Welcome to the continuation of 12 and Beyond’s original series, A Tail of Three Kittens. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to read the first two parts of A Tail of Three kittens. Click here to do so: Part 2 | Part 1
Like last time, this post will be set up in a journal format that goes day by day full of plenty of new photos and stories. Let’s begin on the night where I left you last…
It was around 9:00 at night, and my mom and sister had just returned from dance practice. As they were pulling into our driveway, the car’s headlights illuminated our shed- and what do they see? Not a kitten, for sure, but a skunk and a humungous raccoon chowing down on the food we had left out for the kittens. (Pictures 3 & 4) When I came out, I saw them first. But little did I know, right behind me, sitting on the sidewalk, was baby Mac! Supposedly, while my mom was watching the raccoon, Mac started walking across the yard and eventually passed right by the car. She called out, “Mac!”, and he stopped. And he just sat there, watching her. As we’d come to learn, he’s so laid back and is so comfortable around humans. He didn’t run like we’d experienced with Callie- after a few minutes, he slowly walked back into the bushes. The girls had seen their kittens- this was my reassurance that my kitten was okay too.
Back to the skunk, though…
When we showed the above pictures to my dad, he told us that the kittens had never actually eaten our food, that we had just been giving skunks their nightly meal (I know, I know, ignore the logic of it). But boy, was that depressing. We listened to him, though, and… we stopped feeding them.
That could’ve been the biggest mistake we’d made yet with the kittens.
And so, that was it. At least for a few days.
That morning, I was already in school when our house received a special visitor.
It was Callie- and she came up so close to our house! We had no idea where she came from, having moved her babies away from our house back in April. Obviously, though, she hadn’t gone far, and was out exploring just near where she originally hid out. For the most part, whenever we would look in through the basement window, that grey patch was all we could see of her- that and the ‘mew’s of her babies.
After this, we started feeding them again. But this time, we gave them the advantage. It was a battle for food between wildlife, but by putting the food out in the morning, we ensured that the kittens would have a chance to eat, and if not, it would be eaten either way by night.
And it worked.
Here was our redeeming moment- not only was a kitten eating our food, but it was Baby Mac!
You can see his white face, and his white legs, amongst his otherwise ‘space grey’ color. Look at his tail- he was just too cute. Afterwards, we noticed him walk over to the right side of the shed. Normally, he comes from the left. So I became curious, and a few days later, went out to see him.
Sure enough, there he was, sitting right next to the shed. And I approached him, getting closer… and closer… and closer… and he didn’t move. He knew I was there, but he just let me approach. Look at the fifth picture- his face, his body, his ears, his tail. I’m so glad I have that picture- it’s one of my favorites. At times, he would look back as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Eventually, though, he walked back into the woods, but I repeat- walked. He was almost sluggish and slow, not scared at all (at least compared to Callie, who would run away a mile a minute whenever she saw us). I was in awe.
Also, guess who visited us, and ate more of our food? Callie, of course, back with her dagger eyes.
What we saw today has become routine- Callie and Mac alternatively come and grab several helpings of breakfast, lunch, and dinner- those hungry cats! We continue to put food out for them, and I see them often over the weekend, when I’m home. The best part? Now that they’ve adjusted to eating in the daytime, we can actually see them!
One more entry? Let’s do this.
Once he had finished eating, Mac began walking left (where he usually comes from), and we tracked his movements and noticed him stop in between the bushes. Once more curious, we walked over and saw him just laying there, relaxing. I’ll be honest, Baby Mac is hands-down the cutest cat I have ever seen.
That’s where I am going to leave October’s edition. I still have many more photos and stories to share, so stay tuned for the next episode in late November. A few other points, though:
- In the morning, sometimes our kittens come to grab some food before we get a chance to feed them. We hasten to bring food and water out, and while we do, Mac and Callie step off the cement block and just sit there. They let us get so close. In fact, one day, Mac had given up and started retreating, yet when I brought food out, I went around to the back of the shed and found him just sitting there. I waved at him (I think when he sees me wave, he knows that there is more food). Once again, he just sat there as if nothing were happening, but when I went back into the house, I saw him come back around for his morning snack. This newly established trust meant so much to me.
- One day coming home, near our street, we saw Callie run across the road. In fact, when she comes to eat, she’s come from all directions. As far as we know, she travels around town and then comes back for her meals. Mac, though, he is definitely our yard cat. Every 30 minutes to an hour, he’ll return for a meal (coming from the same place), and then rest in our yard throughout the day.
- As far as the other two kittens, Goldie and Nutmeg? We’ve seen Goldie twice at night eating, but no Nutmeg. We’re not sure where they went.
- On the morning of October 5, Baby Mac was playing around near our playground, as if in his natural habitat. I don’t have any pictures, but it was a great start to my day seeing him scratch himself, lick himself clean, and jump around looking for insects.
Thanks so much for reading!