Once upon a time, I lived in a little lot with my mother, my brothers, and sisters. I had a lot of brothers and sisters. There wasn’t much grass, just mostly dirt but there was a bush that we would sleep under at night all snuggled up. Since it would be really hot during the day I would often look for shady spots to nap while mom went out and gathered food for us. Sometimes she would be gone all day and on the bad days, she would come back empty handed. Those nights were hard because we would be very hungry and meow through the night. Mom would tell us to be quiet otherwise bad people would hear us and take us away. I never knew who the bad people were and I didn’t want to find out. Most days through she came back with several mice for us and we would happily fill our bellies. What we didn’t finish mom would get. There were often puddles of water around the lot for us to drink. Then we would go to sleep happy, full, and warm. We didn’t know about homes or humans, or that our mom once had a family that left her behind.
One day I decided to venture a little further away from our home bush. I saw a neat feather that kept running away from me when I got close and before I knew it, I was a long way from home. I tried to find my way back but nightfall came and I soon wondered if I would ever see my home again. After all, I was only two months old and didn’t have much energy without food.Although I hate to admit it, I really wasn’t any good at directions either. Everyday I would wake up, my tummy rumbling, and I would try to find my way home again. I knew my mom must be missing me but still I could not find her. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally gave up. I sat under a little rose bush and cried. I finally curled up in a small ball to try to feel comforted, and feel asleep. We kittens need a lot of sleep to grow and even through I was hungry and scared, I could always sleep anywhere.
A little while later I was disturbed from my nap by a lady’s voice. I often heard people talk during the days I spent with my siblings under our home bush. This lady seemed very close and before I knew it, she picked me up and started snuggling me. I tried to growl and hiss because I didn’t know her or where she was taking me but I started to relax when she started rubbing my chin. My mom used to do that at night and it always helped me when I was scared.
The lady said her name was Maggie and asked me my name. I tried to tell her my name was bug… But I guess she couldn’t understand my meows and said she would call me Chloe. I liked my name bug, because it’s what my big sister called me but I thought Chloe was pretty too. It made me sound all grown up. Maggie made a comment that I was all dirty and skinny but that she was going to clean me up. I tried to groom myself the way mom taught me but it was hard to do by myself. Maggie carried me to her car, wrapped me in a blanket, and put me in a little plastic crate. We drove away.
We arrived at a small building and Maggie took me inside and put me in a cage with something she called kibble and water. I later found out kibble meant food. It wasn’t as good as mom’s mice but I was so hungry I I gobbled it up. I guess it wasn’t so bad after all. Maggie then took me to a small room and put me in a tub of warm soapy water. I didn’t like this at all and I tried to tell her and get away but she kept at it anyway. Eventually I was all clean and wrapped in a warm towel. Don’t tell her but the bath felt kind of good. She returned me to the cage with now had a soft bed and some toys. I curled up in the bed and feel asleep again. There had been a lot of drama today.
I dreamed I was back with my mom and siblings curled closely under our bush. I felt so safe but then I woke up alone. I opened my little eyes but had a hard time seeing in the dimly lit room. I soon realized I was still in the cage and I didn’t see Maggie anywhere. I cried out for her but was just met with other meows. I wondered if my mom or siblings were here. I again cried out hoping to hear a familiar meow or purr but I did not. Feeling sad, I curled back into my bed and batted at the little ball Maggie left me until I fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke up to see Maggie again! I was so happy. She gave me my food and water and said she tried to find my mom and litter mates, but did not. Apparently a lot of
cats were picked up that night for something called a trap neuter and release program. I had no idea what this was and frightened I thought of the bad people mom talked about. Maggie told me not to worry and that my family would be safe but since they didn’t know where I belonged, I would stay with her for awhile. Maggie then told me she was a volunteer with a group that helped lost babies like me. She said she would give me a foster home until I was big enough to get adopted to my forever home. I was missed my mom, but was happy to have a nice home with Maggie.
Just as she promised, she took me home. She put me in a little play pen but since I was so small it seemed huge. I met another cat through the screen named Kitty. She told me she had come to live with Maggie many years ago and I was only in the pen to keep me safe until I was bigger. Kitty stayed by my side though and talked to me and kept me from being lonely. She said she once had several kittens like me but they became ill when they were living on the street and went over the rainbow bridge. I guess she was forgotten by her family like my mom was. She asked if she could treat me like her kitten. I really missed having a mom to love me so I agreed. I know my real mom would understand. Every week Maggie took me to the vet to get weighed and be sure I was staying healthy. In the evenings, Kitty slept next to my pen to keep me safe. It was the first time I felt happy since I was under my home bush. Finally I was big enough to get adopted.
Maggie told me it was time for me to go back to the shelter so a nice family could adopt me and she could help more lost kittens like me. Although the other cats at the shelter were nice to me, I missed Maggie and Kitty. I played with the other cats all day but wondered when this family everyone spoke of would come get me. I started to wonder why no one wanted me.
One day when I least expected it, Maggie came to visit me. Apparently she missed me as much as I missed her. Can you imagine? She decided to adopt me and take me home for good. She and Kitty will be my forever mommies now and I feel so lucky. I spend my days curled up on Maggie’s lap or hiding under the blanket. I love chasing Kitty and we take turns following Maggie around. We don’t want her to get lost like we were. My favorite game now is to take Maggie’s socks and run. She always chases me but I think she lets me win. It’s such fun!
I’m still not sure what happened to my birth mom. I hope she’s safe and knows I’m happy and loved. I know someday I will see her again, just like Kitty will see her babies again… and we will all play together. I can’t wait to show them the sock game!