Milk and kibbles for a fluffy feline

A little ginger kitty-cat comes to visit our garden

A little ginger kitty-cat comes to visit our garden

A couple of days ago, I was standing at the kitchen sink, absent-mindedly washing the dishes and gazing out at the front garden, when I glimpsed a movement near the rickety old garden bench under the frangipani tree.

Was that a cat sitting on our bench?

Yes, indeed. It was a tiny little ginger cat. It looked like it was just a couple of months old, and rather too young to be roaming around the neighbourhood on its own. Its eyes were blissfully closed, as it contentedly absorbed the warmth of the mid-morning sun. It looked so cute, that I didn’t want to disturb it, so I continued with my household chores.

A couple of hours later, I peeped through the kitchen window again, but it had disappeared off the bench, which was now in the shadow of the house. Figuring that it had left, I went into the front garden to water the new flowering plants that we’ve put in; with the hot weather and the incessant wind, the soil tends to dry out very quickly and so the new plants need a bit of extra TLC.

Big round eyes are watching my every movement

Big round eyes are watching my every movement

Unrolling and tugging the hosepipe across the lawn to reach the flowerbeds, I thought I saw something between the large sword-shaped leaves of the agapanthus, which surround the base of the frangipani tree.

A startled pair of eyes peered out from between the leaves at me; the little ginger kitty-cat was clearly terrified of being discovered. Humming and talking very softly and gently, I pretended to ignore it, and began to water the flowers… all the while keeping one eye on the aggies. Ever so often, I could see a pair of big eyes watching me closely.

Once the flower beds had been sufficiently soaked, I carefully rolled up the hosepipe again, moving deliberately slowly and calmly, so as not to terrify our feline visitor any further. Filling the large plastic watering can made such a racket, however, that I must have chased the little one away, because I couldn’t see it anymore when I walked past the aggies with the red watering can.

A very nervous little kitty-cat it is...

A very nervous little kitty-cat it is…

Disappointed, I began to water the marigolds on the edge of the driveway – they are too far away to reach with the hosepipe, so they have to be watered with the watering can.

Oh! The little cat was hiding behind the large wheelie-bin in the corner next to the marigolds!

When I inadvertently got too close, it raced back across the driveway and hid among the aggies once more. Oh dear… It obviously didn’t want to be friends.

Shortly afterwards, Hubbs came home from work, and I told him about the little ginger kitty-cat hiding in our aggies. We could see its big pointy ears, and its big round eyes, and its twitching whiskers.

“I wonder whose it is? Perhaps our neighbours have adopted another cat for Christmas?”

Oooh, someone likes their milk!

Oooh, someone likes their milk!

We called our friendly neighbours; no, they hadn’t adopted a new cat, but M came over immediately to have a look in case he happened to know where it came from. The three of us stood at the edge of the garden, looking at the little ginger kitty-cat, which was looking straight back at us, still hiding among the aggies.

“I wonder if it’s hungry. Shall I give it some milk?”

I approached very cautiously, gently placed a shallow pudding bowl with some milk on the grass next to the bench, and retreated to the edge of the garden. Kitty-cat emerged from the aggies, sniffing cautiously at the milk, and then proceeded to lick that bowl so clean that not even the tiniest driplet of milk remained.

“I think it must be hungry. I’ll give it some of Tuffy’s kibbles.”

Yumm, those are nice and crunchy kibbles!

Yumm, those are nice and crunchy kibbles!

Kitty-cat polished those off too. And it lapped up a bit of water from a second bowl, before scampering back into the aggies.

By now it was getting dark, so M returned next door, we prepared our supper, and left another small bowl of kibbles for our adorable little visitor. A late night foray into the garden by torchlight to check up on the little ginger kitty-cat left us uncertain as to whether it had left or whether it was still in hiding.

The next morning, I awoke to the sound of the irrigation system spraying the front garden – oh no! The cat!

It was gone. And we haven’t seen it since. I wonder whether it has returned to its home, or whether it is still roaming the neighbourhood, looking for a new place to stay?

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14 thoughts on “Milk and kibbles for a fluffy feline

    • Yeah, Sybil, I know it needs a home… but our Tuffy-Cat isn’t going to look too kindly on an interloper. She may well leave us, because she feels unwanted and unloved, though she’s not, of course! I suspect that ginger kitty actually *does* have a home somewhere, but wandered off to explore other options, like cats sometimes do.

  1. This was so suspenseful. I couldn’t wait to read to the end to find out what happens to that tiny little ginger. You are a stronger woman than me, I have no willpower around kittens. I can’t even go to the pet store when they have rescue groups there doing adoptions because I’m afraid I’ll come home with a kitten in my purse.

    I hope your little friend finds a loving home soon.

    • Oh, believe me, if that adorable little kitty-cat had allowed itself to be picked up and stroked, I would’ve found it hard to let it go again. But I knew that Tuffy would be very unhappy to have another cat moving into her territory, and she, as our senior lady, has to get priority. I’ve been keeping my eyes open on our neighbourhood walks, hoping I’d spot it in some garden, but, so far, no luck. So I don’t yet know what has happened to it.

  2. I’m glad the little one liked the food you set out for it πŸ™‚ When we found abandoned kittens at work we fed it Marie biscuits soaked in milky rooibos tea. Same thing I fed my cat as a kitten the first few days after I got her – she didn’t want to drink milk and still has no liking for it.
    I can understand why you couldn’t take the little explorer in yourself – I’m in the same position with my cat. It actually happened once when I temporarily took in a little stray that my cat didn’t want to come home. I’m not doing that to her again, but IF one day she decides to invite a little explorer home to take shelter with us I won’t be opposed πŸ˜‰

    Did Tuffy notice your visitor?

    • Hello Riekie – I have missed seeing you in cyberspace! Hope you are well and blogging again?

      What an interesting story about your cat; it confirms what I’ve heard from other people about cats (usually) not taking kindly to the arrival of another cat in their domain. Like you, I will leave it up to Tuffy-Cat to decide when she wants to ‘bring in’ another cat for us to adopt.

      As to whether she actually noticed the little ginger cat, you know, I’m not quite sure; Tuffy is usually in the backgarden, but when we were putting milk and kibbles out for the ginger kitty, she came to have a sniff around. At the time, the kitty was hiding quietly and motionlessly in the aggies, so I’m really uncertain whether Tuffy spotted her. I guess if she had, she might have ‘bushed up’, like she usually does when there’s another cat on her property?

  3. She was sweet. Certainly not the wild type of cat one would expect to find in Africa. I love the photo of her peering out of the greenery. No, I don’t imagine Tuffy would be impressed. We once added a kitten to our home and our older cat never took a liking to her. Even years later, there was always tension in the room when they were both present.

    • Hello Amy – although ginger kitty *was* very nervous of us, I also don’t think she was a *wild* or feral cat. How interesting to hear that your older cat also didn’t make friends with the young one, even after years… I would’ve thought they’d become friends, or at least relax around each other? So I think we shall spare Tuffy that stress!

      • Reggie, we should have known from our older cat’s temperament that she wouldn’t be happy to share her space with another. She was SO territorial. The younger cat so much wanted to have a closer relationship with her but it was never to be.

      • Ahh, I understand, that must’ve been a minefield of emotions – perhaps your older cat was feeling rejected, unwanted, replaced, dispensable, and thus resentful and protective… oh dear…

    • We haven’t seen her (him? I suspect it may be a little tom-cat) again – perhaps s/he returned home? I hope s/he did. I also love that photo with the sun backlighting the cat – so adorable!

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