Friday, October 23, 2009

And Kittens...

Yesterday morning as I stumbled into the garage to drive to school, something small and dark dashed from under my car over toward the pile of miscellaneous debris left by I'm not sure what earlier inhabitants. Despite my nearly sleepwalking state, I was hard-pressed not to let out a yell. Were there... rats in the garage now?
Fortunately I had gotten a brief look at the creature's tail, which seemed much too furry for a rat. I decided it must have been a squirrel, since the neighborhood abounds with them. Or a chipmunk, perhaps; if it was a squirrel, it had a pretty poor excuse for a tail.
When I returned, I saw three squirrels with extremely bushy tails playing outside the garage, and I thought well, it certainly can't have been one of those squirrels. I opened the garage door, got out of the car, and caught sight of a small face that could only belong to a kitten.
This was better than seeing rats, but not at all what I wanted to find in my garage. The animal was very skittish, so I went in the house and, being utterly exhausted, forgot about it.
This afternoon, however, I remembered that there was a kitten in the garage, so I thought I had better reconnoiter. Apart from the fact that it was a rainy day, the kitten might want to get out of the garage and go home.
Er... I now perceived that there were at least two kittens in the garage. This could be bad. There might be a whole litter, although how my neighbor, my landlord, and I could have failed to notice a litter of cats growing up in the garage over a period of weeks, I couldn't imagine. I decided I had better bring them some milk. My neighbor didn't seem to be home, so I put a note in her mailbox about our new tenants. She has cats, so I supposed it was vaguely possible that the kittens belonged to her, but this seemed improbable.
When I went out to check the mail later in the afternoon, I found her checking hers as well. Her reaction to the news of the kittens was not a happy one. She had just, she informed me, taken in a mother cat and four kittens to help out a friend, and was having no luck finding homes for these animals. The last thing she needed was more kittens in her life. We agreed that the young squatters must have wandered in recently when our landlord was working on the garage. We did not think it made sense to tell him about these new inhabitants, as he reacts badly to stressful news and would probably tell us that it was our fault that kittens had moved into the garage. Instead, we went out to examine the beasts. They are small and black, one with sleek fur and the other with fuzzier fur. One of them also has a white spot on its chest. As is the nature of kittens, they are quite enchanting, and while they were initially very shy, the scent of cat on Leanne prompted them to feel more comfortable about both of us, and we were able to pet them a bit. This did not, of course, help us figure out what to do with them. Leanne said that the local shelters had already told her they weren't taking any more cats. We gave the kittens more milk and some cat chow, and Leanne took me in to meet her new guests, who are quartered in a sector of her living room, separated from the permanent cats. Leanne's kittens and their mother are white with tortoise-shell-like spots, and of course are also very appealing animals. The garage kittens look very slightly older, but I don't suppose by more than a week.
We haven't decided what to do about our guests, but of course we can't let them starve.

1 comment:

  1. Love it. SO engrossing. Of course that doesnt help you solve the kitten problem - but I do like reading about it.