.

Like other kittens, Car-E didn’t stay small for long. A year later, my feline companion is a large cat with all kinds of energy. Too bad he’s not always the sweetest furry friend. Sometimes Car-E likes to play rough.

A bewildered young kitten, found inside Susan's car, is welcomed into the fold in the Manzke household.

One minute Car-E will be sleeping peacefully on my lap, allowing me to stroke his fur, and then the next he gets it into his head it’s playtime.

His front paws curl around my arm and his mouth opens. Too soon teeth are pinching my hand—more than once, his antics have drawn blood.

“No,” I say firmly, and remove myself from his grasp. “NO!” I yell, trying to teach him this is not proper behavior. Finally, I put him firmly on the floor, figuring that removing him from my lap will teach him a lesson. It doesn’t. Next, he attacks my sandal-clad toes.

To distract the cat from my toes, I toss one of his cat toys across the floor. Car-E watches it but continues to be attracted to my toes. It’s time for me to leave the room.

Car-E disappears. He is sleeping somewhere, gaining energy to wrestle again.

Car-E keeps a close watch on the avian activity outside of his window.

There have been times when Car-E goes missing. It’s a sure thing he’s locked in a closet. I retrace my steps and check the doors that I opened and then closed. A tiny mew comes out of an upstairs closet. Car-E must have snuck inside when I was putting laundry away.

This has happened more than once. Car-E is fast and easily goes past me without me seeing him.

A fly arrives in the kitchen and the cat goes crazy. Car-E leaps about, trying to snatch it mid-air. I stop what I’m doing and watch the Car-E Show. This bug hunt had him leaping at the fly that was a good four feet above his head. I had to laugh.

Many times, I’m able to video Car-E at play. These very short videos can be found in some of my blog entries ( Just look for cats or Car-E’s name.

Two cats live in my house. Cruella who is 14 has little patience with Car-E’s antics. For such a small cat, her screech can be heard through the house when she’s upset. Fur never flies, yet her loud displeasure sounds like one or both are being murdered.

Car-E discovers all kinds of goodies after breaking into the kitchen cupboard.

This morning when I came downstairs, I found pet mischief taking place in the kitchen.

A cabinet door was wide open and Sunny was snuffling kibble off the floor. Though the dog looked guilty I knew he wasn’t the responsible party. That honor belonged to Car-E.

My naughty cat was there too, watching. Just the other day, I watched as Car-E flicked open a different cabinet door. I thought all the other doors were secure to his pawing, but I was wrong.

I swept up the last of the pet food and closed the door. It wasn’t long before Car-E had it open again. This time he was moving tins of cat food around.

Car-E entertains me and keeps me on my toes. Now if I can just stop some of his rough play. I need all my fingers to pop open those cat food tins.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;