Friday, April 20, 2007

The kitten.

The day before yesterday, when I came back from gym, I was informed by my mother that a cute little kitten had been discovered meowing incessantly in our backyard, and that my father had already given it some water to drink. I couldn't help but feel enthralled. I rushed to the spot only to find the ground devoid of anything remotely kitten-ish. No kitten was to be seen, or heard of. Appearances suggested that the kitten's mother had decided to take it back to where the rest of the family were holed up. I was disappointed and spent the next few minutes making sounds that the kitten might respond to. But no such luck befell me. I returned back inside.

After about 10 minutes, my father called out and informed me of the kitten that was yet again visible in the backyard and making sounds. But these sounds were far from the cute "meow!" I might come across while reading comics or perhaps while watching an animal movie. Furthermore, the kitten itself looked nothing like the kind you may have seen in Shrek 2. It was hardly a week old, and hardly bigger than the palm of my hand. Its body was hairless and its eyes yet to open. It was flopped helplessly onto its side, perhaps because its legs weren't yet strong enough to hold it straight. For a few minutes, I squatted near it and watched with interest, unable to decide what course of action should be taken.

Finally, fearing that someone might step on it accidentally, I decided to move it away from its present spot. I quickly ran inside and asked my mother for a "spare cloth", which she reluctantly handed over after knowing my intentions. I ran back outside, nimbly picked the kitten up with that cloth, and transferred her to a much safer spot. Wondering how one would nurture such a young kitten that's been abandoned by its mother, I decided to look it up on the internet and found some useful information. I immediately understood why the kitten had been making sounds incessantly: it was because it was cold, by the virtue of the thin layer of water that it had been lying in. The guide suggested that I move the kitten to a dry and warmer place, preferably place it on dry cloth and place another cloth on top of it. I ran back to my mother and asked for another "spare cloth". Not too keen to have any of her cloth - spare or otherwise - be used to grasp a stray, dirty animal, she very reluctantly searched around for some old pieces of cloth. Eventually, she dug out a piece of an old curtain. I ran back outside, folded the curtain to make a considerably thick layer and placed it in a safe corner. I went to where I had placed the kitten, only to find that it had crawled sideways to a corner, perhaps in the search of a warmer spot. I gently picked it up and took it to the safe spot. I placed the other cloth on top of it and stood back. The kitten immediately stopped making uncomfortable sounds. It seemed much more comfortable now. In a few minutes, it went to sleep.

-| AG.


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