I was living in an old log house in the wilderness with my two black and white kittens named Tai and Chi. They were sisters rescued from a family of feral cats at a farm near the city and were used to playing outside day and night. After keeping them inside for a week in order for them to get accustomed to their new surroundings, I decided it was time to let them out. They had been whining by the front door for several days now. When I opened the door, they literally darted out, filled with glee. Watching them over a few days, I noticed they had an uncanny ‘woods instinct’ for any danger that might be present. They would keep their distance when raccoons were nearby and one day, when coming down the driveway, both of them suddenly stopped, fluffed all up with their hair standing on end and raced under a bush. Then I noticed the eagle flying around high overhead. I don’t know how they knew it was there. After that, I didn’t worry about them too much. We lived far enough away from civilization that the woods animals lived by their natural laws of the wild and didn’t bother humans or animal companions as long as they didn’t interfere in their own daily routines. Wildlife was given first leeway, always.
It was a very dull, rainy, spring afternoon; it had been raining for almost a week and everything was soggy. My daughter had come for a visit michael kors outlet and we were relaxing in the living room when we heard a faint mewing sound coming from outside the front door. We got up to investigate and there was Chi looking up at us, mewing in a very plaintiff manner. We felt she wanted something but we didn’t know what it was. She just kept looking up and mewing. I leaned down to pet her, thinking she just wanted to be consoled for some reason but she moved away then stopped, turned around and mewed. I moved forward into the driveway and again leaned down to pet her. Again she moved away, stopped, turned around and mewed. My daughter said, “I think she wants us to follow her, Mom.” So we went back in, grabbed our coats, then headed out to follow her down the driveway. She would walk down the road a little, stop, look at us to make sure we were still behind her, and move forward again. She did this several times until she was satisfied we were going to continue following her.
She led us to a below-ground-level window box on a small, run-down hunter’s cabin about half a mile from the house and there, crouched in slowly rising rainwater, was Tai and a bundle of tiny black balls of fluff all mewing and shivering. Obviously, both Tai and Chi had had kittens and were all grouped together to keep warm. When I leaned down to pet Tai, however, she growled at me threateningly which she had never, ever done before. She had always been the most trusting one, wanting lots of cuddles while Chi had always been rather stand-offish. Chi was sitting beside us at this point, but seemingly now impatient, jumped down into the ‘crib’ (which my daughter and I later named the window box), grabbed a kitten, and jumped out. She sat there looking up at us, with the kitten firmly ensconced in her mouth, and began to slowly move away back down the road, then stopped to looked back at us.
“My God, Mom,” exclaimed my daughter, “I think she wants us to help her move the kittens.” So we both reached into the crib for some kittens while Tai growled and pawed at us, making several other very strange noises at the same time. She obviously did not want us to touch them. When we both had our hands full, we followed Chi, who carried on as she had when leading us to the crib. She was now leading us back to the house. When we arrived I wasn’t sure what she would want to do, so I simply opened the front door. Chi entered quickly, kitten still firmly intact in her mouth, and ran through the living room and up the stairs toward a small bedroom, where she deposited the kitten in a tiny crawl space under the roof at the top of the stairs. We followed. When she came out, she promptly sat down in front of us and looked up, so we leaned down and carefully put the kittens down in front of her. She grabbed them one by one, depositing them tenderly with the first, and then proceeded back down the stairs and out the door, watching for us to follow.
We again headed down the driveway to the little cabin. Upon picking up the last of the kittens from the ‘crib’, Tai was now outraged. They were her kittens and she didn’t want them moved, but she followed Chi and the two of us back to the house with the new little refuge, whining all the way. Once there, she entered the crawl space, returned with a kitten in her mouth, and headed into the small bedroom. There, she jumped up onto the bed and gently put the kitten down. Chi appeared instantly, snatched up the kitten, ran back into the crawl space with it and then came out to challenge Tai.
My daughter and I were now thoroughly stunned by this and went downstairs into the living room to let the two cats sort it out. After once again making sure all the kittens were safe and sound in their little lair, Chi came back down the stairs with Tai following behind. They came through the living room and stood looking up at the front door, so I opened it for them. They headed outside then instantly, sat down in the middle of the driveway, their backs against each other, facing in opposite directions. It was approximately thirty seconds before they got up, walked a little further up the road and sat down again in the same position. After one more episode like this, they walked side by side and sat down, this time both facing forward, then got up, slowly turned around and walked very closely side by side again back into the house and up the stairs to the new lair. Chi had won the argument and neither my daughter nor I had heard a sound from either cat during this whole phenomenon.
My daughter and I were now in tears. We had just witnessed a survival incident of an animal whose love for her family had saved the children from drowning. We were not sure why Tai acted the way she did, but it didn’t keep Tai from taking her turn at feeding and caring for the kittens. Both cats turned out to be very good mothers and the kittens did not seem to mind which mother tended to them. From then on, they were very well cared for – all nine of them.
Footnote: I had not known Tai and Chi were pregnant but after finding good homes for the kittens, they were both spayed. Funny, though – I had never seen another cat in the area, nor did I afterward – and we lived there for over ten years.
Melodee Blythe Bio:
Born in Ontario and raised in Alberta, Melodee first began writing poems and stories at the age of twelve, spurred on by a great literature teacher and a creative writing course. In later years she continued studies in other writing courses whenever time and opportunity arose.
Her childhood life was full of adventures and happy memories but her love of the mountainous wilderness later drew her toBritish Columbiawhere she has spent most of her life enjoying many outdoor activities and especially the serene spirituality of it all. Her great fondness for all animals was ignited by watching wild animals in their environment and how they related to one another, and to humans who happened upon them. To the same degree, her love of cats and horses brought her a sense of peace and belonging.
Melodee is now retired and these animals and their journeys are being written into a children’s series of books and short stories. She is also writing her first novel – a fiction which shed hopes to finish within a couple of years.
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