What I find, if I’m in the position to need to look for kittens that have been born in an unknown place in the street about a week ago, that the best time to start looking for them is after dark. And with no kind of torch or anything.
Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. Why look for something at night when you could have a perfectly good look during the day?
That was the question I was asking myself as, at something past nine last night, I was taking things out of our shed on the off-chance that a pregnant cat has popped in and kittens had, well, popped out. According to the cat’s owner, a woman who has millions of cats and lives up the road, the cat has given birth about a week ago and is still feeding the kittens and they’re somewhere around here.
We’ve never seen the cat before. We’re quite familiar with most of the cats that pass through our garden as Pumpkin has majestically failed to protect her territory every single time another whiskered creature sets foot, or paw, past the fence line. Countless times we’re heard the sounds of fighting, yelping cats and had to rescue Pumpkin with the aide of a jug full of water and a strong throwing arm.
On Saturday night, after we got back from Bridlington, we noticed one of the neighbours skulking around next door’s garden, peering in the shed with a massive torch. We assumed, as next door is home to one of the feral kids, that he had been accused of stealing another feral child’s plank with wheels nailed on or something. But no, turns out they were looking for kittens. On Saturday.
So why the hell did it take them so long to come and ask if they could look in our garden? Did they go back home and sit for a while and, just by chance, glance out of the window and were blown away by the sheer number of other houses with gardens that a variety of recently born kittens may be in? I don’t understand why, at the weekend, they didn’t go door-to-door, asking if anyone had seen the cat or the kittens or both. Why did it take three or four days to get round to checking anywhere else for them? Surely, if they’re out there it would have been better to have established that last week.
As it happens, they weren’t in our shed. Or, more correctly, they weren’t in the shed as far as I could tell by the illuminating glow of my iPhone screen. But we left the door open, just in case.
And, if it turns out they are in there somewhere, we’ll hand them back straight away. Well, hand most of them back straight away.
Maybe just keep one.