New Camping Kitty – “Vanse”

Sammy Vance HarrisHello and welcome to the blog today.  On the left is a picture of my new little buddy, Vanse.  He’s a cool dude and the story behind him is remarkable.  His full name is “Samuel Vanse Harris”.  Though I’d intended to call him Sammy, “Vanse” (pronounced “Vance”) seemed to stick.  (even though it’s a play on the work “vans”.  The old English name is kind of cute and he seems to like the attention.   Vanse is an amazing guy and his story is heartwarming.

After Serena died it left a hole in my heart.  Her little life was dedicated to her daddy and she was a very jealous but loving kitty.  I couldn’t get another female without feeling guilty.  On the other hand, Jesse James was becoming increasingly “clingy” and lonely.  He needed a buddy.  I waited until the time was perfect and there was no doubt that this was the right kitty.  Vanse is asleep so now is a good time to tell his story…

Vanse SleepingA co-worker (who I will call “J”) rescues animals and has a heart of gold.  She knows I’m a cat fanatic and after seeing the picture of the cat condo (TV) she loved it and encouraged me to adopt one of her rescue kitties.  I visited my friend’s home today and played with a handful of cats.  Most allowed a few seconds of fur stroking.  Vanse (originally named “Jenko”) approached me several times, purred, and even did a nose kiss on my lips.  His story is unique and even if I did not know his background, would have still chosen this cat…  (There was no option.  He chose me!)

Vanse was a rescue cat.  A couple of months ago he was hit by a car on a gravel road near Monticello (about 16 miles from where I live).  A man who doesn’t really care that much about cats picked up the injured kitty rather than seeing it suffer in pain.  A front leg was broken and the face was bloody, apparently where Vanse’s nose had brushed against the car.  The cat was given to “J”.  Vanse was having trouble breathing.  “J” cleaned up the kitty, put his leg in a homemade splint and returned him to health.   Now he’s got a forever home.  If Vanse learns to like camping, he’s got quite an exciting life in store!

Jesse BedJesse’s not exactly thrilled with Vanse’s arrival.  Hopefully he will calm down in a couple of days.  I can see these two being good buddies in the future.

** Update **  8/8/2015  Last night was the kitten’s first night in the house and he was alone in a room.  After crying enough to wake me up, I let him explore.  This morning there was a cat under each arm in my bed.  Jesse is still a bit grouchy but Van-Van has a way of rubbing up against Jesse and the old tomcat is quickly accepting his new buddy.  They are both using the TV kitty condo although Jesse isn’t the best about sharing!

For now that’s about it.  I’ve got some days off next week and hope to do some camping.  There’s a cool place I’d like to do some fishing – a stationary barge in the middle of the Mississippi River.  One pays and takes a boat out to it and you can fish safely to one’s content… for $10.  More about that later.

For now, I’m as tired as Vanse and it’s a great time to take a “cat” nap.

Thanks for following along.  Have a great weekend!

Bradford, Jesse, and Vanse
Jones County, Iowa

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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10 Responses to New Camping Kitty – “Vanse”

  1. my_vantasy says:

    Congrats on the new family member! I’m a dog person, but completely understand the “hole in the heart” feeling. I ended up getting another dog only a month after my beloved Daisy passed…that was four years ago and I love my new best furry friend.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Glad to hear about the canine pal being such good company! We really get attached to the four footed friends. Serena saw me through good and bad times; she was an amazing psychologist in her own way. It looks like this little cuddly kitten will enjoy visiting the outdoors as well!

      Cats and dogs enrich our lives immeasurably. I’m happy to hear your dog has worked out so well!

  2. Great show on tv, I could watch that all night!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks! It’s a great “show” and not a lot of drama. Vanse is already enjoying the TV condo and his surroundings. The two of them are getting along pretty quickly. Jesse needed someone to love and Vanse loves having an older cat to hang out with. 🙂

  3. Jo says:

    Cute little kitty. Hope Jesse will warm up to him soon and Vanse loves to came with you

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo,

      Thank you. Vanse is a sweetheart. So far, so good other than the kitten loves chewing lampshades and the plastic blades on the drone! Vanse and Jesse are getting along great. This morning Vanse was playing on the bed. Jesse would put his paw on the kitten’s head and lick him. There’s no fighting at all. It only took a day to get them used to each other. Now Jesse is acting like either the big brother or daddy to the little guy. It’s fun to watch the kitten exploring and Jesse having a new pal… and it gives a person a chance to type without a big kitty always wanting to be on one’s shoulder!

  4. Meg says:

    In the first pic Vanse definitely does not look full grown, so when you started calling him “the kitten” I wasn’t surprised. Do you have any idea how old he is? And – because I can’t remember if you’ve said this before – how old is Jesse?

    It sounds like the two will be getting along, and that’s great. Jesse is probably happy to have a buddy again.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and thanks for the note! Vanse (aka “Van-Van”) is about 4 months old. He’s a tiny little guy but can eat as much as Jesse (who is nearly 8 years old). It really doesn’t cost that much more to feed Vanse – Jesse used to waste his food. The little kitty has quite the appetite and is already pretty spoiled. I’m thinking about camping out with the little guy tomorrow night. 😀 Take care!

  5. Pleinguy says:

    Vanse is a cute kitty. I hope he and Jesse learn to get along. Since he’s so young, he will likely adapt to camping. Although some cats just don’t like riding in a vehicle. Hope it works out.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Good morning. So far the two of them are getting along perfectly. I’m really hoping that he enjoys the trips. He’s going to ride in a car carrier – something I should have done with Serena and Jesse. Oh well, we live and learn. With the cool weather coming soon, it will be fun to see how he does. Take care! — VT