Sunday, June 14, 2009

A mishap separates the family; Tryskuit and I launch a rescue effort to reunite them

Later, that very same day, I was working on my laptop when Tryskuit burst into the room where I had set up shop. "Dad!" she exclaimed. "There is a big drama happening with the cats!"

Apparently, the small orange one had worked its way off the roof and had then fallen through a high window in a tiny little building connected at the back to the home of our hosts. Momma Cat had then leaped through that window, knocking out a pane of glass as she did.

Now, she and the orange kitten were stuck inside. The little calico was stranded, all alone, on the eave where they had made their new home - as you can see above. I followed Tryskuit out to the second floor overlook. We could hear the Momma and the calico meowing to each other.

It was a sad and forlorn sound.

We could hear nothing at all from the little orange kitten.

The calico retreated to a position beneath the tin roof. Her tail and one leg protruded beyond.

The calico peeks back out at me. At first, I thought it would be an easy matter to reunite the little family. As the little room where the Momma and the orange had gotten themselve stuck in was connected to the home of our hosts, Murthy and Vasanthi, I figured that it was theirs' and that they would have a key to it.

It was not theirs' and they did not have the key. It belonged to a woman who lived on the second floor of the house directly behind hers and she had the key. They figured that in time, she would appear, hear the meows and let the kittens out.

I had no idea how long such a thing might take or what might happen in the meantime. As I pondered this situation, a raven landed on the wall over the calico kitten, took a good look at it and then flew away.

If that raven - or others - were to become convinced that this calico was alone and helpless...

And then we learned that the lady had rented the little room out to a man who slept there, but who was gone for four or five more days to come.

We could not wait. Something had to be done now. I felt rather odd about it, but I climbed over the wall you see here, then crossed the flat roof on the other side to the door of the second story residence.

I could hear voices inside, speaking in their native tongue. I knocked on the door. The voices went silent. No one answered. I waited. Then knocked again. More silence.

So Tryskuit and I went and got Buddy, Vasanthi and Murthy's nephew, on vacation from school. Buddy was a little amused that we were so worried, but he was also willing to help. He went and knocked on the same door that I had and then waited for about half a minute. Someone came to the door.

It was the lady and two children. They came over to peek down at the calico, but it had hidden beneath the corrugated roofing.

Buddy then acted very quickly - quicker than I wanted, because I wanted to photograph the process. He got the key from the lady and headed down, so quickly that, by the time I could secure my camera, cross over myself, find the stairs and prepare to go down, he had already opened the door. The Momma cat had stepped into the entrance.

The Momma cat steps outside the door.

She does not want to leave her orange kitten behind, however, so she steps back in and hunkers down.

The orange kitten rests on a gunny sack inside the home. As I take this picture, Buddy scoops up the Momma cat and heads back up the stairs. I then reach down, take hold of the frightened little orange, lift it to my chest and follow.

Fortunately, Tryskuit was in position on the deck at the Murthy, with her own camera. She documented the action as Buddy came carrying the mother kitten back for a reunion with the calico...

And then Tryskuit photographed me, as I came carrying the little orange kitten. Tryskuit and I were a true team this day.

After returning the mother to the eave, Buddy took the orange from me and prepared to reunite the whole family.

Buddy climbs down with the orange as the Momma cat watches.

As Buddy puts the orange cat down, the Momma retreats beneath the tin roof and the calico steps out.

The orange kitten takes off to join its mother and sister.

Soon, they all reappear. We can feel the joy and relief the family feels at being reunited once again.

Momma cat opens up to her kittens, so that they might have nourishment.

The neighbor lady, who did her part to help, admires the little family.

Tryskuit and I could see and feel the relief and joy the mother felt to be reunited with her baby calico, and to have her orange freed from the little building, to be together with both of them. 

Yet, I also thought about all the dangers of this world, and what a harsh place it can be - totally indifferent to the happiness, health, safety and well-being of a tiny cat family. To the natural world such an individual family and all the members of it are of no consequence - should they go to feed a raven or a street dog, that is just fine with the natural world.

So I thought of these things and I felt most uneasy. In a very short time, Tyskuit, Vasanthi and Murthy and Buddy would leave on another tour and we would be gone for three days. There would be other people at the house and they all knew about the cats; furthermore, the lady next door to the side had taken a strong interest and was feeding the mother. We could only hope for the best in a dangerous world.

And I felt something else as I watched the mother suckle her babies, as I saw the look of contentment, relief and happiness radiate from her countenace - solace. I felt a sense of solace that, whatever the future might hold for them, at this moment, they were together. They were safe. They were content. The kittens bellies were being filled.

They were experiencing this only because Tryskuit and I had taken action, and then the others had joined to help us. So, whatever sorrows the future might hold, this would be my solace - that we had given them this moment, this beautiful, beautiful, moment.

This story will continue.


Parker said...

It's these moments that give us the greatest feelings of joy...

StandTall-The Activist said...

I feel like crying.... this is so touching. Thanks GK, T and B for helping those kitties and their mama.

Kitties @ Our family cat-a-blog... said...

Isn't there someone to rescue the mother and have her spayed and to find the babies good homes?

Ikaika said...

Thank you so much for documenting the Indian cat family and sharing their story. We are purring for their continued health and safety.

Freya said...

A wonderful happily ever after story! Thanks very much!


Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Safe...for now. It makes us sad that there are so many little cat famblies just like dis one.

The Caring Infernal Warden said...

I love reading your stories. You're such a great photographer and writer.
Thank you!

Sharyn said...

How cute are your photos!? And thanks for the award.

Grahamn Kracker said...

First, everybody, thank you for comments. I wish I could say it was a happy ever after, but it was but one moment. A crisis of that day that ended well, but it was not the last day.

Now, Kitties @... are you trying to make me feel guilty? Try to put yourself in my position, if you can. I was not in Michigan. I was in Bangalore, India, continually on the move, never staying put for any length of time, surrounded by truly good-hearted, kind, generous people; people who let the monkeys steal their mangoes and instead of killing the ants that march through their home, they place items of food out for them and then try to put the food they save for themselves in places where the ants cannot go.

Yet, the concepts that you express are foreign to them and are not part of their lives.

One lady was feeding the momma and therefore the babies. Soundarya, who was busy going through many rituals due to her wedding even as she was trying to establish a new househould and launch a business had determined to adopt the calico at first opportunity.

The homeowners were protecting the site where the Momma had nested and were checking in on them daily. So please, do not judge by the standard that you live by in Michigan.

Tryskuit and I made a big effort for this cat family, the biggest that we could make under the circumstances. While I wish it had been in my power to smooth out and make safe and warm the lives of these kittens forever, to make sure that no harm ever came to them, this was beyond my power and it is not right for you to second guess from your home in Michigan.

I'll bet even there, right now, there a little kittens struggling to survive who will not make it.

I admire you for your desire to help and protect cats and kittens and I cheer you on in this, but this is hard enough for me already.

I do feel sorrow, and frustration. Before I had to leave, there would be tears in my eyes, but I know that I did what I could and so did Tryskuit. There is no guilt to be laid here.