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A “tail” to tell

Yes, I’ve used the word TAIL in place of TALE in my title for a reason that you will soon understand. I’m going to lay out the details of this tale in a way to make it easy to follow along, at least I hope it will be easier to follow along in this way.

First, let me show you the layout of the exterior of my home that is pertinent to the story. Here is the built-in grill from the backside. The two openings are there for any possible propane gasses that may leak, hopefully never, to safely escape and dissipate.

This is the front side of the grill with the access door to the underworkings of the grill propped open. Make a mental note of the high-top round table on the far right end.

Here is the shed that houses all the items in my Miscellany Shed, a business that never really took off, but still physically exists.

When the shed was built at my new home, the ground wasn’t quite level, so one end is propped up with bricks. So, yes, now there is a crawlspace or living area underneath for creatures of a certain size. Not ideal, but that’s the way it is.

This is the gate to my front courtyard. It has a Ring Doorbell that delivery people and guests are supposed to ring when they arrive, but at least 80% of the people, come in and ring the doorbell by the front door, making it nearly useless as a doorbell. But as a camera, it is very effective, sometimes too much so.

And sadly, yes, the sign I had made is 100% necessary. Even with it hanging there, delivery people (mostly FedEx) still leave packages sitting outside the gate for all to see, thereby leaving them at risk to be stolen. I don’t get it, but that’s another tale to be told.

OK, now that you have the lay of the land, I can tell you my story.  It was about 9:30 last Wednesday morning, May 22nd. I had the windows open because of this weather! Crazy cool and wonderful for late May, seriously wonderful! Anyhow, since the windows were open I could hear what sounded like an animal in distress. I couldn’t tell what type of animal but it was crying and it sounded as though the crying was coming from my backyard neighbor’s yard. They are winter visitors, and had already left for the summer, silly them! I grabbed the stepstool from my pantry on my way out the back door to look over the fence into their yard.  I looked but saw nothing, then the crying started up again and it was coming from behind me, in my yard. I looked around and saw the tiniest sweetest orange kitten standing on its hind legs trying to get back into the holes in the backside of my grill.

I picked her up and went around the front side, figuring that if she wanted into the grill, she probably came from inside there. I opened the grill door, and sure enough, there were two more sweet little black and white kittens in there.

I put Miss Orange back in and then all three kittens ran away to the far side of the structure, around the corner to the round table part. Now I could not see them. Dang, it!

Up to that point of the day, I had been very productive and I had much more that I planned to accomplish for the day. But no, now my day was shot.

It consisted of sitting outside in the glorious weather watching the kittens and watching mama cat come and go. Other times, she and I would have staring contests while she obviously wished I would just go away!

I reached out to a vet friend and asked what I should do, if anything.

She advised that I leave the grill door open so that mama and kittens could come and go as they pleased and that I call a cat rescue. She said that they would come out and pick up mama and her kittens to be spayed and neutered.

When the kittens were done nursing and old enough, they would be adopted out and mama would be returned to the neighborhood. I called and left a message but still haven’t heard back, so that part is on hold for now.

Anyhow, I watched them all day and then it rained that night. I was certain that mama and kittens would be in the grill the next day, safe from the elements. But sadly, no, I didn’t see them at all on the 23rd or on the 24th.

Connor’s dog, Ellie, and my cat, Bombay, in the background.

The 24th was my son, Connor’s, birthday. He drove over here in the late afternoon with his dog, Ellie. Ellie stayed outside while we went out to dinner with David and my dad.  When Connor and I got back home, he decided to spend the night since he’d had more celebratory drinks than usual. I got them all set up in the guest room and was about to go to bed myself when Connor said that he thought Ellie had eaten a piece of Easter chocolate.

It was one of the pink foil-wrapped chocolate eggs that she ate, foil and all.

I knew this was possible since I had assembled the Easter baskets in that room and it was very probable that a piece of candy had fallen and rolled under a piece of furniture. We went online and saw that taking a dog to the vet to induce vomiting costs between $300 and $600, probably more after-hours. Thankfully there were also instructions on how to induce at home. Hydrogen peroxide is how, we did it, thankfully it worked. Thank you vet on YouTube! It was about 11:30 by now, we were tired and went to bed.

I didn’t fall asleep until at least 2:00 AM. Then at 4:04 AM, the Ring Doorbell alert sounded on my phone. There was activity at my front door! There has been a rash of burglaries in the past few months in my area, so I always set the alarm. As I was trying to view the Ring video on my phone, the alarm panel in my room alerted me that one of my back doors was being opened and immediately the alarm went off. I jumped up, shut off the alarm, and called out to Connor. It was he who had opened the door because Ellie was barking and he thought she needed to go out. Fantastic, it was not a burglar who was entering the house, but we still didn’t know what the motion at the front door was!

Do you see the tail in the upper left corner? Another view is in the photo below.

The video finally loaded and we were able to see the tail of the animal that had set it off, a cat tail, to be exact. Apparently, mama cat was still around and had jumped up on the courtyard wall to get to the roof.  Crisis averted, let’s go back to bed!

I could not get back to sleep, too much adrenalin and alertness for such an early morning. I got up and fed my cats, which Ellie heard, so she wanted out. I slipped her out of Connor’s room so that he could sleep. An hour or so later, I took her outside to watch the sun come up. I was laying on the daybed, looking at my phone when she started barking like mad over by the Miscellany Shed.

The arrow shows where Ellie was barking and digging by the shed.

I went over and saw her trying to dig her way under the backside of the shed.  Immediately, I knew that the kittens were under there. I picked her up and took her inside before she woke the neighbors. That only worked for a little while, because she was incessantly whining and barking inside to get back outside. If I’d had her leash, I would have taken her for a walk, but since I didn’t, I decided to take her out and distract her with a ball. I opened the door and she raced to the shed immediately. Unbeknownst to her or to me, mama cat was waiting for her and attacked. The crying and yelping were very sad and very loud! I ran over and picked Ellie up just before mama cat swiped at her again. Mama ran off and when I took Ellie back inside, Connor was waiting for us. He’d heard the uproar, it was about 5:15. He got dressed and took her home. So much for letting the birthday boy get some much-needed sleep.

The little family is still under the shed. I’m going to try and reach the rescue place today. Fingers crossed that I can get these cuties picked up to be spayed, neutered, and adopted.  And there you have The “Tail” Of Three Kittens.

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1 Sharon { 05.28.19 at 6:25 AM }

Hope they are all safe. Last year I heard a kitten in the house but that was impossible since I don’t have a cat! Finally found where the sound was coming from. A cat had given birth on the roof of my house (!) and one of the kittens (only a few days old) had fallen through a space under the eaves into the wall in my bedroom!! ! Had to have the drywall cut open to remove the kitten. By that time, mother and any other kittens were gone. Took baby to the vet and he was fine. Friend in Palm Springs adopted him and he’s having a wonderful life. Hoping your brood is captured and adopted.

2 Linda Hopkins { 05.28.19 at 6:46 AM }

Sharon, Now that’s a tale! Wow, who knew that was even possible? Happy it all ended well, except for the $$$ for the kitten removal and vet.

3 Sloane Hansen { 05.28.19 at 7:55 AM }

So sweet! I’d have a hard time getting anything done also!

4 Kim { 05.28.19 at 8:39 AM }

Awww. You can’t keep them ?

5 Linda Hopkins { 05.28.19 at 9:14 AM }

Kim, I can’t keep them! I already have 2 cats, add 4 more into the mix and I will surely be classified as a crazy cat lady!

6 shelley { 05.28.19 at 12:52 PM }

the kittens are so cute!

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