Kitten up a Tree…

On my afternoon walk with Charlie I was just climbing the hill out of our sleepy hollow when I heard a faint yowl coming from the thick stand of pines bordering my nearest neighbor’s property.

I stopped and started walking towards the sound making comforting noises that had the dog’s tail wagging excitedly and the caterwauling bouncing from branch to branch in a crescendo that left me feeling helpless.

Charlie sat and waited.

As I cautiously leaned into the woods, trying not to step on a snake or into a fire ant bed, the thought occurred to me that the desperation of the call could also be a warning.  I imagined a young bobcat pouncing on me and backed away.

“Come along Charlie!” I said patting my leg and we left the noise behind us.

Fifty-six minutes later my ears picked up the yowling again as I approached the woods.  Whatever it was was still in trouble.

I stopped and called,

“Hey…come on…” and the yowling turned into a shrill wail.  This time I stepped into the cedars and scanned the canopy for the source of all the racket.  The sunlight filtered through the branches and the dappling acted as camouflage but, guided by the desperate cries from overhead, I finally spotted the cat a good 30 feet up flattened against the trunk of a tree its body rigid. its head turned towards me,

“Come on, come here…” I cooed.  Charlie came to my side, rump sashaying, tongue lolling.

“Not you silly…” I patted her head and looked up again.

“Good kitty, come on, come on,” I reached out my hand and waved and it began to descend, backwards, scrabbling and screeching.  Its tense little body, finally released from the rigor of holding still, moved quickly and about 10 feet from the ground it turned around and jumped to a branch within my reach.  It was only a kitten, ginger, frail and frightened.  I reached in and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and shoved it under my t-shirt to carry home.

Those were my first thoughts- get it home- I didn’t even consider the alternative, to leave it in the wilderness, easy prey for a coyote.  It was mewing pathetically against my chest and eventually snuggled down to a whimper.

We made it to Footlights in one piece.

Hubs said,

“Oh no you don’t,” as I placed it in his lap.

“Feel how soft he is,” I said.

My other cats gathered at my feet, curious.

I took it onto the patio and set it down…

And then the mother in me went to fetch food and water,


“Oh no you don’t,” said Hubs again as I sailed past.

I watched it devour the kibble like a pro while my cats set up a chorus of throaty mews and trills on the other side of the door.


“He must belong to someone around here,” Hubs said, “who would abandon such a young kitten in the middle of nowhere?”  He picked up the phone.

None of our immediate neighbors claimed the kitten so I went to the barn to pick up one of our cat carriers and sent them both off to take their chances down the lane.

He came home empty handed.

“Lucy across the way took him,” he explained.  “She said she no longer had any of her barn cats left,” he caught my eye.

“None of her kittens or her Mama cat?” I asked.  He shook his head.

“At least he’s gone to a good home.”

“Hardly,” I said, “if all of her cats have disappeared….”

“Well, I suppose you’re right!” he said with a shrug and looked over at our cats,


“I’d say this is a good home!”  I said.

“Cats everywhere!” he said.

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2017-05-06 23:56:43 Reply

And it was the right thing to do. Imagine our 3 cats having to share that love divided yet again! Meeeeeooooooow!

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