This past spring my man and the boys worked on a patio. This was a lovely project and has been a pleasant and flat place to sit in our yard. The only flat space in our yard. Here's the almost finished product - in the end it has another row of slate as a step down.
All this familial cooperation fueled my desire for chickens. Now there were willing builders and coop tenders! I read about having a coop, went and visited my friend Sarah's Super Coop,
(isn't it amazing?) and searched backyard chickens for a coop I liked. The weekend before the coop building was to commence, the peeps (my human ones) were sitting on the patio talking when Morgan spied a kitten by the neighbor's shed. Their shed butts up to our chain link fence. There was a wee little orange kitten panting to beat the band. The kids gave it water and tried to get close to it, but it would dive under the shed before they were even two feet away. They tried to catch it for two afternoons straight. Chicky spent one evening "meowing" and being eaten by mosquitos in the woodsy bit of our yard trying to lure it through the fence. They were shameless enough to resort to canned tuna and the old box, stick, and string trap. They got really close a few times, but never caught the kitten. The peeps went to their dad's house and they asked if I would try and catch it. I reminded them we weren't supposed to have a dog in this house, I didn't think the landlords would be too thrilled with a cat either. They left and hatched a plan for The Black Ops to initiate when they got back.
That weekend my favorite man and I got pavers and started leveling a place in the back yard. We chose a spot partially covered by trees, so the chickens wouldn't overheat. It was really hot, even for June, and I noticed that wee kitten sitting and panting right by the shed. After talking with R (my man) - while he was doing the work, since I was distracted by the kitten - I decided I would try and catch it. My attempts were apparently very funny and I was about as subtle as a train crashing through the underbrush. A little later that day I saw my neighbor and told him about the kitten. He said, "He's still there?" His mama and the rest of his litter were caught in a trap and Animal Control was bringing another trap by the upcoming week. Well, that seemed to solve my problem, the cat would be caught and gone and I wouldn't have to deal with the "may we keep it?" situation that was brewing.
The peeps came back on Monday and I filled them in on the kitten scoop. Instead of abating the issue, it seemed to incense it. The kitten was an orphan - we had to save it! Sure enough, Animal Control brought the trap on Monday and they put a piece of fur in it as bait. I was hoping it wasn't the kitten's former mother's fur, if you know what I mean. For as wily as that kitten was, whatever smell was on that fur was his quick undoing. He was in that cage and caught within ten minutes! The Black Ops had a plan: one of them would jump over the fence and hand the cage back over two the other two. Someone else would open the cage and Operative #3 would put the kitten in a backpack. After the replacement of the trap all three operatives would smuggle the kitten into the house. The first time they tried the plan the kitten skittered out of that cage and back under the shed. Operative #1 was surprised at how fast that little bugger moved! I think he thought the kitten would be calm and grateful. That little creature only saw freedom. It was even more surprising to me that not even fifteen minutes after that the kitten was back in the cage! This time Black Ops were ready and had their maneuver down! It went off without a hitch and we now have a kitten. Tiger. The next day we took him to the vet and he weighed 1.75 lbs. Sweet!
This kitten has made me gaga over it! I never knew I was such a cat person (R can't believe it either). I only ever had one other cat in my life - a full grown stray with an interesting personality - but this kitten is the bomb!
That is the story of How We Got Tiger. Next will be: How Tiger Became Cato