Well this is mostly a food blog and this story starts with food and ends with kittens.
I went to a potluck/picnic at a county park last Tuesday. While we were there, a very hungry, actually starving, small cat/large kitten kept coming up to see if we dropped any food. Soon we were tossing bits of pulled pork and chicken to her and she would run up and grab it and run away into the grass to eat the bite she snagged. It took 3 hours to get her to come up to me and let me pet her head. At this point I decided that if I could catch her, I would take her home and adopt her as winter was coming and she wasn’t’ going to survive. At some point I picked her up and she was skin and bones and jumped out of my arms before I could react. So, I started over and got her trust yet again. I managed to get her into my arms again and started heading to the car and she successfully jumped out again. I eventually gave up and went home and told my darling bf about it saying how guilty I felt that I had to walk away. He said we could go look for her the next morning, much to my surprise. Mind you – he is allergic to cats and we have 3, ages 14, 13 and 11.
So, the next morning I took some time off and we drove to the park to find her. We looked and called and looked and called. I drove around to every picnic area with food in hand to tempt. No luck. I looked for over an hour. (he eventually had to drive to Ann Arbor for work) Feeling very defeated and sad, I headed home. I almost went back on Thursday (this park is 1/2 hour away) and I almost went back on Friday. By Saturday I accepted the fact that she had certainly moved on in search of food and shelter.
Today, my friend Shawn spontaneously stopped by. Shawn lives in Chicago, but is from the town of Holt, were the park is, and drove into town yesterday just for a long time friend gathering . He mentioned ,as he dropped a new key to his house off, that he had been at a park and I said, oh yeah, I was at this great park near your house last Tuesday. That is when he said, it’s the same park he had been at the day before.
I immediately asked if he had seen a kitten running around, one who was starving and sort of afraid of people but too hungry to care. He said there was. He kept asking his group if the cat belonged to anyone and no one responded. So, my BF and I hopped in the car, loaded with a can of tuna, some half and half, some cat food, greenies and a cat carrier and drove the 1/2 hour to the park. We walked around, through the woods, over the grass to a couple of pavilions, on the way back down the hill, I saw the kitty off in the distance bee lineing it for the woods, so we followed. We followed and finally caught up with her. She stopped in front of several rotten fallen down logs and jumped into the space between them. There I saw my first glimpse of a little orange kitten head. She had kittens! We could see two.
Then the work began. Getting her to come to me and get the food I had, tossing her bits of tuna and cream laden cat food. This probably took an hour of me squatting down on the log and reaching my hand out. Eventually I had my opportunity and I scooped her up, put her into the cat carrier and proceeded to find those kittens. They were deep in the crevice of the arm of the tree, a rotten tree that fell apart every time I touched it. It was hard to reach my hand into a dark woodland hole and see what I found, but I did. I felt three kittens and moved the log around and pulled the bark away and lifted them out. I felt back in there, one more furry body. I managed to get that one out too, he was deep in there hiding against a large rock. I felt around again and could feel no more hiding spots and no more kittens. Then we lifted the dead logs to make triple sure there were no more. We had the lot. Into the car and home we went. All 5 of them and two of us.
So we have the kitty family sequestered in our office and they are hiding under the futon and under the bookcase. I guess they are not quite ready for open spaces and being indoors.
We are now the proud owners (until we find homes for some of them) of 4 kittens about 3 5 and 7 (see update below) weeks old and the momma kitten who can’t be more than 5 8 months old herself.
So, anyone want a kitten in about 5 2 weeks? After one night inside, they are already litter trained!
It is nice to have the youth of a kitten back in the house, even if they are still hiding, it keeps us all young and happy! The kittens still smell like moss from the dead tree they lived under.
UPDATE: The kittens are two different ages, the two girls are about 5 weeks and the two boys are about 7 weeks – Lily (as we have named her) adopted two of these kittens when they needed her. After taking the whole gang to the vet, they are all healthy and on their way to being flea free. Kitten chow is going down fast! The kittens are eating it and nursing and Lily is getting it too for the extra nutrition she needs. The vet said that Lily is probably under 8 months old – so still a kitten in my book. The names so far are Truffle and Poppy – the girls and Marmalade and Brutus – the boys. Momma Lily is getting used to our kitties and is starting to relax and the kittens are having a great time not living under a log and are playing all the time now.