For two days the storms have rolled past. With thunder and lightning and the threats of worse.
For now, all is still--that eerie stillness that forebodes yet another wave on the western horizon. We watch and wait, ready.
There’s a pile of cast off lumber stacked upon the uneven floorboards in the barn. And a small room with a dirt floor, once used for tack, where bricks and concrete blocks fill the edge spaces now, stacked almost to the rafters.
It is morning, yet the interior of the barn is dark. The sound of another hard rain on the metal roof muffles small steps. Scattered windows on the north side let in just enough morning light to silhouette a cowering ghost of a form.
Her low, throaty moan warns, “Not too close, for I do not yet know you.”
Squatting on the wooden step, I wait.
Sitting motionless in the darkness.
To the protection of this quiet corner, she has brought her kittens. Scarcely more than a kitten herself, seeking the shelter of a welcoming barn.
She calls to them softly—and 5 small spots emerge from beneath the boards. Then, just beyond the tip of my shoe, lies down, so they may feed.
I don’t know whether it is trust or sheer exhaustion that allows her to remain close. For when I slowly extend a hand for her to sniff, she nudges against it eagerly.
I gently stroke her back.
And, beneath my hand, feel what her eyes attempt to tell.
She has no home.
But has found shelter in the old barn.
Update: Mama kitty didn't come back to feed last night or this morning.
On my way to work, I found she'd been hit on the road.
She would've been a nice companion for our Lily.
I hope I raise her kittens well.
She has become our happy porch cat.