a rose among the ivy

Look what popped its gorgeous head up out of the ivy yesterday! This is a reminder of the joys that await us at every turn in this new place. I thought, at first glance, that all we had in the back yard was ivy. It covered pretty much everything. But as we’re gradually getting it pulled out and under control, we keep finding wonderful buried treasure. The light was just wonderful, glowing on the top of this rose. I wish I could have captured that glow, but this is the best I could do.

Thursday’s Thankful Things

They’re gone. ¬†All gone.

That doesn’t sound much like a “Thankful Thing,” does it? ¬†But it is. Remember the squatter surprise we got Saturday? ¬†Well, we return to work this coming Monday, and Mama never returned, so something must be done with those cute little critters. They still need a lot of care and bottle feeding, and I knew I wasn’t going to be available for that on Monday.

first meeting

What to do? What to do? I began calling around, first to a place called Friends of Felines. They would have taken them on the spot, the lady told me on the phone, but at the time they had no room in the inn, and their foster homes were all full. Too many cats!!  Doggone it.

Next I tried the Humane Society. They were closed over the weekend, so I tried Monday – and got the answering machine. I forgot that Monday was a holiday, since we were already off for vacation. Oh well, I figured I’d just try again on Tuesday, but the answering machine said they were closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Shot that idea right in the head . . . no worries though. I’ll just go down there on Thursday. In the meantime, these little guys need food and baths! The food to keep them alive (duh), and the baths to keep the bees off them after they ate (bees like kitten food, it seems).

we do not like baths, Mama!

Sooooo . . . . . . . we went down there today, kitties in tow. Well, not exactly in tow – folks frown on towing kitties behind cars, especially when we have no tow bar. They were safely settled in the back seat in a carrier. ¬†We were greeted at the front entry of the building by a sign: “Appointments Necessary for Animal Dropoffs.” ¬†B U M M E R of bummers! ¬†We went on in anyway, hoping we could throw a guilt trip on them and get them to take the kitties. No dice – they did offer to put us at the top of the walk-in list, though. That is, until I told them the kitties weren’t eating solid food yet. That changed everything – the lady informed us that the Humane Society could not take kittens unless they could at least drink from a saucer, since the facility is not set up for bottle feeding. She said – regretfully, I’m glad to report – that if they took the kitties today they would just be euthanized. I could not let that happen. She offered some kitty formula and a bottle to help with the feeding (which I thought was very generous and kind of her), and suggested we keep them for another two weeks until they could drink from a bowl and eat solid food.

Well, that was that. We’d have to think of another plan. It was obvious we’d have to keep these little cuties at least two more weeks, unless we could find another home for them. Hubby, being allergic but not wanting the kittens to suffer, suggested we try taking them to a local storefront and just offering them for free out front. ¬†Hmmmm….I wasn’t so sure about that – don’t you have to get permission for that sort of thing from the store first? He had to stop at Wal-Mart on the way home, so I sat in the back of the car with the door open, vainly trying to hold the wriggling mass of feline furballs. They were very, very LOUD at this point, because it was time to eat. Yes, several people did come over to the car to see what the noise was, and one woman even took my phone number¬†and¬†a picture of the kitties so she could post it on Facebook for me. Why didn’t I think of that!!! Duh.

Nobody went home with kitties.  Well, not NOBODY.  We did.

Not all the way home, though. Our town has a Thursday Market in front of the courthouse, where local folks set up booths and sell their wares. Hubby thought that might be another possibility. Why, yes – maybe someone at the Market was, at that very moment, dreaming of having their very own adorable balls of fluffy black fur with blue eyes and big mouths. I quickly changed direction and headed downtown instead of home.

We parked right in front of the courthouse (wasn’t that a wonderful God-thing that a space was open!), and we each took two kitties. Funny how kittens and puppies make instant friends from total strangers. We had no less than 6 people around us within the first five minutes. No one took the kitties, but they all thought wonderful thoughts about it.

One lady came directly over to us – she wasn’t a shopper at the Thursday Market, she came specifically to see the kittens! And that’s when we knew our prayers had been answered.

Who was this lady? She was a foster caregiver for the Friends of Felines, and she lived in an apartment almost directly above where our car was parked. She’d heard the kittens mewing (who COULDN’T hear them!!) from her upstairs apartment and came down immediately to inspect the trash cans. She thought someone had thrown perfectly good kittens away! She invited us up to her apartment so the kittens could meet her dog. Yes – her dog. The dog was the nurse, and had raised two litters of puppies and S I X¬†litters of kittens! The dog immediately smelled the kittens all over, and began cleaning them as though they were puppies. She even snarled slightly at the lady’s adult cat (another rescue cat) when it got too close – mama instincts are strong with this one.

I bet our NEW mama doesn’t make us take baths!

When we left, the kitties were exploring the living room and following the two cats and the two dogs around, meowing and happy. I felt like singing and crying at the same time. Babies were happy, hubby was happy, Spencer could once again enjoy a cat-free zone, and I didn’t have to worry about the kittens not being cared for while I was at work. I am very, very thankful for Friends of Felines and their foster caregivers, who are so willing to love these little ones until they get a new home. Please, folks, if you have a cat or dog, do the right thing and get them neutered or spayed. So many kittens are abandoned that it just breaks my heart.

Was it hard to leave my little litter? Yes. Even though we’d only “had” them for a week, I had already begun to feel quite attached to them, even thinking of names. Watch out with that – when they’re named, they’re family.

Well, folks, that’s my Thankful Thursday – what have YOU got to be thankful for today??