Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Kitten in the Shrubs

I'm at work right now, sitting at my desk eating lunch, but my mind is at home. Living under the bushes in front of our porch is a little black and white kitten who seemingly appeared from nowhere earlier this week. Every evening, he cries and cries, and jumps up to look through our living room window to see what the inside kitties are doing. He seems to find some comfort knowing there are other cats around. We have been leaving food and water for him, but so far he is too distrusting and fearful to let us get very close. I suspect he has every right not to trust humans, but it seems some part of him knows the people who live in our house aren't all bad.

I have fashioned him (her?) a make-shift house from an empty cat litter bucket lined with an old blanket. At least this gives him a waterproof shelter under the shrubs. What I really want to do is scoop him up and bring him inside. Hopefully a few more evenings of cat food and sweet talk will win him over.

I remember several years ago at our first home when a beautiful Siamese cat set up housekeeping under our shed. She would venture out at night and cry outside our window, but like this kitten, run off whenever we invited her inside. Our oldest daughter, who was about 9 or 10 at the time, spent a great deal of her free time talking gently to the cat as it hid under the shed. One day she triumphantly came to the back door with her new friend in her arms. That was Jheri, and she was a lovely member of our family for several months. Unfortunately, we soon learned that Jheri had feline leukemia, and wondered if this was why her original family abandoned her. We loved Jheri anyway, and are happy she chose to live her final months with us.

With winter showing his most wicked side to us these days, I can't help but worry about all the homeless pets left to fend for themselves, and those pets left outside and largely ignored by their owners. I may not be able to save them all, but I'm sure going to try and help the little kitten living under our shrubs.

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