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Monday, June 1, 2015

Strange Fruit

I was walking along on my property, looking at wildflowers and trees and bushes, when suddenly I spotted something orange up in a small tree in the pasture.

Can you see what that is up in the little tree?

Was it a flower? Too large to be a flower. A fruit?

No. It was the kitten, and it was just sitting there looking at me. It did not make a sound. It did not move. It was just watching.

 I panicked, All this time, when I had been going on these long hikes by myself, taking pictures of wildflowers and rabbits, butterflies and bees,  I had been under the impression that I was alone. The kitten was safely hidden away in the barn, out of harm's way. It never showed up where I was. I thought it must sleep all day, coming alive only when I opened the barn door. But it had been spying on me, unobserved, all this time. I felt as if my privacy had been violated. The kitten knows my business!

"It's been watching me all along,"  I thought. "It's not blind at all, even though it could not even seem to find its way to the food bowl without trial and error." So I did the only thing I could. I pretended I had not seen it, and went back in the house. The kitten watched me silently from its perch.

 But thirty minutes later, I decided to come back to see if it was still there. And strangely enough, it still was!

When I approached this time, the kitten stopped pretending that it did not know me. It began to climb down from its high perch, meowing all the time in a helpless routine that seemed to say: "I can't get down, and I need your help."


It was making lots of progress on its own climbing down to the lower limbs of the tree.

 I did not want to touch it or encourage it to rely on me, so I went away again, thinking that by the time I came back to feed it in the evening, it would be waiting for me in the barn.

But when I returned in the evening with the canned dog food, the kitten was up in the tree, and it did not come down even though I laid out the food and water in the barn in the usual place. What if it really did not know its way down?

This called for drastic measures. I still did not want to touch the kitten. I am allergic to cats, and I have also heard that feral kittens can scratch or bite people trying to help them. So I brought a S'mores contraption from the front porch and offered the kitten a chance to climb down on that. However, that was not something the kitten was willing to do, so eventually I lifted it out of the tree by hand and placed it gently on the ground.

Even though I had never touched it before, the kitten neither scratched nor clawed me. I only had a few bumps on my arm afterwards as an allergic reaction. Still, I minimized contact as much as possible. It was the kitten who seemed to want to rub against my boots over and over again.

Once the kitten was down, it pranced around happily, and eventually followed me to the barn for its dog food. Going in through the front door was not its style, however. It came through another, more private entrance.


  1. That's amazing how friendly that kitten is with you, Aya. She has obviously decided to not bite the hand that feeds her. Very smart kitten!

    1. Yes, Kathy, very smart kitten! I have a feeling it knows a lot more about everything that is going on everywhere on my property than I do. I keep catching glimpses of things on the periphery of my vision as I walk around, but I now realize that I am missing about 90% of what is going on all around me.

  2. I love how friendly this kitten is. I would love for this kitten to come live with Irina, but wish I lived closer to you so I could come and get him.

    1. Julia,you are certainly welcome to come visit sometime. Can you tell whether it is a he or a she from what you saw of it?