I have been inthe midst of a long-distance trapping spree. There were three kittens living in the wilderness all alone. We have managed to trap two of them. This past weekend was spent just as the previous Sunday through Thursday had been - twice-daily trips to the other side of the world to hunt kittens. Friday was unsuccessful. Saturday afternoon the search continued, ending with me leaving the trap set and driving home. I would go back Saturday night, hoping the entire way that our third kitten would be sitting in that trap. It was not. And on the way home, I started thinking about how Older Daughter had actually seen the tuxie the night before we trapped her. Then Younger Daughter and I had actually seen the calico three days before we finally trapped her. None of us had actually seen this third kitten - except at an extreme distance that very first night. In fact, this last one was only identified as one of the two “dots” that disappeared into the deep grass the night we got Truly. They were so far away that nobody had an idea in the world as to even what color this one might be. We only knew that one of those two “dots” was calico because we did see her that next day. There is still a mystery kitten out there somewhere. And I continue to hunt.
On Saturday night upon returning to my home, I started into the last animal rounds of the day. I was completely joyous about having Truly and now Autumn tucked safely away in my bathroom. Truly had suddenly decided to be friends with me and Husband. She now came out from under the cabinet when we entered the room. After being re-united with her deeply desired calico runnin’ buddy, it was obvious that she was much more content. And now she had decided to make friends with us humans. She stopped hiding entirely, slept in the towel basket, and even started allowing us to pet her. I was certain we could bring Autumn around, too, even though she was completely invisible in that bathroom unless you got all the way to the floor and peeked under the cabinet.
Thoughts of Truly and Autumn danced around in my head as I entered the kennel and greeted my boarding dogs and fosters Gandy and Gwennie. I let the first dog out of her run and walked her to the side yard. I came back in to prepare this dog’s nighttime snack and medication. That’s when I heard it. I was deep in thought about Truly and Autumn, but suddenly in the back of my brain something registered. I knew that sound. Tiny. The sound was tiny. A little bitty squeaky whine. Oh, my gosh - PUPPIES! I took off down to run #10 and there was Gwennie cleaning number two (!) puppy. I eased into the run and knelt down beside her. Can I see what you’ve got there, Gwennie? Can I see your babies? Gwen kept working on puppy #2 while I gently lifted a nice and dry fat little ball of bluish gray. Exactly Gwenn’s color. I felt a brief worry wash over me. Gwen was the mom, and Gwen’s brother was the dad. Gwen and brother were nearly identical. These puppies would all look the same. No problem there. But with littermates breeding, I knew there could be problems. This little blue-gray fat ball in my hand, however, looked great. I couldn’t know if there might be internal issues. I sat with Gwen while she cleaned off her second baby. She rested after that, and I got back to work. As I moved from run to run, I would scamper down and check on progress. When I completed all of my work at the kennel, I went back to Gwen’s run. She let me pet her and make over her. Then she whined and I saw a contraction begin. So I sat with her and gave her as much comfort physically and verbally as I could until baby #3 was born. Beautiful. After that one, I went back to the house to get some things done there. Before turning in for the night, one last check on the birthing. A fourth had been born. However, this one was less than half the size of the other three. You couldn’t even call this one a runt. He was so much tinier that I wondered if he would survive. I called him Half Pint as I kissed my finger and touched his head with that kiss. Mom had all four nursing so I went to bed.
The next morning, unfortunately, I discovered that Half Pint had not survived. He is buried in our very large pet cemetery along the West woods. The other three all seem to be healthy and strong. I know we could still face problems because of the interbreeding. But right now, there are three blue-gray butterballs (two boys and a girl) being cared for by a wonderful momma Gwen. Here they are - for your viewing pleasure.
Have a great day!