Painted Kittens

Painted Kittens

Shuffling slowly to the front door, I greeted the painter quizzically. He was in extreme distress. “I’ve panted the kittens! I’ve painted the kittens.” Slowly, I shook my head – painted kittens???

Recovering from a surgery gone awry, I had been napping on the couch.

He repeated; “I’ve painted the kittens.” Finally, I managed “What kittens; there are no kittens?” Hadn’t we just caught them last week and took them to CATS to be adopted.

“No, No. There are kittens. I’ve painted the kittens. They were under the ladder. I dropped the paint can and they’re covered.”

Shoving into sandals, I trundled out on the porch and peered over the banister. Sure enough, in the bushes there were two paint slathered kittens mewling and clutching each other for dear life. ..

“Quick, run next door to see if the Traveling Man can help”, I directed. “Tell him to bring his trap and leather gloves” Who knows what this duo could do?
Moving as quickly as I could, I gathered a roll of paper towel, a gallon of water and a cat carrier.

Out in the yard the Traveling Man had the pair in his gloved hands. They were tiny white mess. Their little voices burbled as one by one I washed the paint from them. Crying piteously, they attracted Mom – Dumpling - a yard cat barely a kitten herself. She circled my legs screaming. She’d never been closer than twenty feet to me keeping her feral distance.

Oh, no, when had Dumpling had kittens? Why hadn’t I noticed?

Dumpling and her mom Precious had not been trappable. I’d tried over and over with various taps and now here were mewling kittens and a determined mom.

One kitten cleaned, I popped the beautiful white fluff ball into the carrier. I didn’t count on Dumpling running in to snatch the mite from my carrier clutches.

Pausing with the second kitten, I dashed after the first now disappearing under the juniper in Dumpling’s maw. Mom put her down for a moment and I snatched the white fluff. Meanwhile, Dumpling traveled back to the carrier to grab golden two. Again the race was on.
Recovering two, I saw I had not learned my lesson as mom was freeing one.

Holding both for a final scrub and dry, I decided to let Dumpling win. They were too tiny. I barely had the strength to care for myself and knew I’d be unable to bottle feed two kittens. Every likely kitten feeder was already overwhelmed. I’d just have to lure them like Precious and her kittens in to the large dog cage on the porch and then shut it using the front door when they were inside which I did about a month later.

Now, they both are in good homes and Dumpling is fixed, even though she probably will remain ever feral. So, the saga of the painted kittens ended well. Who know their plight if they had not been painted.

Madelyn McCarroll
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