"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Update on the Kittens

Where were we? Oh yes:
    When we left the kittens they were living in the garage, mostly in their kennel. I was warm-water-wiping their eyes twice a day and feeding them kitten chow with cream laced with corn syrup. They were learning how to use the cat box….all by themselves. That brings us to today.
     The little black kitten, the one the mother had spirited away and hidden behind the chicken brooder, is the least happy to see me come into the garage.  Twice I have thought him dead or gone. He lives, but is not very sociable. His brothers and sisters, all black and white except the runt, who is a smudgy calico, are becoming rather fond of me. I am returning the feeling, sort of.  When you take care of someone you become attached whether you want to or not. I wouldn't call it love at this point.
     My two cats have decided not to kill the little ones I guess, because I have left the doors open and given them ample opportunity to get on with it and they have declined. The kittens come out into the yard now and jump about, tails lifted, backs arched in mock fierceness. Very cute stuff, as always.
The mother is nowhere in sight. You may recall that I was of the belief that she had officially abandoned them into my care.
     Yesterday I was sitting on the front steps, watching the western sky and wondering if we might get more rain, when I saw her jump down out of the old Mulberry tree and skeedaddle around the far side of the house. Hmmmm… Later on, while I was sitting on the porch swing reading, I heard her yowling her heart out in the yard just north of the garage.  I took that racket mean that she missed her babies, so I  opened the garage door and left for town, giving her all the freedom she might desire to do whatever with them, or not.
      Sure enough, when I returned the kittens were gone and so was she. Hallelujah! My troubles were over and the kittens were out of my care and back with their mother. I set about applying fertilizer to all the trees in Maggie's Wood because yes, we were definitely going to get a rain overnight.  As I was pulling some weeds along the new berm planting on the east side of the house I glanced up and there was one of the kittens, standing beneath a large rose bush, watching me work. Wonderful! They were still close but not my responsibility. I didn't speak to the kitten, lest the mother high-tail it again.
     During the night the lightning flashed and the thunder roared and we got another good half an inch. I stepped out onto the porch this morning and discovered that I had forgotten to shut up the chickens last night, a very risky maneuver. Miraculously they were all four there, scratching away in the piles of dead leaves under the lilacs. Snapping up roly-polies like they were candy, which I guess they are, to a chicken.  Too bad they don't like squash bugs a much….or potato bugs for that matter.
      I headed to the garage to get the wheelbarrow so I could drag away some of the weeds I had pulled yesterday and, lo and behold, there were all five of the kittens asleep in a heap in their kennel. I guess the mom had brought them back during the storm. They all got a pat on the head and their eyes washed again and then a nice handful of kitten chow.  Now I won't worry about them when I am gone for a couple of days, knowing that their mother is here, watching over them still. Things do tend to work themselves out if I am patient and don't fight the flow.  It's on old, old lesson but one that bears relearning now and again.

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