We now return to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, heeeeere's your hostess, broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - Mother Catresa!
It's among a mother's worst nightmares: someone switches babies on her at the hospital, and she takes home the wrong one. Well, in Mother Catresa's case, the feline version of that scenario provided much-needed comic relief - though it did startle me something awful!
I had to take in my kittens - still the four slumber party girls - to the medical department at the shelter last week, so they could be weighed and examined. The day after I took them in, I swung by after work to go pick them up. After chatting with the medical staff, we packed up the kittens in a cardboard carrier. Sure, there were other animals in the room, but that didn't quite register on me. My kittens were right in front of me - or so I thought - so I simply picked up the carrier, walked out, and left for my car.
Well, when I was almost home, it occurred to me: these kittens, who were noisy on the way to the shelter, seemed awfully quiet during this drive. Curiously, I glanced sideways at the box on the passenger seat - when, much to my shock, a tabby arm suddenly popped out of one of the portholes!
I was so confused, I didn't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt!
I don't have any tabbies, I thought; mine are gray, black and white. What the hairball hell is happening here?
It was past 7 p.m., and the shelter was closed. So I called the after-hours numbers in a panic, and tracked someone down on her cell phone.
"I took home the wrong kittens!" I cried. "I'm on my way back in - can somebody please help me?"
Well, on the drive back to Animal Friends, the begged question dawned on me:
If these aren't my kittens, I thought, then where are mine?? And whose are these??
As I drove into the parking lot, I peeked inside the box at my furry captives - they were a tabby kitten and a tortoisehell kitten. Very cute. But I had no idea who they were, or where those charged to my care were.
Someone let me in, and figured out the source of the confusion. Apparently, I accidentally took the kittens of a shelter worker who also fosters, and vice-versa. Luckily, she lives just a few miles away, so I hurried on over there, and we traded kittens over a few laughs. And yes: this time, I did indeed peer inside the box - just to be sure, before I left, that it didn't house a tarantula. You know.
Sure enough, the box contained my cute little babies: black and white tuxedoes Blythe and Basia, gray and white Brita, and little black runt Babe. They peered up at me curiously, as if to say, "What's up with all this ado, Mom? Can we go home now, ahem?"
Now, since then, Brita hasn't been eating well and became emaciated - while Babe remained too tiny. So, they are in the medical department, while the robust Blythe and Basia are at home with me, eating like little piggies and running around like they're on crack (in other words, normal kittens). The tiny babies have started eating adequately again, so I should be bringing them back home tomorrow to join their big sisters.
I know, I know - I will double-check the carrier first, before I leave. I'd hate to carry it upstairs to the kittens' room, open it and ... out pops a rambunctious puppy! Eeeek!
Until next time, I remain,
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")