(prose poem in the style of Mary Oliver)
Country people have all seen this bent cardboard sign near a highway – “Free kittens” and a phone number. When you call, a kindly farmer answers the phone, and you chit-chat. The crops are coming in well this spring, the mare is pregnant, and the spring kittens have come in. Imagine! seasonal kittens filling barns, ready to mouse and carry on the family line.
Gimpy and Sugar both gave birth a week a part seven weeks before I called, and the spring kittens were ready to find new homes. When I finally got out to the barn, half an hour off the highway, two females and the runt were left. She described the runt as a spitfire, a palm-sized scruffable miracle. When she first picked him up and gave him to me, he hissed and growled like the king of hell as if oblivious to his own smallness and vulnerability.
Years later, we’ve accomodated each other and developed our own routines. Every morning we have a routine – some head-butts and kisses, a filled food and water dish. Now he sits on my lap, a stocky and serious older gentleman, who prefers the refined life. Sunlight through windows, a protected breeze in the spring, no struggle, no wildness.
Added notes on 4/16:
Who Sent You? – This article gets 10x more views than anything else I’ve written. How did you end up here?
While I have your attention, please spay/neuter your animals.
Additionally, when getting a cat/animal friend, consider adopting from an animal shelter. Tevye was “free”, but cost me quite a bit for shots, deworming, and neutering. You may be saving money by getting a shelter kitty who’s already had these things done, and I’m sure it’s good karma.