I happened to be walking to the neighborhood liquor store sometime around the turn of April. The cat that was to become Telly was sitting in one of the unmowed yards around 23rd and Q. She meowed at me and I said hello. Then she came up to me and I gave her a pat.
She proceeded to follow me, determinedly so. Whenever I would stride more than twenty feet ahead I would hear an angry meow and turn back to see her bounding towards me. I came in and out of Mums with my Sunday night pint of Beck's and saw her clawing at the wall wondering where I was, and from there she continued to follow me home. I came to notice that I was gaging oncoming traffic to see if there was time for both of us to cross.
When we came to my apartment house I figured that it was the least I could do to give her one of my tins of tuna. She was visibly malnourished, bag of bones and all that.
The next day I gave her a bath to wash off the street grime that was far too thick for her to lick off herself. She took this as well as you could guess.
I spent the next week putting out internet ads that went unanswered. I did have some hope in the Cat House, a no-kill shelter in my neighborhood, but they turned out to suffer the same fate of most no-kill shelters; overcrowding due to lack of death.
So Telly became my cat, and she came to gain a healthy amount of weight, and then she came to gain some more weight around the lower belly and nowhere else, and there were protrusions in this belly that strongly resembled legs.
And so the kittens came on Thursday-Friday. The eldest is twelve hours older than
his? siblings and is one of the two gray ones, Dad must of been a tabby. The other two resemble their calico mother. One has nearly the exact same orange/white band color pattern of mom and the other is almost completely orange. My next-door neighbor must have heard the high-pitched wail of the Prince of Wales, but so far he hasn't ratted me out to our landlord. (Hello, Mr. Anderson.)
It goes without saying that taking care of four newborn kittens in addition to their mother is completely beyond me. So I contacted the local humane society to see if we could work out some sort of loan program until my grandchildren are weened. This worked out as well as can be expected. If I were to turn the family into the pound, they would become city property. Telly would be spared or euthanasized base on her health/aesthetic beauty/temperament(!!!) after four days, and the kittens would be spared or killed based on the same pragmatic criteria. I would be lying if I said that I had a problem with this logic. Stray animals reproducing at random are a serious menace, and this is certainly the proper way to deal with everybody else's cat.
As for mine, I decided to follow the normal ghetto protocol for unwanted children and dump them off on grandma. My parents will take Telly and her brood in until the brats are weened and pass the kittens on to the lonely hearts of North Platte.
I pride myself on not being a superstitious man, but I also pride myself on seeing that which is before me for what it is; and I can't help but think that Telly was smart enough to know that she needed a human being to take care of her for the sake of her babies, and this is why she followed me home with the tenacity of a Catholic woman feeling guilty about still being single.
And yet she gives me the filthiest murder-look whenever I try to intervene in her affairs, and I must say that I like that in a woman.