Late last night we were on a dark country road in the rain, coming home from my mom's house, when The Reluctant Farmer's headlights illuminated several pair of eyes along side the road. Instantly I pulled out the "mom seat belt", thumped her across the chest and exclaimed: "Do you see those eyes?!" This was immediately followed by me saying: "Seriously?! Those are kittens!"
The Reluctant Farmer then said the most profound statement I have ever heard her utter: "Should I stop?" Now, I'm not entirely sure why she asked me this question, but I feel I deserve BIG kudos for not pointing out this was the stupidest thing she had ever asked me... (We have been together for 7 years, and there has never been a point in that time when I have not "stopped" if it concerned the welfare of a stray/sick/injured/orphaned animal or homeless person.)
Perhaps she was thinking she was going to get lucky and I would not make her participate in this adventure. Alas, no.....
Me: "Um, yes! Turn the car around!"
We turn the car around. I get out a flashlight, and I instantly see all these little eyes staring back at me. I did the infamous: "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" And out of the brush comes the first kitten. Now I am not sure if it's because this was the female of the group, therefore making her supremely intelligent or what, but this girl (Molly) is NOT stupid. She saw her ticket to a warm car and full belly, and thought: "I am outta here, boys!" I quickly picked up the wet, shivering ball of fur and ushered her to the car when I then went back for the next one.
This boy (Harry) made me work a little for his trust. I had to get Molly back out of the car, show Harry that Molly was loving the fact she was warm, and slowly Harry allowed me to pick him up. Quickly we drove back to my mom's house for a box and a better flashlight. We decided to give it one last go, because I was not convinced I only saw 2 pair of eyes peeking out of the brush at me.
On the next pass, an additional pair of eyes glared back at me. This is where the night gets fun...
Armed with a can of tuna and a flashlight I am calling "Kitty, kitty, kitty!" No, kitty.... This goes on for several minutes and I can hear the kitten in the brush, but I can't see him. Suddenly, a nice man and woman pull up behind our car and ask us if we needed help. As I am crawling around on my knees looking deranged and drunk, I explain I am looking for a kitten that had been dumped, fully expecting them to leave, but no! Suddenly the brush lights up so bright I am sure we can be seen from outer space! I turn around, and there is the man from the car with a flashlight so big, we could have landed an airplane on that dark country road. And for 45 minutes, in the rain, that man and I worked on getting that kitten to come to us.
The "dance" was brutal and I kept saying things like:
"Kitty, just come to me. My house is crazy, but you will be well fed and warm."
"Come to me kitty! Coyotes and kittens are a BAD combination!"
"Dude, seriously?! Do you know how much stress you are going to cause me because I can't catch you?!"
And my personal favorite:
"God, why would you show me 3 kittens but only allow me to catch 2?! You know this shit is going to drive me crazy, I will not be able to sleep tonight, and that is not fair! I call bullshit!"
Slowly the last kitten creeped out from under the brush to eat the tuna I offered, and as it was making it's way towards me, I told the man behind me: "Here's the plan. You shine that flashlight on the kitten and don't take it off him. I am going to likely get the crap scratched out of me, but when he drops his head to eat, I am going to snatch him up by the scruff of his neck."
And just like that, with some cat like reflexes and the skills of a ninja, we caught the 3rd and final kitty (James). Excitedly, I hurried back to the car, where The Reluctant Farmer was talking on the phone and I hear her say to the person on the other end:
"Oh, she's back! She didn't die!"
It was then that she explained to me she saw a guy approaching while I was crawling around on my hands and knees, and she could see 2 flashlights in the darkness, but since she did not see the beams of light whirling all around in different directions, she figured I was not struggling for my life against the stranger.
Do you see what I am working with folks?!
I thought about leaving her on the side of the road, but I needed someone to drive the car....
The kittens are all safely home, and are doing well, however I need help with this project.
If you feel compelled to help monetarily to the Herd of Kittens vet care costs, I would greatly appreciate it. I have started a donation page in hopes of raising funds to get them vetted and into new homes. In rescue, I rarely ask for donations, but I am out of funds after saving another cat last week who had been dragged by a car. Please donate if you are able to, or share my post at a minimum.
It takes a village folks!
Thank you for being in mine!