Last weekend my man and my kid and me packed up the rusty suburban and headed nort'. Waaaay up dare too, eh! Well, okay, not exactly to Canada, but close. We went to visit my Aunt and Uncle at their cabin for some fishin' and grillin' with a side of Dominoes (the game, not the pizza). On Saturday morning we headed even further north to visit my Dad's "Deer Camp" so that my Uncle could fix my Dad's satellite TV. You see, my Dad (bless his technically challenged heart) only screws things up more in a panic trying to fix something. My Uncle, on the other hand, grew up inside of a TV console and knows everything you need to know about appliances. He's fixed 'em all.
As we pull into camp and exit the vehicle, I hear a really faint and sickly "meoooow" that I figured was a squirrel mating call or something of the sort. Yet I somehow felt compelled to yell "I hear a cat". Nobody heard, or so I thought. And we went about our visit.
I started getting chewed to beat hell by mosquitos and the heat so I took Miss M into "the lodge" of sorts where random hunters take shelter and play foosball and drink lots, I imagine. She ran around jumping on bed after bed and scavenging for lemonade and bananas while I cooled off under the ceiling fans that spun from the vaulted ceilings. Eventually that got old (for the toddler) so we ventured back outside to check on the progress of the dish positioning. This is where my entire day quickly changed.
"There are kittens in this trailer" says my Aunt. "Didn't you say you saw a cat?"
"I didn't see a cat, but I thought I heard some meowing when we got here" I said.
She brought me closer to the wood filled trailer all littered with spiders and their prospective webs. I peered down into a hole between logs and there they were..the tiniest of tiny little orange baby furballs. They were meowing and wiggling. One looked up at me and appeared to have a dirty or bloody nose. I immediately started "awwwwe"ing at the cute site. Then my Dad caught wind of what was happening.
"There are kittens in there?" He asked all surprised. You see he didn't have his hearing aide in and probably didn't hear the high pitched meows all weekend...or did he? Anyway, he went on to tell us that he pulled the trailer from a business in our home town about 4 hours south and when he started loading the trailer to the hitch of his truck, a big orange cat jumped out.
Here I thought these kittens were suckling on mama's teets this whole time I was admiring them. Suddenly everything changed. I freaked. I'm sure I hid it well on the outside, but on the inside my pregnant self wanted to take these babies and get them fed and loved, at all costs!
"Dad, you have to take them back with you! The mama has probably been looking for them".
I don't remember the insensitive shit that all got said, but basically I was told that they'd been there for two days and likely would die in that trailer and become food for some wild animal.
"What about the farmer down the road?" my Aunt asked. She felt my panic. She knew my motherly instincts were on fire about now and was trying to be helpful.
I felt hopeless. We are in B.F.E afterall. There is no animal rescue or humane society down the street. I knew if I tried to give them cows milk they'd get diarrhea, so that was out. Water? Would they get desperate enough to know how to drink out of a bowl? I thought of my friend in the cities that volunteered at a feline rescue. I bet if I called, she'd make the 4 hour trip and come get these kittens. Although she would never find the place. WHAT DO I DO?
More jokes were made about the fate of the kittens. I resided to the fact that they would in fact, die from starvation. It was out of my hands. I had to give up and move on about my day.
We packed in the car and headed back to the cabin. The kittens didn't leave my mind. I could have done something. Why did I leave?
A couple hours later and we were on the boat fishing when my phone received a text message. It was from Dad. (Okay, so he can text. He's not ALL that technically challenged)It said this:
Jen who lives dwn the road is taking cats n will find a home 4 them. I couldn't leave them either. Spent 2 hrs finding someone but now will b ok.
And before I could process that this wasn't a sick joke I got another text:
Jen went 2 g rapids 4 bottles n formula. Told her id pay 4 it.
Had I not been on a boat fishing with two grown men whom I'm never seen cry, I woulda started bawling right then and there. But I held my composure and told everyone on the boat the good news! And then I responded:
Awwwwe. Softy. Thanks Dad!
And eventually another text:
Jen has kits. 2 very weak n not sure if make it. 4 days old she thinks.
At least you tried! Never know. I replied, in which he said:
Damn things but deserve a chance.
And if you know my Dad, he is NOT an animal lover, especially the feline family. Don't get me wrong, he loves his own dog, but that's about as far as it goes cause he won't even admit that!
The rest of the afternoon I kept getting updates including this forward from Jen:
I found someone whos cat just had kittens in the last 2 weeks so im gonna take these ones in and see if she will nurse them.
It was wonderful news. The next morning I got another forwarded text from Jen:
Good morning! One kitten died last night but the other 4 are doing great with their new mom!
It was wonderful news! Sad as well, because one died. But first of all, I had no idea there were five to begin with and to find out that they were being nursed by a foster mama? Tears swelled in my eyes. And just when I thought I couldn't get more emotional, I get this text from Dad:
U made me look at kittys from a dif view. Thx. I luv u. Enjoy the day.
And I did enjoy the day. My Dad saved the kittens. My Dad, My Hero.
Update: I spoke with Dad yesterday and all four are still thriving! He and his wife are going to deer camp this weekend and are planning on stopping by to visit them. All four have already found homes when they are big enough! Isn't that fabulous? I cry every time I think about it all. I'm crying right now. Thanks again Dad. You absolutely rock.
He's gonna take a picture for me, but this is how I imagine they will look. Orange and fluffy and happy and loved and waiting to get into trouble.