After 50 hours of flying and about three hours of sleep, we hit the office bright and early Monday morning. By Wednesday, we were barely functioning. That afternoon, we were both home hoping to get some sleep. Instead, I was interrupted by our neighbor’s cat that has taken a particular liking to our corner of the neighborhood, hysterically meowing at what I assumed was a bird on my porch.
Since Ben was asleep upstairs and I was worried that all the racket would wake him, I headed out to see what was going on, just in time to see the black cat leap into our bushes and emerge with a tiny head in its mouth. I turned away, thinking I’d just witnessed a bird’s last breath, but the cat stood still. Upon second glance, I realized I was looking at a tiny kitten.
In all the months we’ve seen this cat around the neighborhood, we’d assumed it was a boy and although we’d noticed him getting fatter over time, we assumed that too much kibble was to blame. In any event, I was pretty surprised! I coaxed mom and baby into my entryway, figuring I could at least let our neighbor know that one of their kittens had somehow been brought to our house.
The cat had other plans. She promptly picked up the tiny kitten and with the little guy dangling from her mouth, bolted up our stairs, taking refuge in the messy closet of sports equipment in our spare bedroom. I tried twice to bring them back down, but the big cat stubbornly returned to the closet despite my best efforts.
With all of the cat chaos taking place, Ben soon woke up and was a bit shocked to meet the newest resident of our closet. We walked around the block to let the cat’s owners know of our latest development. Much to our surprise, they hadn’t seen the cat for months, assuming it had run away for good (but the cat has an identical sister that we frequently see at their house!) and had no idea that she was pregnant. All at once, we all wondered where on earth the other kittens must have ended up, but assumed they must have died in the cold, snowy Utah weather over the last week while we’d been out of town.
Our best efforts to relocate cat and kitten to their original home were futile, and the mama cat was clearly happy in our closet so we let her be. All was well overnight, until the next day when the cat escaped out our front door and didn’t return all day. The tiny kitten, eyes still closed, ears folded, and not possibly more than a week old, remained in the closet, crying and crying for its mother all day. We worried that the big cat had forgotten about its baby and abandoned it, or that the kitten would die before she came back. After 10 hours with no sign of mama cat, we tracked down some kitten formula and figured a bottle might be our next best option. We tried for another hour to get even a tiny bit of milk into the kitten to no avail.
Night fell, and finally the cat arrived, heading straight upstairs to feed and care for the kitten. Despite my relief, I threatened to lock the big cat in the house for the rest of its life, but sure enough, the next evening, the cat bolted out the back door as we came in from work. Another five hours went by without any sign of the cat.
When it finally returned, she was toting another tiny kitten in her mouth! She added to the closet nest and headed back outside. By the time the weekend was up, our closet had filled up with four tiny kitties and the wandering mama cat became attentive to her litter. Although I don’t think I’ve gotten a single night of uninterrupted sleep since these little guys stormed our closet, we’ve sure enjoyed their cute little faces. For someone who has never been much of an “animal person”, I’ve been amazed at the way the cat has won me right over. She’s affectionate and sweet, and we’re awfully attached to her little ones as well.
As they’ve grown, we’ve watched them wobble, stumble, and quickly learn to get into everything in sight. They’ve climbed our screen door, my skinny jeans, and through my car’s engine. We’re constantly playing with them, laughing at their adorableness, and trying to make sure they get enough to eat. This team of tiny cuteness has won me over entirely.
They are growing like weeds are almost eligible to be fixed at the clinic before they go to their new adoptive homes. They are insane, climbing everything and curious as can be. We find that we can’t get anything done because we’re always too busy snuggling their cute little faces. We will miss them more than we ever imagined!