What About the Kitten?

It’s not even Tuesday, but I am full of fretting on behalf of this dear little cat and must give vent to my feelings.

A sweet little kitty has started turning up where I work. She has no collar, so I can’t tell whether she belongs to one of those rare people who live on campus and are allowed to have a pet or if she’s a stray someone dumped here. I’d guess she’s just a bit less than a year old—small and slender with that I’m-a-growing-kitten indentation in front of her hips. She’s marked rather like Sparky, but with ruddier undertones.

I first met her last Wednesday when she came moseying by my office window, which, because my office is built into a hillside, is at ground level. When I caught sight of her out of the corner of my eye I couldn’t quite figure out what she was: too big for a squirrel, too small for a fox (and the foxes on campus don’t mosey, they trot). Then I realized she was Felis catus, just a bit out of her element. This kitty is definitely not feral. She’s more jumpy at some times than others, but will readily let a calm, patient person approach her to offer some petting.

I brought treats up for her on Thursday (don’t tell Sparky, he’ll be furious that he’s sharing involuntarilty). That day, she nibbled at them, but was diffident, which made me suspect she does have a proper home here on campus, but today she wolfed them down—and later I saw her sniffing about drainage pipes as if she might be looking for water. I cut the bottom off a plastic soda bottle to make a bowl for her and left it outside my office. I’m not sure where she is just now, but I’m hoping she’ll find it if she’s looking for a drink.

My friend Ellen and I agreed that the next step should be to buy her a collar and a tag with a message like like “we’re worried about this kitty, please call to tell us she has a home” and a phone number, in hopes of discovering that she’s not an urchin scrabbling about on her own.

But what if no-one calls? Sparky and Bea have not asked for a sibling and I’m not eager to add to my household (regular vaccinations for two cats already stretch my budget uncomfortably), but I worry about her alone at night here on campus where she’ll have to defend herself from raccoons, coyotes, drunken students, and who-knows-what.

And if someone does call? I’ll know she has a home, but I’ll probably still worry—I’m not sure I trust parents who let her wander about without any identification. She’s just a wee little thing.

If you have an in with the angel who watches over kitties, ask her to keep an eye on this girl, won’t you?

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