My son Luke has a female cat named “Splat” that attracted several males this spring. And while my husband wasn’t too happy, the kids were overjoyed at the prospect of raising kittens. Splat, however, had other plans. She likes to wander the neighborhood, and one day she came back, skinny as could be.
We knew she had had her kittens, and after many attempts at following her, we discovered she had them in our neighbor’s barn. The 100-year-old barn sits in the middle of a pen with a barbed wire fence, so it’s not only quite rickety, but also hard to get to. When we finally found the kittens (after about four weeks of trying), they dashed away so fast that we soon gave up. That is, until yesterday.
As I was going out to feed the animals in the morning, I opened the back door. And there, right at my feet on the back stoop, was Splat and a pile of kittens. I was startled as one stared at me, and by the time I realized what was going on, they were gone — under the back porch, up to the top of three cinder blocks stacked on each other, and down into the holes they created. The floor beams of the porch were only about eight inches from the top of the cinder blocks, so there was no way of reaching in to get cats.
Two? Three? We weren’t sure, but within thirty-minutes they had all come out again and were playing in the grass beside the porch. Five! There were now five wild kittens living under our porch!
What’s a houseful of kids to do? Why, catch them, of course! Over the past two days we’ve caught four of the five kittens. We’ve set up a nice spot for them in our spare bathroom (the one that used to house baby chicks), and the kids have been going in and out throughout the day, talking to them, petting them, and even holding them. Splat comes in occasionally for a visit, but she spends most of her time outside with the last one. Hopefully we’ll catch that one tomorrow.
Like our other animal incidents, this whole adventure has stirred the curious minds of my younger two children. They are thinking of questions about kittens to look up on the Internet, and we’ve got some great kitten books from the library. I sense some truly “hands-on” lessons coming soon.
My goal? To tame these wild kitties so we can find some nice homes for them. The kids’ goal: to talk their dad into keeping one. His goal: to get Splat fixed. 🙂
Photo by Gracey