8

Feral Purrfessional

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Katie Kitty was almost through packing when her mother came into her room. Mama Kitty was visibly upset.

Mama: Are you really going, Katie?

Katie: Mama, you know I am. I’ve been talking about it since I got accepted by Mid-America Animal Tech. They’re even giving me a scholarship!

Mama: But it’s so far away. I won’t see you for weeks.

Katie hugs Mama Kitty.

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Katie: I know, Mama. But we can talk on the phone and Skype. And I’ll be home for holidays.

Mama: I know, but it’s not the same. I don’t understand why you can’t just stay home like your friends. They’re going to school at Feline First Academy.

Katie (patiently): They don’t teach what I want to study, remember?

Mama: Do you really want to do that? It’s going to be so difficult.

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Katie: We need to have more Feral Purrfessionals. I’m going to be able to help untamed kitties get medical treatment. I won’t be a vet, but I can do a lot of the things a vet can do. I’ll be able to fix cuts and treat infections.

Mama: That does sound useful.

Katie: Remember when Mrs. Murrow had so much trouble having her kittens last year? I’ll be able to help kitties like that. And I can counsel on family planning.

Mama: Well, there are a lot of ferals around. I guess helping them is admirable work.

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Katie: It really is, Mama.

Mama: But do you have to go so far?

Katie: It’s the closest place that has the training. Besides, they offered me free tuition and housing. It’s hardly going to cost anything.

Mama: That’s true. I’m proud of you being so smart. I just didn’t realize it meant you would be leaving us.

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Katie: I’m not leaving you. I’m coming back for good when the training is over. That’s the point. I want to come back and help the cats I know. That’s why most of the kitties will be studying there.

Mama: But there will be a lot of different types of cats there. Some of them are probably big-city cats. They’re all spoiled and can be kind of hissy around other cats.

Katie: I suppose that’s possible. But if they want to help ferals, I think we should let them. Cities have wild cats too.

Mama: Well, be careful around them.

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Katie: I will, Mama.

Mama: There are going to other kinds of animals there too. It’s open to anyone, no matter what species they are. What if they make you room with a wolf? You probably won’t survive your first night.

Katie: Mama, didn’t you read the papers they sent? They have separate buildings for each species. Girl cats room with girl cats. I’m not going to get eaten.

Mama: But you won’t be inside all the time. What if something tries to attack you?

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Katie: For goodness sake, Mama! We live in a multi-species subdivision. It’s going to be like living here.

Mama: I guess so. I just don’t like the idea of you being so far from your family.

Katie: Would it help if you saw Animal Tech? Maybe you’d see it’s not so bad.

Mama: I don’t know. I don’t like cities.

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Katie: The bus stops right on campus. You can come with me tomorrow so you are more comfortable with the idea.

Mama: Can I bring your sisters? I don’t want to come home by myself.

Katie: How about one sister? I don’t want to draw attention my first day there.

Mama: I suppose that will work. Maybe Charlene. She’s the biggest of us. And she knows how to fight.

Katie sighs and goes back to packing.

Next week: Mama Kitty’s trip to the city

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

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19

Limerick Lunacy

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(Limerick, Ireland)

Ed.Comment: Every once in a while, we like to let Cat write something for the blog. (It lets her feel like she’s part of the team, not just the site owner.) So here’s her contribution. We will be back to regular content next week.

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The young wolves were ready to howl.

They had spent the night on a prowl.

But the moon was not bright,

So they started to fight;

And were left in a mood quite foul.

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The kittens loved to play and romp.

On rubber mousies they would chomp.

They never stopped,

Or exhausted, flopped,

While trying to find things to whomp.

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The laughing bear cubs slid on the ice.

The slick ice on their paws felt quite nice.

Then one started to fall

And his mother did call,

Because he needed her ice advice.

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Sometimes our dear cats become jealous,

And may use many means to tell us

That they want to play

Or in our laps lay.

And on that point become quite zealous.

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Is the panda really a bear?

Or another species quite rare?

He’s adorably cute

In his black-and-white suit.

Relatives? He hasn’t a care.

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(not related, but very cute)

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

19

The Kittens’ Woodland Adventure – Conclusion

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Our story so far: Timmy and Tommy had gone on a trip to the woods with their Kitten Scout troop. They became separated from the troop and it began to rain. They decided to wait out the rain in the woods. They were awakened by a pup who wanted to play. When the pup’s mother came to get him, they discovered they had been playing with a baby wolf. To read the entire story, go here.

Mama Wolf: Stevie! I was wondering what happened to you. You shouldn’t run away like that. (Sees the kittens.) Oh! You were hunting! Good wolfie!

(Timmy and Tommy look at each other, terrified.)

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Stevie: Mama! I wasn’t hunting. These are my friends, Timmy and Tommy. They were staying here until the rain ended. We’ve been playing.

Mama Wolf: Sweetie, you’re a wolf. You don’t play with kittens. They’re prey.

Stevie: Not these ones. They’re my friends.

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Mama Wolf: Honey, they can’t be your friends. They’re kittens.

Stevie (starting to cry): Mama! I can’t eat them. I asked them to play. We’ve been having a lot of fun.

Mama Wolf didn’t know what to do. The kittens looked tasty. But Stevie had made friends with them. It didn’t seem right to eat his friends. And they were pretty cute.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Moggie had called Timmy and Tommy’s mother. She was frantic with worry. She wanted to go into the woods to look for her babies. It was almost night, and they wouldn’t know what to do by themselves.

Mr. Moggie reminded her that she didn’t have any idea where her kittens were and that she wouldn’t be safe wandering around alone either. She began to hiss at him, reminding him that she had trusted him with her kittens and now they were lost.

She sat at the edge of the woods and refused to move. Mr. Moggie sat next to her. It seemed the least he could do.

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Finally Mama Wolf decided that it was more important that Stevie keep his word to his friends than to teach him about appropriate friends.

Mama Wolf: All right, Stevie. We’ll take care of your friends tonight. We can’t go out of the woods at night because someone might shoot us. And it’s not safe to send them out by themselves.

Stevie: Thank you, Mama. I swear I’ll only play with wolves from now on.

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(Stevie went over to the kittens, who had been too terrified to move.)

Stevie: Did you hear that guys? Mama’s going to keep you safe tonight. And we’ll get you home tomorrow.

Timmy (nervously): That’s great, Stevie. Are you sure she won’t eat us?

Stevie: Don’t worry. Wolves are very loyal. If we say we won’t eat you, we won’t.

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Mama Wolf found a concealed place to lie down. She hoped none of the other wolves had seen her. Stevie and the kittens curled up in her tail and were soon fast asleep.

In the morning, Mama Wolf took the kittens to the edge of the woods closest to their home. She stayed back in the shadows.

Mama Wolf: OK, here we are. Please don’t tell anyone about what happened last night. Kittens aren’t safe in the woods.

Timmy and Tommy nodded. They thanked her and Stevie for protecting them. The wolves ran back into the forest, and the kittens ran out of it.

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Mama Cat ran over to Timmy and Tommy. She sniffed them to make sure they were OK. Aside from a strange scent, everything seemed fine.

Mama Cat: My babies! Are you all right? How did you manage in the woods by yourselves all night? I was so worried.

Timmy: We’re fine, Mama. We found a nice safe spot to spend the night. We didn’t wake up until the sun came out.

Mama Cat: You both need a bath. You smell like some kind of wild animal.

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Tommy (looking at Timmy): Well, it was a really good spot. A lot of other animals probably slept there too.

Mama Cat: I’m just glad you’re back home and safe. And next time, I’m going to be one of the mothers on the trip.

The kittens looked at each other and groaned.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

12

 The Kittens’ Woodland Experience

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Brothers Timmy and Tommy were very excited. Their Kitten Scout troop was taking a trip to the woods nearby. They had never been there and were hoping to see bears and wolves and all kinds of wild animals. Their mother tried to explain that they might see raccoons or squirrels, but that their leader would keep them away from anything dangerous.

They were up at dawn on the day of the trip. Oh no! It was raining. A lot. They were afraid the trip was canceled. Sure enough, their mother got a call from the scout master. But the trip wasn’t canceled; it was postponed until the afternoon when the weather was going to be better.

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There were ten kittens on the trip as well as the leader and two mothers. Each mother was responsible for five kittens. Timmy and Tommy were really glad that their mother hadn’t called in time to be one of the chaperones. She would have spent the whole time watching them. It would have been too embarrassing.

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The leader’s name was Mr. Moggie. He was a nice cat, but very easily confused. The kittens liked him because he usually let them do whatever they wanted while he was trying to get organized. Luckily, he was required to bring extra adults along on a trip like this.

When they got to the woods, Mr. Moggie told them to practice their “quiet walking” so the other animals wouldn’t be afraid of them. Being cats, walking quietly should have been natural; as kittens, it was impossible. He didn’t have much luck stopping their chatter either.

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Finally Mr. Moggie decided that he would teach the kittens about the different kinds of scents they could find in the forest. That sounded like fun to the kittens. They gathered around a tree and sniffed. The kittens guessed that it was a dog. Mr. Moggie told them that the scent belonged to a fox.

Next he took them to a pile of droppings. The kittens thought it was disgusting to have to go near it and sniff. They decided that it was some kind of big cat. It was a raccoon. As they went on, the kittens got better at identifying squirrels, rabbits, and woodchucks.

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But after a while they were bored. Mr. Moggie wasn’t sure what to do next. He had planned to show them how to fish in the creek and how to find shelter, but couldn’t decide. He wanted to talk to the mothers about it.

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He told the kittens to play close by while they discussed what would happen next. The kittens ran and chased each other around. Timmy was chasing Tommy when they realized that they had run away from the rest of the group. They headed back when it started to rain again.

As soon as it started to rain, Mr. Moggie told everyone to run out of the woods so they could go home. They raced through the trees. When they got out, Mr. Moggie did a tail count. There were only eight kittens! Timmy and Tommy were still in the forest.

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He panicked. What was he going to tell their mother? Should he go back in and try to find them? Should he take the other kittens home first? Could the lost kittens hear his voice if he yowled?

Meanwhile, Timmy and Tommy found a dry spot to wait out the storm. They weren’t going anywhere until it dried out. Soon they were fast asleep.

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The next thing he knew, Timmy felt a wet nose on his fur. He looked up and saw a huge dog! He started crying and woke his brother. They waited to be eaten.

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The “dog” looked at them in amazement. He had never seen kittens before. He wanted to play. The kittens weren’t sure, but he insisted. They romped around until the kittens were exhausted.

Finally, the “dog’s” mother came looking for him. When the kittens saw her, they were terrified. They hadn’t been playing with a dog. He was a wolf pup.

 

To be continued

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

10

Clarice Kitten and the Dangerous Noms – Part 2

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So far – Clarice Kitten, who lives in the forest, got curious about some “noms” a woman offered her. Unfortunately, the woman used the food to trap Clarice and take her to the vet. Now the adults are trying to get her out. You can read the details here.

The three cats ran up to the house. They found Clarice asleep on a pillow on a back porch. There were screens around the porch and a screen door. Frank jumped onto one of the screens and looked in.

Frank (whispering): Clarice, wake up. We’re here to help. Wake up.

Clarice woke up and looked around. She ran to the window when she saw Frank. She started crying and tried to tell him what happened to her.

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Frank: Shhh. You need to be quiet so you don’t wake the humans. We want to get you out of there.

Clarice: Please get me out. I hate it here.

Frank: OK, your parents are out there. Let me talk to them and we’ll figure something out.

Clarice: Hurry! They want to spray me and give me to some humans. I want to be with you.

Frank: It’s OK. Try to be calm.  I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.

Frank jumped down. The three cats went back to the edge of the woods to try and come up with a solution.

Kate: How is she?

Frank: She’s fine, but scared. She says they want to spray her and give her to some humans.

Kate: Spray her? With what?

Tom: No human is going to take my kitten! What are we going to do?

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Frank: I don’t see any way in. I don’t think we can get through the screens without waking up the human.

Katie: Then we need to get her out the same way she got in.

Frank: What’s that?

Katie: The human has to let her go.

Tom: Do you have an idea?

Katie: Maybe. She saw me earlier, so she might expect me to come back.

Tom: Great. So you’re going to let her get you too?

Frank: I don’t think we have to get inside. I think we need to get the human to open the door to let Clarice out.

Tom: OK. So how do we do that?

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Frank: Katie can go up to the house and start crying. Hopefully the human come outside to see what is going on and open the door. Clarice needs to be ready to race out the door when that happens.

Kate: I guess it’s worth a try. Go tell Clarice the plan.

Frank climbed back up and told Clarice to be ready to run if the woman opened the door to see what was going on outside. Clarice hid under a chair by the door and waited.

Frank: OK, Kate. Let’s try it.

Kate sat outside the porch and cried and cried. Clarice began to cry too. Frank and Tom waited. And waited. Nothing happened.

Frank: It’s not working.

Tom: I have an idea.

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He let out a yowl and ran toward the house. Frank followed. Tom turned and hissed at him. They started to circle each other and growl. Soon they were hissing and spitting. It turned into a full cat fight. Finally a light came on in the house. The woman came to the porch.

Woman: What on earth is going on out there?

Kate continued to cry, and the male cats were fighting loudly.

Woman: For goodness sake, be quiet!

No one was really paying attention to her, except Clarice, when she opened the door. Clarice raced out and ran to her mother. Kate saw her.

Kate: Run, Clarice!

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Kate took off after Clarice. Tom and Frank were still at each other when the girls ran by. Kate came back.

Kate: Get going! She’ll come out if you two don’t quiet down.

The three adult cats raced into the woods. They found Clarice. When she saw her mother she started crying again. Kate licked her and calmed her down. They headed for home. The two male cats looked at each other.

Frank: What was that all about?

Tom: It was the only way I could think of to make more noise. No hard feelings?

Frank sat down and bathed himself. After finding no damage from the fight, he calmed down.

Frank: I guess I understand. But next time, let me know what’s going on. I could have killed you.

Tom: Not much danger of that.

They looked at each other again and started walking home.

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11

Clarice Kitten and the Dangerous Noms

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Tom and Kate lived in a nice section of the forest with a group of other cats. There were humans close by, but otherwise the location was perfect. Lots of food and a clear stream. One day, they had a litter of kittens.

They were typical kittens, playful and curious. One kitten in particular, Clarice, was into everything. One day, she ran home, all excited.

Clarice: Guess what! I discovered a different kind of food!

Kate: Really dear? And what is that?

Clarice: I’m not sure. But it’s really yummy!

Kate: Why don’t you show me this food. Maybe I’ll know what it is.

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Clarice led Kate to where she had found the food. It was at the edge of the woods near a house. She pointed to an old log.

Clarice: It came from under there.

Kate: What did it look like?

Clarice: It was small and furry. It had a long tail and sharp teeth.

Since that described the majority of the food Kate had been teaching Clarice to catch, the description wasn’t very helpful.

Kate: I guess I’ll have to see one to let you know. But you need to find one closer to home. This is too close to the humans. They might see you.

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Clarice: What’s wrong with that? Will they hurt me?

Kate: You’re such a beautiful kitten, they might want you to live with them instead of here with us.

Clarice didn’t understand why her mother would care about that. Of course Clarice would never leave her family. Then she heard a strange sound. Her mother became fully alert.

Human: Oh look. The pretty kitty came back! And she brought a friend! Wait right there and I’ll bring you a treat.

Kate was horrified. She had been right. Clarice had gone too close to the humans, and now the woman had seen both of them. Before she could tell Clarice to run, the woman was back.

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Woman: Here kitty, kitty. You must be hungry. Look at the tasty noms I brought you.

Kate was offended. How dare that woman imply that she let her kittens go hungry. But Clarice was fascinated.

Clarice: Mama, what’s a nom? Maybe it’s one of the animals I caught earlier. Let’s go see.

Kate: Clarice! Run!

Kate raced back into the woods. Clarice was confused, but ran after her. When they reached home, Kate finally stopped to explain.

Kate: Clarice, you can’t ever go back there. Noms are what humans call the food they use to try to catch cats.

Clarice: Why would they want to catch cats?

Kate: I’m not sure, but we’ve lost a few neighbors that way. And they particularly like kittens.

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Clarice went to bed soon after the conversation. She had nightmares about humans chasing her. In the morning, she vowed to never go near the humans again.

But soon her curiosity got the better of her and she went to the edge of the forest. After a couple of days, the woman saw her again. The next day, there was a bowl of food just out of the forest. Clarice tried it. It was delicious. She ran home.

Clarice: Mama! Mama! I knew you were wrong!

Kate: Clarice! What are you talking about?

Clarice: The human! She left food out and it was delicious. And she didn’t come near me.

Kate: I told you not to go near the humans.

Clarice: It’s OK. She won’t hurt me.

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A few days later, Kate heard a terrible yowling and crying. She ran to the edge of the woods in time to see the human pick up a cage with Clarice in it. She watched in horror as Clarice was carried into the house. All night, the cats could hear Clarice crying.

In the morning, Kate watched as the human carried Clarice’s cage and put it in some kind of machine. The human got in too, and they disappeared. Kate sat there for hours wondering where they had taken her kitten.

Finally, the machine returned. Kate was relieved to find out that the woman had brought Clarice back. Clarice was still crying, but she sounded tired. Kate ran back to the other cats, determined to find a way to rescue her kitten.

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Kate: They still have Clarice. We have to save her.

Tom: How are we supposed to do that?

Kate: I don’t know. But we have to do something. Let’s ask Frank. He knows a lot about humans. He can help us.

Kate and Tom found Tom, and Kate explained what has happened to Clarice. Frank listened with a worried expression.

Frank: That’s terrible. You know, the humans think they know more than we do about what is best for our kittens. Let’s go see what we can do.

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To be continued…

(Ed. note – Cat Forum with Alberto from Feline Opines was supposed to run next week. However, Clarice’s story turned out to be longer than we expected. Not to worry. Alberto will get his full say in two weeks – August 19)

all pictures courtesy of Google Images

18

A Kitten of Great Price – Conclusion

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By archy cockroach and mehitabel cat, City Desk

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

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We saw a long building with three pens attached. In the first one, there were probably 8 adult cats, male and female. The second pen had pregnant females, and the third had nursing mothers with kittens. They had access to the building for shelter, but couldn’t roam free.

mehitabel immediately went up to the first pen and started talking to the cats. He noticed that they were all beautiful long-hairs. Strangely enough, the males all appeared to be Angora and the females were Himalayan. Five were female and three were male.

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mehitabel: We’re reporters from the Cheeseland News. We heard that humans were holding some cats captive out here against their will. Can you tell us what’s going on?

Tom 1: That’s right. They’re breeding us and then selling our kittens. These are lovely ladies and don’t deserve to be treated this way.

Female 1: Thank you Thomas. That’s very kind of you. But all of the adult cats were stolen from their homes and brought here, even the males.

mehitabel: How long as this been going on?

Female 2: Well, let’s see. The first batch of kittens were taken to be Christmas presents, they said. So that would be about six months.

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archy: That’s awful! Are they still stealing cats?

Female 2: No, we’re the last.

Tom 2: They said they were done after each of these ladies had two litters. They thought they’d have enough money by then.

Female 3: And they’re afraid of getting caught.

mehitabel: So each female is let go after having two litters?

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Female 1: They said they want a variety of kittens.

Tom 1: But not too varied. So everyone’s an Angora-Himalayan mix. They think the kittens look exotic enough to be sold as purebred.

mehitabel: So what happens after a female has two litters?

(The cats look at each other.)

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Tom 3: We don’t really know. They say the humans release them at the edge of the woods. Of course, none of them would ever come back here, so we don’t really know. You might want to talk to some of the females with kittens. They probably know more.

mehitabel: Thank you for your time. And try not to worry.

We continued to the next pen. There were three pregnant females in that one.

mehitabel: Hello ladies. We’re from the Cheeseland News and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on here. How long have you been captive?

Female 6: Almost three months. This is my second litter. They’re going to release me after my kittens are weaned.

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mehitabel: Do you know where they are going to release you?

(She motions with her head to the woods.)

mehitabel: Is that where you live?

Female 6: No. I have no idea how to get home from here. I hope someone in the woods can help me. Or maybe I can find some of the other cats from here. We’re all going to be out soon.

(She motioned to the others in her pen and the nursing mothers. Then she started to cry. mehitabel tried to comfort her before moving on to the final pen where two nursing mothers were laying. Once again he introduced us.)

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Mother 1: Can you help us? They’re going to take my babies away next week, and I’ll never see them again. And then they’re going to throw me in the woods. I’ll probably get eaten by something. I’ve never been in the woods before.

(She finally caught her breath. We looked at each other.)

Mehitabel: Ma’am, we’re on our way to do just that.

We ran to the house. Fortunately it was still night, and the men were asleep (very noisily.) Our luck held, and we found a computer. mehitabel quickly sent a message to George and Lenny (our editors). As quickly as possible given that he had to use two paws.

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We raced out of house to try and find our own way home.

 

Follow-Up

George immediately called the local police and told them what was going on with the cats. By morning, the police were at the farm with people from the local shelter. The men were arrested and are in jail. They have to pay back all the people they cheated when  they sold them mixed breed cats as purebred.

It turned out that the humans who had adopted the kittens had already fallen in love with them and had no interest in turning them over to shelters. The kittens were equally happy with their homes and wanted to stay. The humans know that they will be waiting a long time for their money, but are happy the scammers were caught.

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The shelter took in the pregnant females and nursing mothers to make sure everyone was healthy and safe. They weren’t sure what to do with the adults. No one knew how to get home. Finally the cats agreed to be matched with humans, but only if they had the right of refusal on the human.

The shelter wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find homes for 8 adult cats who were rather grumpy after being penned up. But they took pictures and put them on the website. Within a week, they all had forever homes. It turned out that they weren’t as difficult as they pretended once they were cuddled and petted.

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The humans never found the cats who had been released. But after a little digging, we discovered that they had formed their own family. They settled near a human artists’ colony where they could come and go as they pleased. They artists considered them furry muses. The cats considered the humans providers of treats and shelter when needed.

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(All pictures courtesy of Google Images)