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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Kitty Nextdoor

Our next door neighbor's cat just had kittens a couple of weeks ago. I'm allergic to cats so I've never thought about having one as a pet or really even wanted one - they make my eyes itch somethin' awful. But, kittens are ADORABLE. And it turns out that having kittens next door is almost like having my own kitten except my eyes don't itch - perfect solution. The neighbors leave their garage partially open so the kittens can get out and play. They've found a hole that leads under their driveway and they crawl around down there all the time. There is one kitten in particular that I am rather attached to, and who, if my feelings are correct, returns the adoration. Here's the story:

One lovely summer morning at 5:00am, my dad and I were walking down to the neighborhood clubhouse to do our P90X when my dad found himself almost stepping on something - a small, black kitten with white paws and a white chest. The kitten was mewing in fear, obviously far away from it's home all the way up the street. It's curiosity had gotten it quite lost. It kept putting itself under our feet and followed us into the clubhouse. I put him (honestly, it could be a girl. But I have always assumed animals are boys until I learn otherwise. Maybe it's having all brothers? I dunno...) I put him back outside, feeling rather sad and hoping he wouldn't wander off and end up road kill somewhere (there's an excessive amount of road kill out here in Saratoga Springs).

For the first 10 minutes of our workout I could hear him mewing outside, but then he seemed to wander off. I became worried until we went outside and there he was, peeking his little face out from under a minivan in the clubhouse parking lot. As we walked home he followed us part of the way, but then he became scared again and hid under a car. My dad kept walking, telling me he would make it home eventually. I didn't feel so sure about that - rumors of the cougars that roam the area were running through my mind. I tried to get the kitten to follow, but had to resort to picking him up. He alternated between freaking out and purring as we walked up the street. He didn't understand why I was taking him with me until we arrived at his house. Then I could see the little wheels in head turning - I'm home! he was thinking. This girl saved me! I put him down on the ground and he sprinted gleefully for the hole to their little burrow. I felt heroic, but I wasn't sure he would remember me.

The next morning, however, there he was, at 5:00am, waiting for me outside his house to say hello! He came up to me and let me pet him and scratch behind his ears. He is there almost every morning now. His siblings have begun coming to meet me too. There are four of them, I believe - at least four that I've seen. But my little buddy is the first to run over to me. Now they like to climb up in the under parts of my truck and hang out. My kitty buddy has definitely been one of the simple yet favorite highlights of the summer.

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