Oh Kid, Don’t Ever Go.

I sit on the steps trying to persuade a kitten to live with me. She asks about her pine cone and I say she can play with a house full of toys but if she wants a pine cone she can have that too. She asks about her friend. Her friend is an older kitten who untied my shoe. I say I love her and she can come too. The kitte asks about her mama and uncle papa. The older white cat we think is her father says to go already so he can get some rest. The mother cat hits him and he tells her to go with the kittens.

I drew this three weeks ago, and it seemed very funny to me at the time. Uncle Papa cat basically has enough of the other cats running around him when he’s trying to eat, and it’s adorable how he’d very gently move the little ones aside, and how they’d bounce right back up the stairs and eat with him.

The day I finished coloring this strip I took The Puppy for walkies, promising to feed the porch cats when we got back. My little orange friend was sitting between her parents, or her mom and babysitter anyway. I waved to them and she bounced down the stairs, sitting under my car, waiting for me.

I didn’t see her again for a week.

I did not deal with that very well, and neither did her mom. She sat on our porch for two hours the first night, thinking I’d brought her into the house like I keep saying I want to but don’t because I know her mom is very protective. We heard her meowing and I traced it to a neighbor’s yard. (Sorry, neighbors, I was the creepy figure with the light poking around your rock pile on the 14th.) The mom cat followed me, and she took off toward the meowing, and I hoped (and still hope) they were reunited.

After a week of going through every stage of grief even in my sleep, The Puppy and I were on walkies and I saw my sunshine tiger poking around near the house where her older siblings go for noms. I called her name and she looked at me and I told her to get back up the hill because her mom missed her and I got to tell her I love her. The sun came out and birds started singing again and as much as it hurts that I don’t get to pet her every day, she’s alive and that’s so much better than what I feared for a week.

I am so sorry to bring you all down with this. Sorrier still that it happened. I love her, and someday (maybe even by the time you’re reading this) if she ever wanders back to my porch, the fairytale will get its happy ending.

If I had that time machine built, I’d grab Mommy and Uncle Papa in the summer so the kittens would’ve been born in my closet and they’d grow up spoiled princesses.

A ginger kitten kips up the stairs away from her watchful tortoise shell mom.A tortoise shell mommy cat protects her orange baby. The sweetest white-grey tabby Papa cat and his orange baby. Sweet sunshine baby orange tabby kitten with her sister hiding in a hedge.

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