We heard the noise for the first time a few weeks ago, a soft mewing sound coming from the warehouse at work. We knew there had been a cat in and out of the back sometimes, but didn’t know she had been pregnant. But alas, she was, and she birthed her litter of kittens somewhere behind a pallet of supplies.
As the weeks passed, fewer mews were heard, and we wondered if the mama had moved the kittens elsewhere. Still, a few little meows were heard, so an alternative possibility also had to be considered: that some of the babies hadn’t survived.
Over the weeks, the guys working out back watched for the noise to become visible, and last week it did. One lone kitten showed its fuzzy little head out from between two pallets of shavings. A tiny black kitten with just a sprinkling of white on its underside, it was small enough to fit in one hand.
Despite her diminutive size, her meow was quite loud. I picked her up and carried her into the store. We found a box and a blanket for her to cuddle in. I ran to the store for some milk and got a little in her belly. She ate it greedily, but I made her wait for more in case it upset her stomach. And, of course, I took her home that night.
I tried to sneak the box into the house without my husband hearing or seeing. I knew he would think I was crazy, tell me it wasn’t going to happen, and remind me we already have five house cats. I just figured if he didn’t notice her for a few days that wouldn’t hurt anyone.
But that supersonic meow of hers gave away my secret, and he found her in the mudroom. He looked in the box, and then looked at me as if I had lost my mind. He stared at me, mouth agape, for several moments before he started doing exactly what I knew he would. Finally, to assuage his incredulity, I promised him I would find her a home somewhere else, which I will. Sigh.
She is not great at eating from a dish yet, and she is still learning how to use the litterbox, but we are getting there. Once she has a handle on both of those things, I will bathe her, fluff her fur, tie a bow on her neck and take her picture. She will be doing cute little kitten things like playing with yarn, peeking her head out of a pair of boots, or napping in a windowsill.
I will fill my social media pages with her likeness and her undeniable cuteness. I will hope and pray someone will offer her a wonderful home. I will hold my breath until it happens.
But if another kitten is found out back and needs a home, I am equally certain I will help again.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.