Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Adventure Continues, Part 2

Sheesh, interfacing with wild things. Who was it thought up the phrase, "herding cats." Something to that. Got home from work Monday and peeked in the shed. Momma was not there. Neither were kittens. All silence. On the way back to the house I saw the big wild tom, who comes around now and then, trotting up the driveway away from the house. After a bit I went back and searched around the shed and more generally. No kittens. At some point in the second search I saw Momma trotting up the driveway in the same direction the yellow tom had been heading.

Libby got home, went out to the shed, stood inside very quiet. Heard kittens. (You need to understand that this shed is a storage building, filled with a jumble of stuff we don't want to throw away for some reason. It is not set up to be a birthing parlor, or a nursery. Momma viewed it as a safe place. That's her perspective.) Searching around, Libby found all three at the far corner from where they'd been. No nice rugs to snuggle on (as we'd put down for them). They were huddled together. Libby could just reach them, handed them up to me, we brought them in, tried to feed them some (pretty mixed results there). Then we put them back in the soft, prepared corner where they had been. By then we could see Momma watching us from a distance. It was dark and her eyes glowed gold. She went back in for the night.

Tuesday it was pretty much a repeat, perhaps in a different key. Kittens had been moved. Momma was absent. But no, she wasn't, after all. Heard growling (she's got one very serious growl that neither Libby nor I want to find out more about). At one AM this morning I was trying to feed one with a little bottle of warm formula, Libby was reconstructing the good shed spot yet again. We found the for a while missing kitten, who'd been deposited in a different spot from the other two when Momma decided to move them. We put all the kittens back in the warm, soft area. By then Momma was again watching from the edge of the light. She went inside. We went to bed.

This morning when I got up she was on the shed steps, possibly looking for the food I'd been putting there when I get up. I went out with a bowl of food. She growled from inside the shed. Left the food. She came out, ate, then walked up the path towards the kitchen door where I was standing, got about half way, looked straight at me through the glass, walked back to the shed and went inside. After a while I took her a bowl of water. Very quietly left it on the step. The food bowl was empty.

There are other things to do, for Libby and I. I have to deal with a car inspection, then go to work. Libby has to go to work too. These adventures in the night are tiring. Communicating with Momma is difficult. Possibly this is rather as it was for those pitiful English settlers who camped on Roanoke Island, NC, back in 1583 or so. The ones now known as the "Lost Colony."

[Illustration "Death of John Lawson" from John Lawson was an early settler in North Carolina, made a wonderful walking tour of much of the state which he wrote about in a book still in print, later founded Bath, NC, and was killed by Indians during the Tuscarora War.]

1 comment:

  1. what a great story. and yes, i've heard that mother cats move their kittens several times, presumably so as to stay one step away from predators. which she is clearly wondering if you are.