Wild honeysuckle is also blooming. Last weekend, we spotted a hummingbird dipping its beak in a flower. Then we passed a snake that had crawled onto the edge of the road. It was early morning. The sunlight hadn't pierced the treeline. The snake seemed content there as if it was enjoying the warmth of the pavement.
About midday, we heard the mama cat yowling from a den in the yard behind us. An hour later, my husband was talking to the daughter of the home's owner. Her mother had passed away just days before. She and my husband searched the yard behind us and found four kittens in a new spot near a mulch pile. The mama scurried out of reach and hovered. Besides her mother, the woman had also lost a cat and dog in the past year. She planned to contact her neighbor, an active cat rescuer to help with the wild felines and she seemed happy to have a new cat family to tend to.
As the sun set, my husband and I discussed the orphaned kitten. Should we leave it at the vet where it would receive expert care? The vet techs said it was a four-week-old female. In a couple weeks, she would be old enough to be placed in a loving home. So, we left her. We sat down to dinner, then a movie (appropriately, I Bought A Zoo). Fifteen minutes into the movie, my eyes traveled from the TV to the view through our back door. A black cat straddled our fence, scanning the yard for her kitten. Then, despite the threat of our dogs bursting out the door, she dropped to the ground and searched.
"What are you doing?" My husband asked.
"She's a good mama . . . the cat. She's looking for her baby," I said. "I bet she was moving her kittens earlier from one yard to the next. She must have been carrying that kitten over our fence. Something spooked her and she dropped it."
My husband took one look at my face and sighed. "Lets go get the kitten."
We picked up the orphan who seemed utterly bewildered by a world far greater than she ever imagined. We drove to the house. My husband found the kittens in the dark. He set their sister down and waited nearby until mama and orphan reunited. I pray for them now, especially the tiny calico. I wonder how their story will end and if at least one of them will journey on with the woman who lost her mother.