I was headed out the door to get to church on time (for once) when my neighbor, Thelma, came rushing across the street hollering for my husband for help.
She was hearing baby kitty squeals under her deck which is closed off with storage drawers. They are very heavy drawers, Thelma is 90 and her weight about matches her age. You couldn't ask for a better neighbor, and she is a bundle of energy and fun.
Well, church notwithstanding, I needed to see those baby kitties myself. So we went across the street, hubby pulled open the drawers, and sure enough...there were four very tiny, very frightened, very abandoned baby kittens, all rolled up into one furry ball. No Mama in sight.
Having had a windy day recently, Thelma discovered a loose panel on her park model (like a mobile home), put it back into place and thought nothing more about it. How was she to know a very pregnant Mama crawled into the perfect spot for giving birth? So we figured Mama was out perhaps looking for food at the moment.
We got our cat, Catrina's carrier and transferred the wee ones into it, leaving them in the carrier on the driveway for awhile to see if Mama would come looking for them. That was a week ago today, and Mama hasn't been seen or heard from since. Bad Mama.
Thelma was beside herself. She isn't fond of cats and didn't know what to do with them.
Well, of course, I wanted to keep them. All of them. That idea was very quickly vetoed by you-know-who. But who wouldn't melt at the sight of them?
We offered to take them to the animal shelter, not realizing at the time that the nearest shelter is 35 miles away. But we figured a nice day for a drive, plus we couldn't think of any other creative option, so we stuck to our offer.
The Arizona Humane Society is located in Phoenix, I might add out in the boonies of Phoenix, giving us a small sightseeing excursion to discover other mountains and roads.
In we trot with the kittens in carrier, thinking that was the end to our selfless act of mercy. But noooooo. The "intake center" was another 25 miles, through yet another freeway and all through Phoenix.
There, they were very cordial. They immediately took the kittens and put them in their own carrier and examined them one by one.
Three girls and one boy. About two weeks old, they guessed, as their eyes open by ten days. They had been under that deck for two weeks?
I was falling more in love with them by the minute.
Their chances for survival were slim without the mother, they explained. But they would see if they could place them in foster care with someone who was willing to take them. They need to be fed formula by dropper every three hours around the clock.
Yep, like infants. Awwww.......
Well, you know the end of the story. We left them there. But since then, I have thought of them, always making up my own happy ending. Of course, they found foster care. Of course, a foster mama dutifully tended to them and fed them. And of course, someone fell in love with them and took each one, loving them forever.
The car felt empty on the drive home without the frail meows and little squeals. But we arrived home to a grateful neighbor, who insisted on taking us out for dinner.
I never made it to church that day. But I did experience that feel good feeling and know we did the right thing.