Thursday, July 7, 2011


Even the kitten has found a home, and the mama cat a nest where she may bring her young--even the old pump organ, O Lord of hosts.
--a contextualization of Psalm 84:3

Last year a foreclosure forced a family out of the house across the street, and last year a darling tortoise shell cat was abandoned. This sweet cat befriended us early this summer as we tended the yard and garden, and one evening after she'd been visiting and feasting with us for over two hours, she led us to her litter of kitties which she kept safely in the hobby barn on the foreclosed property.

Eager and mewing for the long-awaited nourishment from their mama, five adorable kittens perhaps five or six weeks old tumbled out of the barn. A gray tabby, an orange tabby, an orange tabby with white spots, a black kitty, and a calico. We immediately fell in love with them and earnestly hoped we could rescue them from street living.

We fell into the habit of crossing the street for a visit with the mama cat and the boldest of her kittens. At the end of one of my solo visits, she astonished and delighted me by calling for her kitties to follow me home. Only three of the five followed, however, and they took a really long time summoning up the daring to cross our threshold. And then there were still two remaining to collect, but Mama Catt showed no interest in retreiving them.

We've never encountered mama cat behavior before, and we feared for the other kitties' safety, so we would brought them food, trying to entice them out. They wouldn't take our food, so the kids would pick up Mama Catt and bring her to them.  By doing this, Aelsa and Paul were able to nab the other kittens, hissing and growling, clawing and trembling, so they could be reunited with their litter mates.

Mama Catt has transitioned quite nicely to being an indoor cat again.  Her offspring, however, aren't quite as trusting of their human companions, especially when they need a dusting of diatomaceous earth to kill the pests living in their fur.  But they do like to play with us, and the kids get to experience what it's like to have kittens in the house.  We figure it's just a matter of time before we have their trust and affection.

And it looks like we'll have these kittens longer than we'd naively expected.  We hoped we would be able to rescue the kittens and find good homes for them before too much time slipped away from us, but few people are interested.  We can't imagine dropping any of them off at a shelter to join twenty or so other cats in confined quarters, so we'll keep caring for them, all the while praying that we can find a home for three of them.

Wouldn't you like to share your home and affections with a sweet little kitten?

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