This entry is an update to a ongoing story recorded here.
Perhaps we were seeing a bit of our future, that Sunday afternoon in June, working in the cool, dimly lit interior of the big, old barn. For, our first inkling of another’s presence with us, was discovering tiny footprints captured in one of the small, square slabs of concrete, hand-mixed and left to cure, undisturbed, on the dirt floor.
Preserved in stone.
The footprints, alone, meant nothing. Raccoons, opossums, even woodchucks wandered through its drafty, dark spaces regularly. And skunks often scented the summer nights’ air. But these were different—of a small, young animal’s tentative first steps, alone.
In the days that followed, we caught only shadowy glimpses of the five young kittens hidden beneath the old wooden floor boards where Mama left them to sleep as she wandered the nearby fields for what little she could find.
How she had come to be here, tattered and worn, we could only imagine.
But clearly, of her fading strength, to her young she had given all.
Mama’s kittens became ours that Thursday.
Country roads are not gentle, nor patient with those who linger at the edge.
And so our life with kittens began.
Max, bold and black.
Alexander, kind and gray.
Olivia, tender and disheveled.
Lucy, shy and lovely.
George, spirited and wearing stripes. (adopted)
And, of the original five, four kittens remain.
Large, magnificent animals now, with long ruffs and fur-covered toes,
heavy coats and loving spirits,
like none I have ever known.
They live upstairs now, in the house, with us, and Lily, who arrived a year earlier. Together, they race, feather-duster tails held high, the length of our long hallways.
And tumble in a ball of fur, somersaulting across the floor.
Each morning, I’m woken by loving licks of 4 warm, raspy tongues.
Each night, tucked in securely beneath 4 heavy bodies, purring.
Footprints that look as though the one who left them was just passing through.
Though those that know the story,
Safe, at home, they are.
See more Camera Critters here.