Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kittens in the Flower Pot! by DL Larson

All winter our outside cat, Bob, decided the igloo doghouse was not for her. Yes, Bob is a female cat called Bob. Bob took up residence in the flower pot that sets in the corner of our front porch. She moved in when my daughter and her family moved in while their home is being built. The flower pot, most of the time, has been protected from the cold elements of midwest weather.

Bob likes my family in small doses. She likes to be fed, but not petted. She prefers to hang out in the big green dumpster in the barnyard rather than nap in the sun. She has a bad leg too, her gait is hop, walk, hop, walk, rather ungangly, but she gets where she's going. She could be a beautiful cat, calico, if she wasn't so persnickity. Hissing is her favorite pasttime.

One morning, about ten days ago, our dog, rather, my daughter's dog, Lei-loo, the white lab, was especially eager to greet us when we came outside. In dog actions it was obvious what she was telling us. Bob had something new in the flowerpots. Lei-loo danced the dozen feet to and fro, stuck her nose in the flower pot only to have Bob hiss. Lei-loo, not upset in the least, trotted back to my granddaughters and me standing on the porch waiting for the big yellow schoolbus to come barreling down the road.

If you've ever been around little girls discovering new kittens, you'll understand the high pitched squeals that broke the morning birds twittering. Kitties in the flower pot! Five kittens to be exact. All different colors. Life on the farm doesn't get much better than new kittens.

Bob did not appreciate our oohing over her babies. Her hissing produced a set of very sharp canines and eyes saying, "back off - now!" So, we admired our new tenants from a distance for several days. Of course the weather turned nasty and we all worried the kitties and mama Bob were cold. So Daddy solved the problem. He dragged a long board from the construction site (their new house) propped it against the brick wall of the porch and covered it with a heavy packing quilt. Blue, with dark blue trim. It now looks as if we have miniture Indians visiting or having a pow-wow on our front porch. It's not attractive, but it is affective. We're pretty sure Bob likes the new addition to her nursery because she hasn't moved her babies.

Every morning I peek under the heavy blanket to retreave her food dish. Bob hisses a greeting, but by the time I come back with food and water, she's down pacing with her unusual step, wondering, I'm sure, what has taken me so long. Her sneering is almost friendly. She tolerates both girls peeking in to say hello, but not much else. Good thing the bus arrives so our visits are cut short.

The kittens are fat and fluffy, but still not venturing from the flower pot. Lei-loo has become an adoptive parent. When Bob wanders to wherever semi-wild cats roam, Lei-loo stands guard. My house cat, Corbin, is not welcome into this friendship, but so far doesn't seem to care overly much. But then he's a cat and he generally doesn't care about anything but his own indulgences.

The girls have decided to wait before naming our new babies. They want to be able to pick them up and get a good look at them before they make such big decisions. It will be awhile before Bob lets her little ones beyond the flower pot.

We've never had kittens live on the porch before, but I like the idea. I am a little worried about this summer when I'll undoubtedly find them hanging from the screen door. But we'll worry about that later. For now, we're all enjoying the unexpected surprise of kittens in the flower pot!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

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