Friday night I arrived home from work at 9pm. I grabbed a bag of garbage out of my car, throwing it into the garbage can. Since the can was near the garden, I decided to trying meowing to see if the 3rd kitten, the one that was still on the loose from the first batch of kittens, was still around. I meowed, and without hesitation I heard a distinct “meow” reply.
The kitten! I thought, it’s still here! My heart raced with happiness, joy, relief, and excitement! It was dusk. I knew I wouldn’t have much time before it got dark to find it. I kept meowing. The little kitten kept meowing back. I thought, We’re having a full blown conversation. Having just gotten out of my vehicle and leaving my phone in their, again, I ran back, grabbed it, and then texted my brother.
“Troy! The kitten is alive! It’s meowing back to me. I need your help! It’s up by the garden. Maybe we’ll be able to catch it?”
Troy came out and we formed a plan… to bring Felix (the MEOW-ER of the bunch) out in a small cat carrier to meow for his buddy. Hopefully, the kitten would come to Felix in a cat carrier and we could catch it while it was distracted. Felix did great, meowing like no ones’ business! But it got dark too fast, the mosquitoes were hungry, and so the kitten wasn’t caught that night. We both went home a little bummed, yet full of hope that “maybe tomorrow we’ll catch it!”
Saturday morning dawned. I was awakened by a lick on the tip of my nose. My girl Goofy, my alarm clock, was stating “Time to get up. We’ve got an adventure to be had!” I smiled as she leaned into my neck, dropped down rolling into me, and then putting her head up to give me a couple more licks. “Alright Babe, I’m up.” I chuckled in my best upbeat morning voice.
Morning routine completed, it was time for our adventure! But wait, there was one thing I had to do before we went out… I checked on the 3 kittens housed in a large animal pet carrier in the garage. Goofy was NOT impressed by the delay. Mom and I fed them, then took ample time to hold and pet them, and let them freely play in the open spaces of the garage. They were becoming at ease, tame, and more free. Chloe, the little girl from town, was still scared though. She was a lot more wild than the other two fur-balls!
After a time, Goofy and I were off for our adventure. Doing our morning rounds, her checking all her favorite spots, she was delighted to have had a successful game of “Cat and Mouse”, having caught a real mouse!
Yuck! She’ll be dropping that one sooner rather than later, I determined. As usual, she strutted towards me showing me her catch! I genuinely stated, “Way to go, Goofy! You got it! That’s my girl!” Her head cocked-up just a bit higher, showing pride in her success. I shook my head, smiling at her as we reached the grass. I stated, “Drop it Goofy.” And she released the rodent! Off it scurried as I scooped Goofy into my arms. It was time to go in the house to share some breakfast and morning bone broth together.
Throughout the day, our family took turns checking the other large animal pet carrier up by the garden, hoping to have lured the lost kitten into. On ventures up there during the day, the lost kitten meowed only a couple times. We never saw any other sign of it, nor heard from it again. That night just before dusk I checked one last time. Meowing, I hoped that the kitten would respond… but there was only silence, with exception of the hungry humming mosquitoes! I was bummed. I’d hoped we would have made better progress with capturing the kitten, at least gaining some of its trust if we couldn’t catch it. I went back home, got ready for bed and called it a day,
The next morning, Goofy jumped by my head at 6:15 am singing her morning greeting, “Meow, meow, meow, meeeoowww”. She was adamant that I needed to get out of bed, promptly! She wanted her morning drink from the facet. I stretched, stuck an arm out from under the covers, threw the covers back and stepped into the new day!
Not long after, I decided I should probably run up by the garden to see if the kitten had ate the food that was in the carrier, before I took Goofy outside. Slipping on my shoes, I sprinted out the front door, into the early morning sunshine and up the hill. I neared the garden and retarded to a walk, slowly creeping a fair distance from the carrier that was sitting along the woods by the garden. The kitten wasn’t in the carrier, so I decided to meow. It responded back immediately, so back and forth we went for a great length of time! It sounded like the kitten was getting closer, and then it would be a distance away again. I was perplexed and confused by having not seen a weed wiggle or any sighting of the kitten!
When it stopped responding to my meowing, I went back home. Goofy was eager to go out for our adventure. Around noon, Mom, Troy, and I along with Felix in the small cat carrier, headed to the garden to try to capture the lost kitten. We each took various locations for possibly sneaking up attempts while Felix started up his meowing just as we’d hoped he’d do. The lost kitten responded immediately, just like earlier that morning. The kitten sounded like it was really close, and then sounded like it was a distance away. All three of us looked at one another confused, and then I looked upwards. I couldn’t see anything but Mom saw me look up, so she did too and from her location she spotted the kitten… 20′ up high on a tree branch it sat.
“There he is! He’s in the tree!” She spoke excitedly. Troy and I got up from where we were crouching, standing next to Mom looking up to where a tiger-striped kitten sat meowing while looking down at us.
Without hesitation Troy walked toward the tree and started shimmying up it, like spider man! I almost laughed out loud at the sight. My brother, full of love and compassion, was going to rescue that little kitten!
Well, it turned out that we needed ladders to get the kitten down, so off I went sprinting towards the shop for Dad’s 20 foot extension ladder. When I returned, Mom helped get the ladder upright, leaning it against a tree limb. I climbed up it near to Troy, where the kitten had been just before resting the ladder on the tree limb. The kitten climbed higher. It was scared from being pursued. Unable to climb higher due to the smaller limbs that wouldn’t hold either of us, we had to wait for the kitten to come down.
Back on solid ground we stood with Mom while watching the kitten hesitating and finally climbing down to a more reasonable height. Troy took out another larger extension ladder from the shop. Once back, we set-up his and then climbed up our ladders with Mom watching us in hot pursuit of the suspecting tree-limb kitten! Soon the kitten was almost corned by us, but it decided to jump into the crevasse of a giant dead tree limb nearby. “UGH!” We both groaned at the same time. Thankfully the limb was big enough my brother and I could both lean our ladders on it.
Relocating our ladders we once again scrambled up like monkeys, peering into the crevasse but seeing nothing. I meowed and was able to locate the kitten, but he was not coming out. The kitten was as far back in the dead limb as he could possibly go. My arm couldn’t fit in the crevasse on the tree, so the only way to get to it was to wait for IT to COME OUT into the crevasses opening towards us! The opening was just big enough for me to get my hand in there.
It was then decided, mutually by the 3 of us, to put a can of food in the crevasse and wait for the kitten to come out. At this point, Mom took Felix back to Chloe and Little Bear because Felix had done his part in the rescue pursuit… and his meower was going dim. He’d helped us locate the kitten. We were SO thankful! “Way to go Felix!”
Nearly 1/2 hour later, just as Mom came walking back up to her two kids standing on ladders waiting for a kitten to pop out of the crevasse of a tree 20 feet off the ground, the kitten was on the move! Thankfully Mom understood through our gestures and mouthing, “Don’t come over here. Start meowing!” She stopped where she was. And then, she let out a meow that changed history! The kitten let out a meow and was headed to the opening of the crevasse of the tree and meowed once more before he stopped at the yummy feast that sat before him! I let him take a mouthful knowing the food had his full attention before shooting my hand like a lightening bolt into the crevasse of the tree with accurate aim, grabbing him successfully!
Troy took the kitten safely down the ladder. The 3 of us were grinning ear to ear in utter delight of the rescue endeavor! We all pet the kitten and then placed it into the large animal carrier. Within minutes the kitten was reunited with his brother, Felix, friend Little Bear, and his new to be friend, Chloe. We opened up cans of soft kitten food allowing the 4 kittens to have a celebration feast of bringing the “once was lost but now am found” kitten home! The kitten was given the name Oscar.
That night, the 4 kittens lay nestled together, a pile of fur-balls all heads and tails entwined. As they slept, we quietly watched as not to wake them. All we could do was smile! What a day!
TO BE CONTINUED.