Someone had knocked over my little fern out back. I’d noticed it on the floor of the patio when I looked outside yesterday morning. I couldn’t blame the usual culprit, my tuxedo cat Oreo, he’s strictly an indoor kitty. So I wondered, and blamed the wind…but I was still unsure. Not too long after that my oldest son opened the door and stepped outside.
It’s then that he heard it. A kitten. Meowing. Loudly. But where was the sound coming from? We all walked outside and listened. It grew louder and more panicked sounding.
“It’s in the grill”, I thought.
I stepped over to the barbecue grill, and opened the front door to peer inside. Sure enough, there it was.
A small, orange kitten. Scared to death. You may not particularly like cats, but we are cat people. Personally I am a fur, feather, and scale person. I love all animals. I’ve brought home all manner of critters. I once scooped up a baby rabbit from my front yard, and brought it inside too. We’ve had all manner of animals pass through our home, both wild and domesticated. I wasn’t sure which category this little kitten fit into, but I did what I always do and reached in to scoop it up, thinking, “This is your lucky day, little one.”
Apparently the kitten didn’t think he was so lucky and as soon as I grabbed him, he went into full commando defense mode. By the time I could pull him off me, my hands were scarred and bleeding. I don’t know which way he ran, I was too busy seeing stars.
An hour later, my fingers were bandaged and no longer bleeding. And he was back. This time sitting on top of our grill, meowing just as loudly as he had when he was stuck inside. My husband walked out there and he took off again.
We set up a cage with a small bowl of food inside, my son rigged the door with fishing line strung through the window and we went on about our business. About an hour later he was back… inside the cage, eating the food. My husband pulled on the fishing line, and the door to the cage swung shut. We had him this time and with no casualties!
He spent the night in the cage on a towel, the cage covered with a blanket for warmth. With a full belly, I’m sure he felt like he was at the Hilton. Unable to sleep, I got up and Googled how to care for a feral kitten. There are lots of thoughts on the net about the subject. I read that the younger the kitten is the more likely it is that it can be socialized and become a pet. Some feral cats however will never be socialized. Apparently, if a cat has had no human interaction they might as well be a wild skunk or rodent.
Reading this made me sad.
But I had to realize that while “our” kitten was young (maybe about ten weeks old) we still might not be able to convert him into a pet for us or anyone else.
Still, there were a few signs that most websites told us to watch for as positive cues that the kitten could be socialized. Using a litter box was one. Eye contact with humans was another. Our kitten had done both already. A willingness to eat in front of a human was another good sign. He did that too, although it took a while to convince him it was okay.
I can’t predict the outcome for this little kitty. Is he too lost, too wild, to save? I hope not. He’s a cutie. He’s a shorthaired, orange tabby with no tail. I haven’t let the kids name it yet because I am trying not to let them get their hopes up that we will tame him. But they are knocking around a few options anyway. My daughter likes Bobby because of his tail, or lack there of. My son likes Cheeto. We always seem to name our cats after snack foods.
I can’t say what the outcome will be for this little kitten. We will try our best to help him. I hope he is not too lost to save. As I read what the websites had to say about cats like him, I couldn’t help but make the leap to our human condition.
While some cats are just beyond our reach, people are never beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit. As long as we have breath left in our bodies, the Holy Spirit has the power to come into our hearts and do a great work, revealing to us the truth of the gospel.
How comforting that is to those of us with friends and family members who really need that truth to save them. No one is beyond His reach. Not one. It’s the hope offered to us in the scriptures. It’s the reason Jesus came. To bring us hope.