It’s not every day – thankfully – that you hear voices crying out to you from the trash bins. (Well, maybe you do, but that’s perhaps another story for another time.) In the case of my friend Tina, she was startled by teeny-tiny mewling sounds while taking out the garbage one swelteringly hot night. And she got concerned. She donned mask and gloves, tipped over the bin, and began sifting through the trash, piece by piece, until she uncovered (warning: disturbing content) a family of five newborn kittens, tied up in garbage bags. Sadly, Tina was too late for two of them.
But my friend brought the surviving three babies indoors, cleaned them, fed them and made sure they were safe. Then our fearless Tina went back outside – at almost midnight, now – to comb the streets in search of cat mom. Unbelievably, she found her. “Not sure it’s theirs, but I coax her back to my place with food,” she wrote later in a reflection. Happily, Tina had zeroed in on the right baby mama, as became clear once they were reunited – and cuddling.
That was three months ago. Tina, who lives on the island of Cyprus, has cared for these baby kittens so well that they’re now healthy, frisky and ready for adoption. Thanks to Tina’s kindness and quick thinking, all three seem to have recovered fully from their very close call.
And speaking of close, another homeless litter of kittens (I started to write kitty litter but decided to rephrase that) made its debut right on my driveway a few weeks ago. My husband spotted them one evening as we returned home. I alerted my friend and neighbour, Natalie, who won’t tell you this herself but actually moonlights as a cat whisperer. What that means is that she and her family spent many hours and evenings at the back of my driveway, patiently enticing the five tiny felines out of the bushes with kitty num-nums, until she’d managed to take four of them into custody. A cat rescue agency has accepted them for neutering, vaccinations and adoption. These are, apparently, essential steps to combatting our community’s cat overpopulation problem. (We’re still on the hunt, by the way, for the renegade fifth kitty. Our children have distributed flyers door-to-door in the hopes that someone has spotted him – somewhat, akin, I think, to old-timey wanted posters.)
Not everyone would have the patience or the expertise to lure cats to safety and nurse them to health. (It doesn’t take much patience or expertise to donate a couple of dollars online, mind you, so if you’re inclined that way, you could always support your local animal rescue group.) Kudos to both Tina and Natalie for helping these itty-bitty kitties.