Sunday, September 22, 2019

Unexpected Kittens

     Yesterday afternoon, I worked up the gumption to change out of my nightgown and robe, and start weedwhacking the back yard.

     Cleared the main spaces, a long run north of the garage from the big hackberry tree to the fence plus a nice open area between the house and garage, and started on the last little bit.  

     It's awkward to work in.  There's a  hallway-width space between one side of the garage and the fence, which has stepping stones back to a gate we don't use. It grows up in a kind of little jungle that I trim a few times every summer.

     Worked my way back into it with the string trimmer, paused to reel out more string, did one corner of the gate, started to swing the weedwhacker over to the other -- and saw pale motion!

      Stopped and took a look, and it was a couple of little kittens, eyes open but blue, moving but still a little bit wobbly. One with trying to climb up the corner, and the other was hunkered down, trying to be invisible. The climber was white with yellow stripey patches; the hider was white with black and yellow patches.

      I set the string trimmer down in a hurry and picked them up to check if they were okay. They were. I carried them to the patio and parked them in the former fire bowl. The old cover for it is folded up in the bowl, so I put them on it, under the wire-grid dome, and went next door to check in with Meredith, our neighbor and the neighborhood cat lady

      She and I had been remarking that one of the ferals, a pretty calico, was looking pregnant, and Meredith told me that the cat was in her back yard right then, pacing and acting agitated. So we decided to put the kittens back.

      The kittens are one boy and one girl (the three-color one, of course).
I gave them a closer look-over before returning them to their corner.  They appear to be in decent health and not overrun with fleas.  The little tomcat hissed and swatted at my (gloved) finger when I reached to pick him up!

     I put food and water on my patio, about as far as you can get from the corner where they were and still be in my back yard, but on the mother's path between my yard and Meredith's.

     I'd seen the calico going into the narrow space next to the garage a few times and noticed she was very skittish about it, but I hadn't put two and two together. She'll probably move them now, I hope to a safe place.  Or maybe not -- I shined a flashlight down that way about ten last night, and has cat's eyes glowing back at me.  I'm torn between going back to see and leaving them alone so she won't risk moving them.


Old NFO said...

Odd that she would leave them exposed to the weather.

fillyjonk said...

A friend of mine wound up with her newest cat (a little Siamese or part-Siamese that she named Evander for a reason that will become obvious) when her yardman ran into her house yelling that he weed-whacked a kitten and he was sorry and didn't see it.

The good news is the only damage Evander took was losing part of one ear. I guess also good news for him is he's no longer a feral stray; Laura adopted him when she realized he'd need a little vet treatment for the ear to heal up safely.

He's a sweet little cat but man is he hyper.

Roberta X said...

Old NFO, it's been dry for weeks, and you may overestimate my diligence in clearing that part of the yard -- it's thick back there, with live oak and honeysuckle saplings that get covered in Virginia Creeper and Winter Creeper. They were well hidden and pretty well protected.

She's moved them now. I don't know where, but there's evidence they might be somewhere in the backward of my neighbor on the other side of the cat lady.

Anonymous said...

Some years back, I was mowing our overgrown backyard and nearly ran over a small newborn kitten (still had eyes closed) near the edge of the stacked wood pile. I pushed it back under the edge and went to other side of yard. When I came back about half an hour later, it was gone.

I was glad - I like cats and have a pair of indoor only cats. I'm glad to hear yourw are safe and sound.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

We did not want or need more cats, but some jerk dumped a couple cats down the road from the farm house. One disappeared, probably to coyotes, and the other tamed down and let me catch her after several feedings. Turns out she was pregnant. So now we have Lottie, Dolly, Dora, Fred, and Ethel. They are a hoot. Lottie is going in for neutering soon.