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The Kitten

Tiska’s eye started to heal up nicely and she was walking much better after 5 days in Salyersville. Rondal had provided us with a trailer to sleep in down the road, but we chose to sleep in the barn the night before we left so we could get going faster in the morning. It proved to be an interesting night.

First, we realized there was a hole in Richard’s sleeping pad and it was deflating. We patched it, but apparently there was more than one hole and my poor hubby ended up sleeping on the cement for half the night.

But before we went to sleep, we had a very interesting couple hours. As we were getting our sleeping bags out, we suddenly heard a kitten start crying loudly somewhere in the barn. I went to investigate and found a really young kitten crying in the hay inside a horse stall. It had clearly fallen through the feeding hole in the ceiling, so I went in and rescued it. It stopped crying pretty soon after we held it close. I took it up in the hay loft and started looking for a den in the hay where other kittens might be near that hole. I found something that definitely looked cat size and recently used, but no sign of any other kittens or a mama.

Oh boy. We weren’t planning on taking care of a 3 week old kitten on this trip! I told Richard I would leave it behind if he wanted me to. But there was no one else there and we didn’t want to put it back in the stall to get stepped on. He agreed that we couldn’t just leave it somewhere, but he was praying that the mom would show up!

He ran to the store for a minute to get some milk for it just for the night until we could get some proper kitten food. About the time he got back, the barn cat showed up. We had seen it around before, but it didn’t look like a mama cat. But I pet it anyhow, and happened to notice that it had milk! A-ha! Found the mom!

Now to get her to accept the kitten back….

We spent the next 45 minutes following the cat around, feeding it, putting the kitten near it, trying to stay out of the way, and holding our breath that the mama cat would take it so we wouldn’t have to! For the longest time, she seemed completely uninterested in the kitten, but we didn’t give up.

At last, the cat picked the kitten up in her mouth and started heading for the doorway where we were standing. We breathed a sigh of relief- until it stopped next to us and set the kitten down. What? Don’t give it to US! We held our breath and didn’t move a muscle.

She picked it back up and continued down the barn isle out of sight. We never saw either of them again.

We both breathed a sigh of relief- while I would love another cat to keep Nacho company at home, we really aren’t planning on traveling with an entire circus! We wished the kitten a happy life, got some sleep, and headed out in the morning- without a cat. :)

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