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Published July14, 2020

 

Another kitten has adopted us

By John Toth / The Bulletin

We pulled up to the hideaway and saw that we had company - furry company, wondering what we were doing in their home and playground.

Mama cat ran away, as always. The little ones ran after her, except for one - an orange, clumsy kitten that complained profusely at our feet.

I wondered why he didn’t take off with the rest. That’s what they are supposed to do. Even the two kittens we rescued last year tried to take off. I caught up to them, though, and made them part of our family. This one just wanted to complain. It expressed no fear.

Sharon picked it up. With a little looking in the right place, I determined that it’s a boy. They usually run. The female feral kittens tend to venture closer and take a chance on humans.

I spent months trying to make friends with a male feral orange cat that was dumped in our neighborhood a while back. I kept feeding him closer to the house. He finally let me pet him. Then very carefully, he came inside the garage to eat, then into the adjacent room. Once he realized that this was a good place to hang out, he stayed. He passed away a few years later from an illness.

Sharon did the same thing with another orange tabby when we were newlyweds living in a Clute apartment complex. The kitten stayed with his mom and ran when he saw us. Sharon very slowly gained his confidence, and he started warming up to us.

Then we heard that the apartment manager got Animal Control to round up all the stray cats at the complex. We called Animal Control to see if the tabby was part of the roundup, because we were going to go get him.

The kitten was not there. In fact, I don’t think any of them were there. Herding cats is not that easy, we were told.

A few days later, I came home for lunch, and the tabby kitten emerged from the nearby bushes, alone. I put some food down for him, and he very slowly walked into the apartment. I had to go back to work, but called Sharon to tell her the news. We named him Red Cat (I know, not very imaginative). He stayed with us for the rest of his life.

At the hideaway, we put the kitten back with his brothers and sisters and went inside. The next morning, he was waiting for us, complaining - alone. The others were hiding by the shed, where the mama cat was raising them.

The cats around the shed are well taken care of. The neighbors feed them. I supply the food because the cats do a good job keeping the rodents away. But this mama cat keeps having kittens.

The orange kitten was the only tabby in the litter. He has white boots and chest. We took him into the house. I know, we’re suckers.

But the rest of the kittens needed homes also. We learned of a woman in the neighborhood who specializes in rescuing cats and kittens and another one who takes ferals to be spayed or neutered. It was a long shot, but we tried. Sharon contacted the feral cat lady, and they set up a time and date for both to come out to take the kittens and trap the mama cat.

The kittens would be fostered and then adopted. The mama cat would be fixed and then returned to her home - our shed, we were told. We told her not to look for the tabby, because we were going to take him.

We really had no choice. He was underfoot each time we were outside. He worked very hard to find himself a home.

Then it was time to depart. We put the tabby once again with his siblings. He played with them a little and then came toward us. It was like he was telling them goodbye. They were going to be in good homes, also; they just didn't know it yet.

The little tabby is going to have a good, long indoor life with us. We named him Lucky. I know, not too imaginative, but the name fits. He made his own luck.

I know, we’re suckers, but in a nice way.

(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)