Let me tell you about our day yesterday.
We started the day normally. For us, in this season, that means our kids wander downstairs sometime between 6:45 am and 8:45 am. They have free time until 9 am, at which point we tend to get rolling with whatever is planned for our day.
Yesterday our day involved working on math. All of the kids did some form of schoolwork – we have been using electronic assistance for some of our school. The younger kiddos did their Reading Eggs and Math Seeds, while my olders worked on Teaching Textbooks and CTC Math programs.
Our friends came over around 10:00 with their own sets of school work. We’ve found that doing schoolwork together works really well for us and studies that would make our children cry on a solo basis are a fun treat within community.
Everyone was working and there was a nice buzz of industry in the air… until there wasn’t. One kiddo was completely fed up with her math program and ready to cry.
“Go take a walk out to the goat pen,” I suggested. “It will help clear your mind and give you a break. I bet when you come back you’ll be ready to approach that math problem.”
She agreed. Out the door she went. Moments later, the door flew back open.
“I SAW KITTENS!!!!! I SAW KITTENS!!!!!!”
It was as if a bomb had exploded. Like a clown car, children poured out of the house and into the yard, focussing their efforts on the storage garage.
There were, indeed, kittens. The exact number ranges from three to seven. Our reporters were excited so their counting skills were compromised.
We knew we have stray cats wandering around our place. I have an intense dislike of cats, founded by being terribly allergic to them and also having an outside cat growing up that, instead of just walking away when it was done being scratched, would go ahead and try to rip your hand off for daring to connect.
In my opinion, cats are like mothballs in a closet – they serve a purpose but they are wholly disagreeable.
So we leave the stray cats alone and they leave us alone. I like to believe that the mouse population is impacted by their presence but I have no contractual relationship with said stray cats.
This causes the children MUCH angst. They want a cat more than anything. They know that I DO NOT want a cat more than anything.
Years ago, one of them said, “Mommy, when you die, I’m getting a cat.” She didn’t sound sad about that at all. Downright anticipatory in tone, in fact.
So, last spring we found a litter of three kittens in the woodpile. They were extremely cute and I was extremely clear that we would not take them in to tame them.
We left them alone and their mama moved them within hours, never to be seen again.
The children grieved.
Over the last year, as the kids have continued to bemoan the loss of the woodpile kittens and I run across the photo of their cuteness… Well, I have occasionally, in the most mild form, regretted my decision not to keep just one kitten.
Yesterday was my mulligan.
When the report came back that the kittens had been spotted, we all buckled down, set the math problems aside, and commenced practical application of sleuthing.
We spent three hours searching for kittens, practicing our sneaking and snatching skills. We moved the various items in the garage/storage shed.
We traced the paw prints in the dust to track them to their lair.
I personally nabbed one that was curled up into a ball beside the refrigerator.
It is quite cute.
In the end, after much effort, we are now the possessors of two feral kittens, approximately 6-7 weeks of age. The cat lady I know (Yep, I know cat ladies and goat ladies and chicken ladies, etc., I’m quite well connected with the livestock ladies around) allowed me to send her photos of the kitten’s junk and pronounced that they are very fluffy, domestic shorthair kittens, blue in color, and likely both male.
Due to the in depth searching high and low, they are named Marco and Polo.
I made them crochet collars so we can tell them apart.
Marco hisses at us before settling down into snuggly scratches. Polo is just scared for his life.
We finished our day with group lessons of Song School Latin, completed with kittens nestled into laps.
This is our every day life, folks. Non-stop fun and excitement.
The current Kitten Plan is to take the weeks needed to indoctrinate them into my mouse-demolishing strategy, then turn them loose in the animal area.
We will bribe them to stay nearby with goat’s milk, win them over with our charming personalities and opposable thumbs which make ear scratches so possible.
We are praying they are young enough that they haven’t developed their allergy-inducing capabilities, but the Cat Lady also told us we can bathe them to reduce allergins.
That sounds like FUN.
When the man of the house came home last night and I told him we’d covered the subjects of math, Latin and trapping, he just looked at me quietly for awhile.
“What have you done?” he finally asked me.
“No regrets,” I whispered to him passionately as I handed him a can of Fancy Feast.