Friday, February 6, 2009
Why Does He Cry?
We set up the trap near the dumpster that night and waited for the first catch. One of the kittens seemed more curious(or hungry)than the rest. It didn't take long before we had Cat Boy in the box! Next, his sister Shy, the calico fluff-ball was lured in too. We agreed to start with these two and once we had them safely in a new home, we'd come back for the rest. It turned out to be more difficult than we imagined, though. The shelter was full at the time and in any case, the cats would have to be quarantined and observed for at least 6 weeks to be sure they didn't show any signs of rabies. We kept them in a big plastic kennel carrier equipped with food, water and a blanket on my sister's porch until we could figure out what to do.
After a few days, we decided to see what would happen if we let them out of the carrier into the enclosed porch area. What transpired next was like something you'd only imagine seeing on a cartoon! Cat Boy literally ran straight up the wall to the ceiling, screaming in terror! He bounced around from wall to window screen like a pinball for several minutes before I threw a soft towel over him, and wearing thick leather gloves, got him back into the carrier. Coming out was not a option at all for his sister...she was rolled tightly into a black, white and bright orange ball at the back of the box and wasn't budging.
In about a weeks' time we came to the conclusion that the best thing to do was adopt them ourselves. My sister and her husband chose to keep Shy and I chose Cat Boy. In due time, after many wormings, shots, and a few baths they were welcomed into our respective homes. I think they both spent about two or three weeks hiding under beds for ninety percent of each day before they were able to conquer their fear of us.
We don't know what became of the mother cat. Eventually, we also captured and tamed Jet, one of the tuxedo twins. He was quarantined in our barn and eventually was placed in a happy home through the shelter. Funny Face was found to have a festering wound on her face and the shelter's vet made the decision that she should be put down. We never did get the remaining tuxedo cat, but I have seen a cat that looks very much like him around the neighborhood for years. It is my hope that he was adopted too. Shy and Cat Boy continue to thrive.
There is one funny thing that always reminds me of those days. Whenever I do laundry, Cat Boy comes running from wherever he is and jumps up on the washer as soon as he hears me turn it on. He sits on top and peers down into the open machine as the water fills. After a moment, he starts to cry loudly. He has a cry that sounds almost like a baby. When he really gets going, it sounds like he's yodeling. It took a while before I realized that the sound he is hearing is very similar to the sound of the water running into that storm drain next to the dumpster where he was born. I think that some part of him may remember that time. It's very hard not to believe it is emotion I hear in his voice at these times. Maybe he misses his brothers and sisters, or he is crying for his mother. Maybe he is mourning a lost time when he was a wild cat boy.