|Stinky, happy to be saved|
The abandoned cats I shelter and feed in my backyard are as much part of my life as the three house cats living inside my home. Yesterday one of the feral kittens, a beige freckled baby who usually lounges on the back porch with her mom and two brothers, seemed to have disappeared. The mother called and meowed, bringing a small toy to attract the stray kitten, but no amount of desperate calling brought the tiny creature back to her.
Came the evening feeding time, nursing time, treat time, and the stray kitten still had not reappeared. We had our first chilly night in Phoenix last night, and I feared the kitten would be cold, alone, far from his comfy bet, and his mother's and brothers' warmth.
This morning, when I went out to feed the feral cats, the mother was nowhere in sight, and the kitten was still missing. Except that a very loud meow resounded through the patio, but I still could not see the culprit. From the desperate sound of the meow, I knew someone was in trouble, and it sounded like a very upset kitten.
Searching for the origin of the sound, my gaze fell upon a tall trash can reserved for recycling cans... too tall for a kitten to jump or climb. The top is a revolving door, automatically closing and hiding the unsightly contents. When I lifted the top, sure enough, here was the tiny kitten, trapped at the very bottom, angry and hungry and stinky from having peed and pooped for an entire day and night.
I didn't reach for the tiny creature, unwilling to get clawed. I laid the trash can flat and it leaped and ran out like a jack in the box. He stunk so bad even the other cats growled when he tried to rub against them. I think this one got his name. He'll be known from now on as Stinky.
Now, the mother is still MIA. I'm surprised she abandoned two of her kittens to go look for the missing third, but I guess even in cats the maternal fiber is strong, and this mother cat is especially protective.
As I'm writing this, I hear the mother calling her little ones. She has returned. Good. Because although her kittens are practically weened, they still need their mother's reassuring presence. But all is well that ends well in the cat land my backyard has become... just like in one of my novels.
If you want to read more about cats, read my books. All my sci-fi romantic action adventure stories have cats in them. Whether house kitties or tigers, lions, leopards or jaguars, cats are part of my writing life as well. Just look at some of my covers.
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick