That Stormy Night

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Lightning lit up the darkness, a mother cat carrying her baby in her jaws scurried across the wet road. Once she made it to the other side she had to put the baby down. The kitten cried when her paws touched the wet grass. The mother cat was exhausted. They were homeless after the gush of rain washed out their only home. There was no safe place to go and she had her baby to care for. She could out run a dog if she had to, but her baby was to small and helpless to escape a dog. She had to think of something to do fast. The rain poured down once again. The kitten cried louder. The mother cat carefully picked the kitten up and ran to shelter under some thick bushes nearby.
It was the month of May and the first thunderstorm of the season. Debbie heard it start early in the morning. After dosing back to sleep she was awaken again by the sound of a kitten’s cry for help. Debbie had two hours before she had to be up for work but, being the crazy cat lover that she was, there was no way possible she would be able to fall asleep knowing there was a kitten in distress.
Her husband, Rick, had already left for work and the storm had just recently passed through. Everything was wet when she stepped outside, still in her pajamas. It was dark. She waited and listened—sure enough there it was a kitten was in trouble—somewhere.
Debbie followed the cry only to find out this kitten was across the street under some bushes in front of a porch to a small house. She couldn’t see anything in the dark so she decided to go back and get a flashlight, change into sweatpants and put on some shoes.
On her way out again she noticed a cat running back and forth across the street. This could only be the mother cat. She was light grey in color with four white feet. She looked troubled and was moving quickly. Debbie believed the mother cat was trying to get the kitten to follow her but the kitten stayed in the bushes and cried. Debbie crossed the street.
The kitten was as quiet as a mouse as she began the search. Debbie noticed the mother cat was close by watching her every move. She parted the bushes and moved them back and forth. Some bushes were tall and so her thoughts were maybe this kitten climbed one. She parted one of the tall bushes and looked through with the flash light.
Right away she was face to face with mother cat. The cat was on the opposite side of the bush up on the porch looking through directly at her. The mother cat looked at her with an expression no words could describe. Debbie instantly felt something most people would call a gut feeling. It was almost as if those green eyes were telling her something.
After crawling around the ground and more separating branches Debbie noticed the mother cat was gone. She listened for the kitten. Not a peep was heard. Debbie figured maybe the mother cat was able to get the kitten and took off. Time was running out, it was time to give up the search.
Debbie made it back to the house and got ready for work and left feeling a bit disappointed that she wasn’t able to get a look at the kitten. She told all her co-workers about her early morning adventure and when she got home she told her husband. Rick said the storm probably washed their shelter away and left them homeless.
Debbie didn’t hear the kitten or see the mother. To her this meant they were probably together somewhere safe in another shelter. Debbie already had four cats of her own. Rick had told her time after time they had too many cats but as long as Debbie took care of them, things were under control. Introducing another cat to the household was not what she really wanted to do.
Debbie was planning on getting to bed early. This morning’s adventure was a little stressful and the loss of sleep didn’t help. It was about eight in the evening, just starting to get dark when, to her dismay, she heard the kitten’s cry again. Debbie looked at Rick and said, “Oh no, not again...”
They both stepped outside and listened. The cry was coming from across the street again. Rick shook his head. Debbie knew what he was thinking. He disapproved the idea of searching for the kitten. She felt somewhat helpless and dismayed. She didn’t feel she had much choice other than to just turn around and walk back into the house.
That night the storms came back. Debbie and Rick lay in bed listening to the kitten cry and the rain coming down. It didn’t matter how tired Debbie was, she couldn’t fall asleep. The sound of the kitten was ripping her heart apart.
It was twelve o’ clock when Debbie finally sat up in bed and told Rick she couldn’t take it anymore. She got up, put on a jacket, grabbed up her female cat, Narnia, put the leash on her and went outside. She had a plan and was determined to make it work. Narnia had once adopted a litter of kittens in the past. She became their stepmother, so to say. Narnia was her only hope.
It was drizzling out. Narnia didn’t like it one bit and she let Debbie know by yowling. Debbie walked up the side walk for about a half a block then crossed and began to walk back. She listened for the kitten and it wasn’t long at all before its desperate cries rang out. Narnia stopped yowling to look around for this desperate kitten as Debbie walked closer and waited quietly.
The kitten cried again, this was Debbie’s chance. She set Narnia down. Her plan just had to work. She held her breath and waited and the kitten called out again. This time Narnia went into step mother mode and called back in her most motherly meow ever. The kitten heard Narnia and meowed back, and Debbie’s heart skipped a beat when out from underneath a car the little kitten came running towards them.
Debbie wanted to cry for joy. This little kitten was so precious. It was all black with four white paws, wet but alive. Debbie knelt down so not to scare it. When the kitten got close enough she reached out and grabbed it. The kitten spat and scratched and bit but Debbie hung on. She tucked it under her jacket and the kitten stopped struggling. Through this whole ordeal Debbie never saw any signs of the mother cat.
She was so thankful. Finally this was over. The kitten’s okay. She picked up Narnia and walked back home all the way thanking God as the kitten growled from under her jacket. Debbie felt good for the first time in a long time. It didn’t matter that she was adding another cat to the cat clan, or that her husband was going to hit the roof. The kitten was safe and she felt a rush of relief.
From under a nearby bush she watched. Two green eyes slowly closed then opened again. The mother cat didn’t move until she saw the human with her baby step inside the house. She slowly stepped out from under the bush and took a deep breath. She watched the house for a moment with sad but thankful eyes. It had to be done. Her baby will be okay now. Lightning struck again, lighting up the sky. Before the thunder rolled the mother cat moved on.
Debbie named the kitten Figgy. It didn’t take Figgy long at all to adjust to life in a house. The other cats got to know her one by one. Rick gave in and accepted the kitten also. When Debbie looks back on that night she still can’t believe she had the courage to go out and do what she thought was right. She knew they had four cats already. She knew it was storming out, and walking out into the cold wet rain carrying an unhappy cat wasn’t going to be easy. It was Debbie’s courage and love for animals that saved a little helpless kitten on that stormy night.
Courage can also be awarded to the kitten’s mother. With no safe place for her and her baby she had to make the hardest decision ever, and that was to give up her baby. She knew by seeing other cats through the windows that humans take good care of cats. She also knew if she was to keep her baby she would be taking a risk of exposing a helpless kitten to all the danger a feral cat can encounter. It was unconditional love that gave her the courage on that stormy night.


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