Last Thursday, I left you with the following information. We were on a rescue mission far away from home because on Saturday night, September 8, Older Daughter saw a black and white kitten in a very remote area. We went as a family to the location on that Sunday and there (in the distance) was the tuxie kitty and two more kittens. Luck was with us that night and we came home with the tuxie, but the other two disappeared into the dense foliage beside the road before we could even see what they looked like. I spent the entire week making trips to the area, searching for the remaining two kittens, setting the trap, driving back home, and returning at night with hopes of a capture. It was on that Monday, and ONLY on that day, that Younger Daughter and I got an up-close glimpse of one of the remaining two - a calico who bailed into the weeds.
The tuxie moved into my bathroom and received the name Truly. We basically did not SEE Truly at all from Monday through Thursday while she hid under the bathroom cabinet except to eat and use the litter box. My heart broke when she came tearing out from under that cabinet upon seeing Jo-Jo - our little calico. Clearly Truly thought this was her sibling. I desperately wanted to re-unite Truly with the calico she had been surviving with. But day in and day out, trip after trip - NOTHING.
I posted on Thursday morning and went about my day. I knew I couldn’t continue to make an hour-and-a-half round-trip journey twice a day for much longer. Oh how I longed to be successful in trapping the remaining two kittens. But traveling to this remote area was taking huge chunks of every day and way too much money in gasoline. And there hadn’t been even one sighting since that Monday. It is hard to adequately describe what it’s like to trap. There is hope, and longing, and a desperate desire to take an animal out of a life of struggle and bare survival. There is a knot in your stomach and a pounding heartbeat as you near the place where you’ve left the trap. You remind yourself as you approach that it will be worth all of the time, effort, and money if you can just take a baby out of these conditions. I won’t lie - when the trap is empty, the letdown is heavy.
On Thursday afternoon, after searching and scanning and hoping, I left the trap set and drove home. Once again, I would hope that this would be the day. Thursday night was nice because both of my daughters came to our house for supper. I got some chores finished after our meal, and just after dusk the four of us set out. When we arrived in the area where I’d left the trap, we tried hard to peek into the weeds to see if the trap door was still standing open. But it was dark outside, so the girls jumped out to check. I heard squeals and then - We got her! We got the calico!
Relief and joy flooded over me. This felt amazing. Not only did we have another one of the three kittens we had seen that first night, but it was the calico - the one I had hoped to give to Truly. The disappointment is great when the trap is empty. The joy is mountain-high when the trap contains a little one who needs us - a little being who no longer has to struggle just to survive.
I introduced our calico into the bathroom when we got home. Her colors are beautiful, and they reminded me of the colors of Autumn so our new girl had her name. My daughters and I crouched quietly in the floor as Autumn crept out of the trap. As she headed for the safety of the space underneath the cabinet, Truly came pouring out to meet her. Autumn was only interested in getting to a safe place of hiding, but Truly was in love. My daughters had to leave, so I walked them outside. When I slipped back into the bathroom a little later, I heard purring coming from underneath the cabinet. Truly, no doubt, had HER calico.
Two down with one more to go. I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday continuing to travel twice a day, search, set the trap and check the trap. Nothing. (Well, actually not nothing. We caught a possum on Saturday night and quickly released her.) The joy from Thursday night would have to hold me for a while. Discovering NO sign of the third kitten was disappointing. That disappointment continues even today, but a different species of joy hit on Saturday night. And that is tomorrow’s story.