J. Devin and I were outside just before dark last evening.J. was watering the lower garden, I had watered my plants on the porch.
Devin was looking for Willis the Cat, so we strolled around the yard, doing the ,"Here, kitty, kitty" routine.
Several things happened in quick order. Willow the Tabby appeared at lightning speed from the upper pasture. Willis sauntered out from under the car--where he had been all along ignoring us.
J. shouted from the garden, "Kittens! There are three kittens here!"
I groaned aloud and inwardly seethed.
"I don't even want to look at them," I declared, as my feet carried me toward the garden.
The kittens, a motley appearing tribe in the twilight, were twining about J.'s ankles. One had already clambered aboard Devin's knee as he knelt with a hand out-stretched to them.
Clearly these were NOT feral or even half-wild kittens such as we found in our woodshed a year ago.
Also, evident from several feet away, was the obvious fact that they had very recently been in a cow barn.
I could write several scalding paragraphs about the always anonymous people who dump their unwanted cats [or dogs] in the countryside to fend for themselves--or worse yet, tip them out conveniently near a neighbor's house.
Devin and I conveyed the three squirming, smelling kittens to the hay barn, where they fell, purring emphatically, upon a dish of kibble.
When I opened the back door this morning I nearly stepped on the little scrap above who was curled on the doorstep. She gazed up at me as I rocked back on my heels.
She commenced to purr.
The kitten gobbled the food I put down, while Willis and the tortie sisters glared, sour-pussed, from the edge of the carport.
I started toward the barn, kitten bounding behind.
[By this time I had determined SHE was a female!]
Her brother, whom Gina has named "Edward" peered at me from the lawn mower--not really frightened, but a bit more timid than his sister.
The boy with the harlequin marking on his face is "Bobby McGee" also christened by Gina.
[Giving anything a name shows a certain commitment, I fear.]
When the kittens had eaten I scooped up the two boys while their sister trailed behind.
Even temporary [?] feline residents are not allowed to smell bad.
I brought out a basin of warm water and assembled baby shampoo and an old towel.
I anticipated struggles, wild flailing [remembering the debacle of the flea baths last fall for my perfectly 'tame' housecats.]
I bathed the female first.
I didn't find the fleas I was braced for--I did find tiny balls of some gummy black substance stuck to the long fur on her legs.
I washed boy # 1 and then called for J.'s assistance as I now had two wet kittens and a basin of dirty water.
Deciding that a bucket was a better option I handed J. kitten # 3.
He was as compliant as the others had been--purring in the bath!
As you can see, kitten #1, still damp, has come to reassure her sibling that all will be well.
Nicely dry and back in the haybarn, enjoying the spill of sunlight and still more kibble.
Bobby McGee, drying nicely, thank-you.
Edward on the left--so nice to be clean and with tummies full.
Bobby McGee on the right.
Nellie, who is already a charmer.
What to do with three unsolicited kittens?
I don't know!