In Our Own Backyard…Guess who’s coming to dinner?I did a double take as I pulled my car into the driveway and glanced toward our front door. For there, peering through the outside of the screen and almost nose to nose with our two cats was a tiny orange and white kitten.
I did a double take as I pulled my car into the driveway and glanced toward our front door. For there, peering through the outside of the screen and almost nose to nose with our two cats was a tiny orange and white kitten. It took a moment to register that it wasn’t one of ours, though our cats Mufasa and Sunshine have long since grown up.
“What in the world are you doing here?” I asked gently as I climbed out of my car.
The kitten bolted over the edge of the front deck in terror. I got down on my knees and wheedled and cajoled until curiosity got the better of the kitten and it tentatively crept back up on the deck again, eying me suspiciously. I had just managed to get within a couple of feet of the kitten when Sunshine, our young female, emitted a long, low growl, as if putting the kitten on notice. It scampered away once again and hid somewhere out of sight.
I went in the house and started dinner, glancing frequently out the kitchen window to see if the kitten had returned again. Right about then, my husband came walking around the corner of the house.
“Guess who came to dinner?” I asked, telling him about the small kitten who was at the front door “talking” with our cats when I got home.
Right about then, the kitten cautiously approached once again, and after several minutes of encouragement, Ken was able to stroke it and scratch it behind the ears. Though it remained somewhat skittish, it never left the front porch deck for the rest of the evening, curling up on the seat of one of the Adirondack chairs when it grew sleepy, playhunting the hummingbirds that buzzed back and forth overhead, and intermittently stopping to meow mournfully. I knew that someone had undoubtedly dropped the unwanted kitten off, probably out on the road at the end of our driveway, and it was feeling lost, alone and scared.
“Um, do you suppose we should give her something to eat?” Ken asked a little later.
“If we do, you know it will want to stay around,” I replied, “and then what would we do? We already have two cats, and they don’t seem exactly delighted to have this little one around….”
The question turned out to be purely rhetorical, because we’d both already lost our hearts to the plight of the dear little thing. I brought out a small bowl of cat food and set it a distance away from us as the kitten inched forward and started to eat. She didn’t finish the whole thing before she started to meow plaintively once again. I figured that she hadn’t been away from her mother for very long, and she was more lonely than hungry.
As darkness began to fall, we worried about what to do with her. We decided she should spend the night in our garage, and the next morning we let her out on the front deck when we left for work. And she was there on the front deck when we returned from work that night. We decided to call the local animal shelter and explain the situation, in hopes they might be willing to take her in and find her a home. They were agreeable, so Ken dropped her off at the shelter on his way to work the next morning.
Later that morning I emailed him and asked him how things went.
“It’s a boy!” he replied. “Everything went well and they like him so much they said they don’t think they’ll have any problem finding him a home.”
I almost burst with motherly pride, sad to see the little one go but happy that he had a chance at a bright future.
A couple of days went by before I had a chance to stop by the animal shelter hoping to catch another glimpse of our “rescue kitten.” And as I walked into the room of “kitty condos,” I spotted him first thing, curled up on a soft lavender blanket, surrounded by toys. A sign on the door of his cage declared his new name was Antonio – “Antonio!” I sighed delightedly – and that he was approximately nine weeks old, a stray and that he’d do best in a home with “lots and lots of toys.”
But best of all, across the front of his cage was another sign that read, “Adoption Pending”!