This ongoing adventure left port about 4 months ago and is still out to sea!
A nature trip like so many others to a nature park visited time and again. Darkness is dropping softly down, gloom just beginning to spread silently about.
We emerge from the path and I shuffle toward the car by the roadway. My daughter Babs notices a white van pulling away and departing the park. We come to the car and I unlock.
“Wait a minute, I want to go up the road a bit near the water and fishing area,” Babs calls out.
“Huh, what?” I stammer, “We have to go, let’s go; it is getting dark and I want something to eat,” I fervently protest. But no, “I insist we take this one wee little walk up the road. It’ll just take a minute.” (Just take a minute? Hmph…she always says that…)
She starts off, as she is so wont to do. I sigh, lurching and meandering after her up the road. She is near the tiny wooden pier with the fishing seats, but standing just off it on land.
I sense something to the left where brushy thickets grow, a twist of sea grape trees, mangroves and weeds. A water channel lay along one side of the thicket, cushioning it with the gritty road on the other side, leaving only a very narrow strip of brush in between.
A loud wailing, mewling, even somewhat shrieking tempestuous sound assails my ears. My visage whirls around to the left and I gawp at the tangle of inky bramble.
To my bewildered eyes a tiny, most miniscule, almost pure white male kitten with brilliant blue eyes bounds out of the brush and heads toward us. What is this? No, no, we have 5 cats, having lost one beloved male cat to cancer less than a year before! We can’t take on another!
I begin to walk back to the car, ignoring the creature (blast that Babs…she’ll be sure to scoop the thing up…). The kitten cries piteously ever more loudly as I back away. Babs scoops up the kitten and swings him around to me.
“We, uugh, we can’t keep him, uugh, we have too many,” I weakly croak.
“Sir! He’s helpless. Needs us; he probably was left here,” admonishes Babs.
The kitten is amazingly, enormously cute, nearly all white with light tan stripes and light blue eyes, like Paul Newman, an actor my wife adored while she was alive (maybe she still is…hopefully not with Paul and his dratted blue eyes, the two of them dancing around in some celestial…no, no, put that out of your mind!).
As I stoop, musing in the cloak of night, a few stars twinkling above, I suddenly become aware of mewling coming from inside the car. That Babs has already become ensconsed with the puling little thing in the car!
I get in. We look him over. No matted fur, no mud or soil. Well nourished, not emaciated like the other stray things (as our other cats and two stray rabbits were when first discovered).
That clinched it (as if there ever was a debate…). Home he goes!
Hmm, he enjoys the car ride home. I and Babs postulate that the white van leaving just before we strolled up the road was the kitten-dumping villain. What dastardly person could leave such a sweet perky and feisty kitten just weaned-at a park with predators and alligators?
“Ooo! Yes!” Babs cries with a twisted, rictus grin, “He would make a fabulous little morsel for a fine wee alligator, indeed! Perhaps we should go back and leave him for our dear saurian friends.”
Not a chance.
A day later, he gets a fast visit with our vet. No worms, no disease; he is in great health. Odd for a stray kitten.
We give him an ancient name. Fyodor he will be, after the famous Russian writer. Don’t ask how we came up with it. It’s better than Ernest, or Edgar, or Henrik…or Mishkin, as Babs (only!) is so fond of.
We introduce him to our maw of scowling, very adult-sized cats. I fear the worst. They melt; soon he is prancing around like the proud owner of his own private veranda. Bounding and leaping, spinning and twirling at cat toys, blue eyes twinkling with mirth.
But alas, the kitten is growing up way too fast; so much more cat to love now, sigh.
But kitten-mischief remains. He has a new trick- sail onto the porch screens and let ‘er rip. Then bound through the hole and run away (but just to the front door). The other cats are taking notes on feline screen removal, courtesy of the kitten. Darn.
Babs has just convinced me to get another large cat condo/bucket upholstered cat platform for the new feline. 3 critters are passed out on the perches at this late hour. I hear kitten-like purring rattling in my ear…probably dreaming of cat-walks and squeezing through holes in screens and gobbling grass and so on…
Fyodor, the kitten who rescued himself.
Video of Fyodor on one of our rambles together.
(video and photos by my daughter Autumn Jade)