Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Three little kittens..."

"... have lost their mittens and they began to cry."

I have a collection of Three Little Kitten books, mainly from the 1920s and 30s. I even took pages from a children's book, circa 1955, and framed the art and poem for my kitchen wall in three copper frames.

Now, it would appear, I actually have three little kittens.

But let's start near the beginning. The first weekend of May I go into the store house behind us and find--what a surprise!--three tiny-tiny kittens. Their eyes are just opened. I can tell there's a calico one, a darker one, and I think another dark one, but they're all in a jumble. Three days later, when we return from a trip, I check on them again. Their mom has moved them to another corner of the room. Maybe one of them isn't so dark, but I'm backing away. The last thing I want to have happen is for her to desert them and I have three little kittens to nurture.

The next day, the kittens are gone! So she's moved them. This is a mother cat, name of Sister, we thought was gone, as in dead, because we hadn't seen her for a year. So, like a bad penny, she shows up with family in tow.

Except she rarely comes over to eat at my smorgasbord of appetizing kitty treats and there are no kittens with her when she does. Ever. Did something get them? When our local Lothario, Mark, starts paying her oodles of attention, I think, maybe so, and she will shortly be in the kitten-way again.

Fast forward to mid-week last week. I pull into the back driveway and am greeted by the sight of two little kitten backsides running for all they're worth around the side of the store house. Has Sister successfully raised them under there?

Then this morning, on my patio, are two of them. They take off at lightning speed, but not before I can count whiskers with the third one outside the gate. Later, when she thinks I'm long gone, Sister brings them all over to eat. There's the calico, the dark one with a yellow stripe down her nose, and the grey one, Ms. Adventuresome, because she takes off without her mom to explore. They're about three months old.

Now I have to either win their trust and get them to the vet or trap them. A Three Little Kitten lover's work is never done.

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