|We buried Tweets at our house next to Zsa Zsa and Starlight's tiny kitten, Aurora|
My stomach felt like heavy iron that had dropped into my hips. I had to be chipper when I drove up and Strike was the first to greet me. Next would came Greyboy, Blabby, Gunther, and as I entered further into the park, Petey, Baby, Moonpie, Mustafa, and likely a surprise cat or two or three, and they would all be excitedly scurrying around the swingsets and slides. That's when I talk to them sweetly and they rub about. I know the feeding is one of the highpoints of their day, and the only time they feel truly secure, because in an hour the concessioner would start to prepare the cafe for the lunch crowd, and in another hour the park would start to fill with people: swimmers, fishermen, etc., and the cats would find their hiding places for the day. And there are fewer and fewer hiding places left.
I finished the feeding and sat down to pet Moonpie, to coochie coo with Mustafa, and to spend time with Strike. I went to the top of the park and put food our for Angie, a beautiful new ginger cat who has started coming to the park with her friend Agamemnon from across the street. She also has very recently delivered kittens.
|Angie, on left, and Agamemnon, on right|
The only thing to think about now was Tweets' kittens. Where were they? Nik had spotted them earlier in the week under Sammy's car. He said he had seen two, but he couldn't see their coloring.
|Nik saw Tweets' kittens up under Sammy's car before Tweets was killed|
Our neighbor, who owns the house next to the empty lot where Tweets had her kittens, has a son who visited recently. He said he had seen two in the empty lot, an orange one and a grey one. He said he had fed Tweets. This was about two weeks ago.
|This what the field looked like when Tweets had her kittens|
|This is what the field looked like the day we spoke to our neighbor's son.|
I went to Sammy's and looked in the overgrown garden of the empty house next door. The weeds were tall there. I couldn't find anything but tunnels through the weeds where it looked like cats had been. I left a carrier there for later, and put some food out near the weeds. I don't remember much more about Friday.
Saturday morning I woke Nik up about 4AM to go to Sammy's with me to look again.
|When we got to Sammy's it was still dark|
|Nik looking through the tall weeds at the vacant house next door to Sammy's|
Nik tied a string to the trap mechanism
Then he ran it all the way down the driveway
and out the gate to the car where we would sit and wait
We waited and waited. Finally I had to go home to clean the litterboxes and fill the kibble bowl and water bowls, and while I was cleaning the dishes my cell phone rang. It was Nik. My heart lept. I answered, held my breath, and he told me he had caught the first kitten.
|Tweets' first kitten was caught|
|She went bananas - how could she possibly understand?|
I brought over the second trap immediately, and it wasn't long before Nik caught the second kitten with his ingenius rig. We had been there for at least 7 hours. I have to hand it to Nik. He was a champion. An absolute hero.
|Kitten #2 was caught - this one was a loud one|
|Tweets' two kittens in the large dog carrier in the guest room, covered to keep them calm|
|We put some food in for them, and some stuffed animals|
The only thing I kept thinking now was how our neighbor's son said there was one orange kitten, and one grey one. OK, maybe something was lost in translation, since he was speaking Cypro-Greek and I was speaking Greenglish, but when I looked at both these kittens I didn't get orange or grey out of either. The first one we caught was a tortoise; true, she had a bit of orange on her. The other was a brown tabby, which I wasn't getting orange or grey out of. So I told Nik I thought there were more. I reminded him I had seen a nearly all white one with a spot, and an actual true grey one in the tall weeds earlier.
To complicate matters even further, early that Saturday morning, as Murphy's law would have it, Sammy had phoned to let us know he was coming in Sunday night, and he asked us to pick him up at the airport, when he hasn't been here in literally months and months. We worried if there were other kittens, they might be scared off from eating at Sammy's since they weren't used to anyone being there.
Now it is Wednesday morning and Sammy tells me he spotted two kittens at the bowl last night. Could there really be two more?