Diary of a Stray Kitten
(I wrote this when we first brought Bart home three years ago).
Friday, July 27th, 2007
The day started quite normally. I had been hunting a rather elusive bug for about an hour. As he succumbed to my all-powerful Dual Fore-paw Jab and Bite Combo, I learned my first lesson of the morning; shiny beetles taste awful. Frustrated, I attacked the stuffed animal toy, (I call him Silent One). He was looking a bit too smug. Knowing I had several hours before the two-legged creatures would arrive with my breakfast, I satisfied myself by chewing on a leaf I was certain had moved on it's own.
Cars began to arrive. Dangerous though they are, they carry the creatures that have sustained me since I was separated from my mother. I can tell that these creatures clearly wanted me to come closer to them, but I was afraid. After all, even the smallest of those creatures is much larger than a little kitten. And when you're my size, you have to be vigilant because the world is a tough place (my mother taught me that).
As the parking lot filled up, I knew it was 'show time'. I have discovered that I amuse the two legged creatures when I play in front of them. Little do they know that I am simply honing skills necessary for the survival of my species. Yes, perfecting the timing of my Claws of Death and Bite of Mercy. But, hey, it amuses them and I get more goodies. In fact, just the other day, my antics earned me REAL chicken meat! I am a lucky stray kitten. I have landed in a great spot. At least four women are so taken with me that they visit several times per day and leave me food. They even made me a box with soft bedding. They also brought me the Silent One and another hanging toy on the fern. Very nice creatures, but still intimidating.
Swipe! (Scamper, scamper) Attack! Bite! I was just hitting my stride when I noticed a strange truck. A woman emerged. This creature was watching me in a strange way. Studying me, in fact. She called to me, yet offered nothing succulent. Silly two legged creature! She better have chicken meat if she expects me to come anywhere near her. Most of these creatures give up and leave a morsel after a short while. I have noticed that the women are much more taken with me. What can I say? It's a gift. I calculated that it would take two more laps from my bed to the fern and two more rounds with the Silent One before she would give up a tasty morsel and leave. I was wrong.
In fact, she watched me for quite awhile. Then, she headed back to her truck, but did not leave. Instead, she removed a wire thing and brought it to the sidewalk in front of my realm. Then, she opened something that smelled WONDERFUL and placed that inside the wire thing. Did she not notice that I have paper plates available? Why would she put the goodie inside a weird wire thing? Then, she backed away, but still didn't leave. Oh, the smell! It was tantalizing. I approached but could not find a way in except through a tunnel of wire. Well, that just didn't seem right. After a couple of tries, I backed away. I thought the Silent One was mocking me, so I tried out some new pounces on him. I had to think about this wire thing. The woman remained close and was actually playing with a long, skinny ribbon. I wanted to play with it myself, but I could not go up to this creature. Eventually, she moved the wire thing closer to me. Twice, in fact. By this time, more cars were arriving and I was getting the attention I deserve from new fans. Oh, but that smell was still there. My mother always said that curiosity is a double edged claw; sometimes it leads to a morsel and sometimes YOU are the morsel! So, there I was, stalking the wire cage hoping in vain that the goodie would move towards me (though I have yet to see this happen with goodies brought by two legged creatures). Finally, I could resist no longer. I cautiously entered the wire tunnel determined to have the tasty treat at last. My mouth was upon it. I was about take a first bite when...WHAM!!! The tunnel behind me closed! I'm trapped! Quickly, I looked for an opening but there was none. What could I do? I decided to bide my time and save my strength until I could escape.
The woman picked up my wire tunnel and carried me to her truck. Oh the injustice of it all! Oh, what will become of me? She was so close and I was so little. I was near panic and my heart raced. She made low, soft sounds to me. Do they do this before they eat you? She had another box with soft bedding inside the truck. Very slowly, she opened the end of the tunnel and reached in. I watched as she grabbed my scruff and pulled me out. I struggled, but she held on. It didn't hurt, but I was very afraid. She placed me on the bedding and closed the top of the box. I was trapped again! This one was a little more comfortable, though. Then, she took me inside of the building with the very nice women that feed me. Good, I thought. Maybe they would rescue me. Instead of rescue, however, they just peered in at me and smiled. They made cooing noises but did not seem even slightly disturbed that I was in a box instead of my realm.
Then, to my horror, the woman reached in with her hand. This time, however, she did not grab my scruff, but instead, she rubbed me cheeks and stroked my head. Now, I am a strong kitten with a proud lineage, but this was entirely too much! I tried to be strong, but it felt good, so, I purred. It was like my mother's licks, so soothing and nice. I refused to close my eyes, but I couldn't help but lean on the woman's hand. She kept it up for awhile and I felt better. Maybe I will survive.
All too soon, my world turned upside down again. After the short visit with the creatures that knew me, the woman carried me back out to the truck and placed me inside. Now, I have seen these things move, but I didn't know they were so bumpy. It's worse than when your mother has to run while she is carrying you in her mouth! Much worse, in fact. Eventually, we stopped at a place that smelled of more animals than I could imagine. She took me inside a new building and more women cooed at me. There were some younger kittens in that room. They told me to watch out for the pointy thing. "What pointy thing?" I asked. "The one the vet has, silly!", they giggled back. I was all eyes when I heard this warning. The woman reached in a rubbed me again. Then, she pulled me out and placed me on a table. More women cooed (I really do have a way with them, don't I?). Then, the first woman backed away and the others brought out various instruments of torture. First, they stole some of my blood from my back leg with the dreaded pointy thing. One of my torturers left with the blood. The first woman looked a little worried until she returned. Then, she smiled at me and the torture continued. An anti-flea pill was shoved down my throat, (to which my fleas yelled, "Bring it!", amidst laughter). Then, hands moved over my body feeling my poor, distended stomach. A worming medicine was then squirted down my throat. It was sticky and sweet in a very unpleasant way. I didn't see the second pointy thing because they got me right on the back of my neck, but it didn't hurt as much as the first one. Finally, I was held on the first woman's lap while all the two legged creatures talked to each other. I shoved my face in between her elbow and her side. It had been a hard day and the dark warmth felt good.
After that brief bliss, I was returned to the box and back into the truck. At this point, I was exhausted but the day was hardly half over. I didn't think I could take many more new experiences. Soon, the truck stopped and the woman placed my box on the ground. So many new smells outside the box. Lots of room and hiding places. Would she release me here? If she did, I would not fall for that wire tunnel thing again. She returned and brought me inside another new building (my third one on this long day). I smelled other cats and a dog stench. I caught a glimpse of a black cat with the shiniest fur I'd ever seen. Finally, the box was put down next to a large cage. The woman scooped me up and placed me inside. It was small, but well furnished. There was a box for elimination, soft bedding, toys, and most importantly, a clean dish with both food and water. Everything was so clean. The woman was studying me again, but she didn't stay long. I was soon left alone.
The next few hours were spent in peace and quiet with the exception of the last gasps of dying fleas (HA! HA! HA!).
The woman returned when I was feeling quite refreshed. She rubbed my face and stroked my head and back. It felt good. A man also did this. He smiled kindly. I felt relatively safe, but still wary.
Saturday, July 28th, 2007
I played a little and finished all of the food the man and woman brought me. I wanted to play more, but I think I ate too much.
I saw two of the resident house cats today. The black cat skulked around my cage (though the woman covered three sides of it to give me privacy). She then left without a word or introduction. I think she is rather rude. The second cat I saw was Thea, an older tabby with white paws. She welcomed me stiffly and instructed me not to touch her 'blankie'. She spoke of it's unequaled softness and the fact that she has far more hairs on it than the other two cats, therefore, it is hers and hers alone. I must find this blankie when they let me out of here. She also told me that I would likely remain imprisoned until my bathroom habits were firmly established. She was a little snooty when she spoke of bathroom habits. I must make it my mission to snuggle on her precious blankie at the first opportunity.
Many visits from the people today (Thea told me they were called this). I felt brave enough to walk up to them when they opened the cage door. I tried a gentle swipe and it was well received. These people might just make nice playthings.
Sunday, July 29th, 2007
More visits from the people and a new face. A dog! I will admit that she was polite. She moved towards me slowly and backed away when I showed displeasure. She has heard, no doubt, of my Claws of Death. Despite her much larger size, I don't believe we will have trouble in the future.
The black cat skulked around my cage again and made several rude noises at me. Someday, when I feel bigger and stronger, I might have to make her answer for those remarks. For now, I gave her my most innocent, 'I'm-just-a-itty-bitty-widdle-kitten' look. She'll feel bad later.
The people let me out, but I was frightened by some weird noises so they soothed me on their laps and placed me back in the cage with more food (they are SO trainable!).