Well, obviously my commitment to post regularly has been disrupted by something…partly by the elementary school visits, partly by the awesome training that I went to on Monday (with Betsy Diamant-Cohen – more about that in a post on another day), and mostly by the appearance at our house of Puck.
Saturday night, after having spent the whole day cleaning (lots of loud vacuuming) and after having gone out to an excellent dinner, I was standing at our sliding glass door enjoying the view when I heard something: mew mew mew mew. “Must be a cat bird or a mockingbird,” I thought to myself. “Couldn’t possibly be a kitten, right?”
I went out onto our tiny deck that overlooks our neighbor’s yard and listened some more. mew mew mewmewmewmewmew. It sure sounded like a kitten, but I convinced myself that it was actually a bird, since it was only 7:00 PM and still light out.
And then, after dark, as we were watching the hockey game, I heard it again. mewmewmewmewmewmew – a little more desperate now, a little more miserable. So I went outside with a flashlight and looked around as best I could, not finding anything, still hearing the meowing. No kitten. And I remembered that we have lots of skunks in our neighborhood, so I decided to go back inside.
Those mews cut into my cat lover’s heart for the rest of the evening, but there was nothing that I could do about it, and I also half-thought that maybe I was crazy and hearing things.
Sunday morning came, and I had actually forgotten about the meowing…until Jim and I sat on our back steps (the other side of our small house) to drink tea and eat fresh cider donuts. mewmewmewmewmewmewmewmew. “Did you hear that?!?!” I said to Jim, who had not. “It IS a cat, I know it is!!!”
And thus began the Sunday project: locate and rescue the cat. I called my animal wise sister for advice, and she recommended that I put some food out by the patch of dense brush by our deck and then sit out on our deck and talk to the kitty. I did this for a couple of hours, and Jim joined me for lunch (and, thankfully, he too heard the meowing as he ate). After lunch I saw a tiny tiny little grey tiger or tabby kitten sneak out of the brush towards the food bowl – and then the kitty saw me and slunk back quickly into the underbrush, not to be found.
I tiptoed around our yard and our neighbor’s yard, searching for this tiny little kitten, but to no avail. I emailed Kitty Angels for kitten capture advice. And then I waited some more on the deck.
At one point Jim saw the kitten curled up in a spot of sun in the midst of the brush, and he called me over. By the time we got over our amazement, the kitten had skulked away again, disappearing totally in the brush. Agh!! And throughout it all, always those intermittent, sad little mews that were like a knife to my heart.
And then, finally, around three in the afternoon, I heard the mews coming from the side of brush closest to our neighbor. I grabbed a flashlight and strode over into our neighbor’s yard (thankfully she is a very nice neighbor) and shone the flashlight into the brush. It didn’t work, of course – I couldn’t see anything. My frustration level was pretty high by this point: I needed to rescue the kitty, and I also needed to do some other things with my day.
And then I went around a corner of the brush, and there was a tiny little kitty curled up sound asleep in another patch of sun. I snuck up quietly, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, and got my first good look at his beautiful little face and blue blue eyes. It was love!
And so we now have this little kitty, tentatively named Puck, living with us. He got his first vet checkup on Monday, weighing in at eight ounces. The vet declared him healthy, if a little undersized for his age (four weeks). Pippa isn’t TOO sure about him yet, although she did touch noses with him last night. And we, of course, love him. He is affectionate, sweet, smart (took to his litterbox right away), and oh so cute.
Next thing we need to figure out, though, is what to do about his mommy and at least one sibling, who Pippa spotted last evening at eight walking through our neighbor’s yard towards the same spot of brush. Mommy was carrying her baby in her mouth, and mommy (or someone) ate all of the can of sardines that I put out on our deck last night. We’ll see how this part of the story plays out… And meanwhile, here is a photo of Puck: