Saturday, June 7, 2008

The sounds around us


I miss the sounds of the outdoors.
Ninety-degree days and still, sticky evenings have forced us to close up the windows and turn on the air--not so much for the cooling, but the relief from humidity.
Beyond the glass, the sky hums with cicada song.

I’ve set up a nursery for the orphaned kittens in our bathroom. It’s a small space, easy to clean, and relatively quiet.
Their window I’ve left open—one remaining tie to their previous lives in the barn. They sleep beneath it, a pile of heads and tails with the nighttime sounds—familiarity in their changed world.
Already, they’ve become less frightened of me. They crawl and climb over my legs, tumbling and wrestling, chasing each other’s tails. And, even at this young age, their ravenous appetites empty plate after plate of food. I wash their faces and stroke their full bellies, clean their ears and behinds--like mama would.
But, try as I might, their mother I am not.

I watched her, Wednesday, return to the barn, and call them from beneath the lumber pile. Their immediate response to her barely perceptible voice, the perfect display of joy.
Dancing up to her, nuzzling close—she was their only need.

Twice since she’s been gone, I’ve seen it again—when a kitten accidentally begins to purr.
A barely perceptible sound that draws the others close.
And leaves them standing, looking lost, unable to find her.

It must be what they remember of her closeness.
A sound that meant she was near.
But, now, just seems confusing.

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24 comments:

She sure is strange! said...

Oh they are just precious! I tear up every time I read about them though, you might want to take some pictures of them scampering to cheer us up. Poor babies.

We adopted 2 sister kitties from a relative. They took the sweet mama and 6 precious other babies to a family barn where they were eaten by coyotes within days. It still just makes me sick and it happened over 5 years ago. One of them looks very much like the first picture in your post.

Molly

She sure is strange! said...

ugh, what I mean is that one of the girls we brought home looks like your picture. I'm up too late.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

With faces like these you won't have any trouble finding homes for these kittens. What sweet little kittens they are. I can just see them rolling around on each other, falling down, biting each others tails. They look long haired. Sweet.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi! Your such a nice person to take in these five cuties. The third one reminded me of a cat that I had a long time ago. She was such a sweetie.
These little ones are in good hands. Please keep us updated on their progress. Lisa

Rose Connors said...

What sweet faces! I wish I could take in all the little kitties. Beautiful writing, as always.

possumlady said...

Oh Nina, I feel the very same way. I just closed up my house yesterday for the first time with the AC on and was looking out the windows at all the birds with no sounds. You feel so cut off from everything. In the winter, I guess you expect it but it just is unnatural in the summer with so much activity going on outside.

Your babies are precious and so lucky. I, too, cannot turn away an animal in need no matter how inconvenient it may be. That's why there's always food and water on my front porch. Bless you for looking after them.

João Soares said...

We have 4 european lovely cats at home, by adoption.
Nice blog,Nina.
Keep the good work.

Mary said...

Awww. They're beautiful. With your care and compassion, they'll be wonderful pets in their new homes. Or, will you keep them all? ;o)

zhakee said...

Beautiful kitties. They'll be much happier as pets than as feral kitties. Too bad about the mama kitty. You're going to get attached to those little creatures. Heck, keep a few and they'll solve any mouse problems.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I have heard the expression @As cute as a kitten' many times, seeing these pictures brings out the truth in that saying..

Lynne said...

I immagine their baby memories will fade and be replaced by your tenderness.

mon@rch said...

Cicadas are being heard by many and all I can say is eeeeeeeeeee sorry about the kittens and I hope you keep us updated with them.

Shellmo said...

How lucky for them that you found them. Each one of them is just beautiful - I wouldn't be able to resist their faces!

Gary said...

They are certainly lucky in one respect - they found a caring person to keep them from harm.

They are beautiful and, as others have said, I'm sure you'll have no worries finding them new homes.

Gary

Dave Coulter said...

Wow, they sure are cute, and lucky that you're looking after them!

How are those cicadas doing? :)

scienceguy288 said...

Cicadas, to me are one of the most annoying creatures on this planet, but one of the most important in the food webs, so I can't complain too much.

Cindie U. said...

I want to kiss that little peach triangle...love peach-colored cats!!

Wendy said...

Awwww - so sweet!

KGMom said...

As I sit and read the update on the orphaned kitties--I find myself making little kitten noises myself. Poor babies.
Well, maybe you will acclimate them to people, and they will become good pets.

Susan Gets Native said...

Two questions:

1. Will you be keeping all of the kittens?

2. When, in the sweet name of Pete, are these cicadas gonna DIE??????

Q said...

Dear Nina,
Bless your heart!
Meow...they are so sweet.
Sherry

nina said...

It is Wednesday 6/11, and the cicadas drone on, having first emerged 5/25. I imagine happy birds finding them and being so pleased with the treat!

The kittens--doing wonderfully well. And climbing and nuzzling all over ME! All purr and purr when I rub their full little bellies and wash faces.
The intent is to place them in good homes--but, I'd belying if I didn't say I'm very attached to each one's unique personality already.
I think, as is with any hand-raised animal, they will be especially nice pets.
Anyone?

dguzman said...

I wish I could adopt one! But we have three FIV+ kittehs, so we can't get any "well" kittens. They're so cute!

Marvin said...

Sometimes I forget how loud the night sounds can be, especially by the time August rolls around. A friend's son came visiting from the city. He complained about not being able to sleep at night because of all the noise. I guess we are blessed that we don't have air conditioning and the windows are always open in the summer, but to be honest about it, when it's hot and sticky at night, I don't feel very blessed.

Cute kittens.