Monday, November 06, 2006


By Saturday morning, with no-one having come forward to claim the lost kitten, we were beginning to think longer term about trying to re-house the poor thing. I might have considered keeping it myself, had the house not already been full of beasts to the point of bursting. Also, whilst the dogs seemed quite happy to have a small black and white bundle of fur and claws and teeth hurtling around, jumping on them unawares and trying to steal their food whilst they were eating it, Buddug was not best pleased at the new arrival.

Mexican Standoff

She spent the whole day out on Friday. I saw her on Thursday evening - she always comes with me when I take the dogs out for their constitutional just before bedtime - but was noticeable by her complete absence on Friday morning. By mid afternoon, I couldn't help but worry, in the back of my mind, that something might have happened to her. But no, she was just in a grump. Around about five in the evening I heard a strange low-pitched growling sound, and on investigation found Buddug in the hall, crouched low, tail twitching in disgusted horror that the small black and white thing was still here.

What, me?

There were scuffles, too, which upset the Dachshund no end. He's a delicate soul and can't stand the idea of people not getting on. Later that evening I discovered a small scratch, pink-tinged in the fur close to the kittens right eye. It also had traces of blood on its foot, but no sign of a cut, so I suspect it gave as good as it got. But by the rule of seniority, Buddug gets to stay, so the stray would have to go.

Re-housing it wasn't going to be easy. Hardly a week goes by in the office when one or other of the consultants doesn't try to offload kittens on anyone passing by. It seems that Welsh farmers are not very good at animal birth-control. Up north, around my parents' farm, the local vet traps and neuters the feral cats that roam the farmyards. Down here it seems almost a macho thing to have hundreds of flea-bitten, skinny mogs loitering the steadings.

Still, there was a possibility that one of the secretaries might take the stray kitten, though she had to persuade her husband first. Otherwise, it would be case of emailing around the university and the other research institutions in Aberystwyth to try and find a sucker willing to give a wastrel a home. Meantime, we had to stock up on more cat litter and some proper kitten food.

And so to town on Saturday morning. Never my favourite time for shopping, but these are crosses we have to bear. The goods were purchased and we headed home.

The phone was ringing as I unlocked the door and lugged the ten kilo bag of wood-pellet cat litter inside. I'd have bought a smaller bag, but that was all they had left in the shop. The phone always startles me, as it rings on average about once a week, and usually then it's someone trying to sell me a time-share holiday home in New Quay. This time, it was a lady from the village, the wife of a local farmer. Did I have a stray kitten, by any chance?

Her name is Lal (the kitten, not the farmer's wife - she's Helen.) She went missing from the farm, about a mile and a half away from the field where she was found, about a week ago. The children were distraught, thinking she must have been taken by a fox. She has a brother, too, and he had been pining for his lost sister. When Helen came over to collect the errant wanderer, she brought the brother, and there was no doubting that they were related.

The most remarkable thing, quite apart from this tiny, five month old kitten surviving so long in the wild and walking so far from home, was that the farm where it was living is on the other side of the River Ystwyth. Somehow it had managed to cross, which meant a half mile extra in either direction to the nearest bridge. She couldn't have swum; there's too much water at the moment and the current is too strong.

Anyway, she's gone now, and I've done my good deed for the year. It's just a pity the owner couldn't have phoned a couple of hours earlier. Buddug will eat the kitten food quite happily, but I've no real need for ten kilos of cat litter any more.

Quite happy to pooh outdoors, thankyou.


Blogger Gabriele C. said...

I'm glad the wee kitty is reunited with her brother and her rightful owners.

But Buddug is still a big bad cat.

November 06, 2006 9:49 pm  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

A happy family reunion! Wahoo!

And I must say, of our kittens it would be Stuart who would cause that ruckus. Russel is a snob, Rebus is a suck-up and Simon a love cat. Stuart is a first-class trouble-maker.

Dead on with 2 out of 4 isn't bad...

November 06, 2006 11:02 pm  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 06, 2006 11:02 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Well, I've known Stuart a long time. I'm just wondering which of the other ones you nailed...

November 08, 2006 2:34 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Handwash only