Monday, June 07, 2010

The Cat Whispers

Uh, do I look like the Cat Whisperer to you?

Right. I didn’t think so.

So how did I end up rescuing three … no, wait, make that four … kittens today?

When I am not, and let me re-emphasize this, NOT a cat person?

I was wandering around the campus at work today, minding what passes for my own business, enjoying the lovely weather and the nice flowers and the beautiful green lawns being manicured by the landscaping company when one of the aforesaid landscapers approached me.

Cute Hispanic Guy: “Meees! Hey, Meees!”

Me:  “Uh, me?”

CHG: (Doffing hat in a respectful way—God, I really have to get some better wrinkle cream! I must look ancient!)   “Jes, Mees.  Can you come?

(Hmmmm…maybe the wrinkle cream IS working. Maybe I’ve set this handsome young Latino man wild with desire.)

CHG: “Cuts, Meees.”  (pointing)

Me: “Cut? Someone’s cut? Who’s cut?” 

GHG: (Holding up three fingers) “Cuts, Meees.” (More pointing, toward one of our cottages.)

Me:  “Uh, okay. Cut? How badly?”

CHG (as if speaking to the village idiot, and not the young pretty one, the old crone one): “Cuts, Meees. Three cuts.”

Me: “Oh, hell. Cats? Damn! Morte?”

CHG: “Morte? What?” (Apparently my Spanish is no better than his English.)

We reach the bushes outside one of the cottages and he’s digging in among the foliage, finally pointing out three tiny, bedraggled, scraggly kittens, wedged in under some roots.  Oh, crap.

This is a cottage peopled by adolescent boys who tend, on a good day, to jump around playing with make-believe swords slaying each other and make-believe dragons. On a bad day, all bets are off.  Not a good place for three itty-bitty starving kittens. 

But, in fact, what is the right place for three itty-bitty etc., etc ., etc.? I remember from a series of emails that there were originally five kittens and that at least one small kitten body has already been found on the grounds. No mama anywhere to be found.

Now there are three. And they’re not looking that good. And I am SO not a cat person.

Luckily at that point one of the staff joined me and began to coo and giggle and talk baby talk … or kitten talk. I went to fetch a box and she yanked out a root that had one of the kittens effectively stapled into the ground by the neck.

The next thing I knew, I was back in my office with a box of cats. Tiny, mewling, weak little cats. Three of them. Luckily the staff member agreed that she’d take them home with her some ten hours later, and to a vet in the morning. If any could be saved, she’d adopt at least one and maybe two of them.

Could I let it go there? No. I’d already tried giving them milk off my fingers but they couldn’t figure out the whole “lick the finger” thing. Two of my coworkers and I went to a nearby vet to ask for help.

We stood there with our pitiful cardboard box and were told “take them to the pound; that’s the right thing to do.”

We finally prevailed and purchased a tiny nursing bottle and a can of formula.

I felt a tug on my sleeve. I saw two young teenage boys, skateboard in one hand and a kitten in the other. Another kitten. Oh, crap!

They’d been sent by their mother to drop off the kitten which they’d found a day earlier. He was dressed in a tiny sweater and nestled in a woolen cap.  Oh, crap.

The vet’s staff sent them away. They don’t take kittens. They told them to take them to the pound. The boys left.

Then they returned. With the kitten. What were they supposed to do with the kitten?

Oh, crap. They were trying to do the right thing, and no one would help them do it. And I have a thing for kids who really want to do the right thing. They’re not all that common.

So that’s how I ended back at work with four kittens, not the three I left with.

I have no idea where Monroe, as we named the older black kitten, will end up. Maybe with my boss but maybe not because she has two older cats who will not take kindly to an interloper. But probably someone here at work will take them.  They have to, now that he has a name. (Yes the spots of our volunteer's dress are milk from feeding Monroe with a baby bottle!)

Oh, crap. I AM not the Cat Whisperer.


Anonymous said...

A follow up please! What happened to the cute little kittens? I'm sure you didn't take them home for you and Mr. Pug.

Janice in GA said...

Heh. That's how my sister ended up with 8 cats (currently.) 2 are the kittens she rescued from under her porch early this spring. Another two are from LAST year's feral kitten crop.

She'd like to have fewer cats, but homes seem to be few & far between these days. :(

VCFibers said...

Never say never... I would love to see your pugs snuggling with some little kittens :)