Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Heartbreak - Losing Tweets, Part 2 - Where Are Her Kittens?

I had been on my way to feed the cats at the park when I found Tweets.  I called Nik.  He came and took the picture.  We stood there in shock.  We hugged.  I cried.  I moved Tweets off the road to just behind a wall.  We would pick her up later to bury her at our house, next to Zsa Zsa and Strike's smallest kitten, in the front garden by the white lantana.  I went on to the park and Nik finished his feedings and then went to work in Nicosia.  My head was pounding.

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.
So when I got home from the park, I had to walk Muji first; then I went looking for them.

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

We did hear some rustling and first I thought I saw a grey kitten, which disappeared right away. Then  I quickly saw another kitten that appeared to be mostly white with a spot.  Just as quickly it was gone.  It was time to go do our morning feedings so we left some soft food under Sammy's car in case the kittens came, and we would come back when we were finished with the feedings and had walked Muji.

We left some soft food under Sammy's car

Nik had to take Arsenoe to Nicosia for her check up, and I went back to Sammy's.  I called to the kittens and I started getting answers back.  I could hear two kittens mewing in different spots but I could not find them.  There was so much noise in the neighborhood Saturday - kids screaming and splashing in a nearby swimming pool, people strimming their gardens, a tractor that must have passed back and forth ten times, and a bulldozer that came to doze the field where Tweets originally had her kittens. By the time the bulldozer showed up Nik was back and he went to warn the driver to be careful dozing the field, because kittens could be in there.  

The bulldozer arrives to do what it does yearly, doze this empty lot - what timing

Nik, at the gate, warns the driver to be careful

We stayed at Sammy's.  Hours had passed and no kittens.  Nik suggested we come back later, but I couldn't leave without the kittens.  Nik put his brain to work and went and got the trap.  It concerned us the kittens would be too light to spring the trap, so Nik came up with the idea to tie a string to it and spring it ourselves if  the kittens went in for the bait.  He ran the string all the way from Sammy's carport to Nik's car which was parked on the street.  We put some mackerel inside the trap.  Now all that was left to do was wait.

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
We brought them home and transferred them to a large dog carrier, and because we are plum out of space, we put them in the guest room with Arsenoe
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
To complicate matters, they are as feral as feral can be.

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?

No comments:

Post a Comment