When I was around 9 years old there was a black stray cat my mother was feeding she called Spooky because she was all black and always acted spooked when we moved too fast.

When I was playing in the yard I sometimes saw her tiptoeing around. My father had a small car called a Sprite he had stored in the garage that had a top that you would unbutton to make it a convertible. 

I noticed Spooky going into the garage a lot so I followed her and saw her slipping under the material of the car's roof that had become unbuttoned so I climbed in the car to have a look. I reached in the back and lo and behold I pulled out a baby kitten!

So started the Spooky saga in our home.  After a full search my mother found 4 kittens in there and in the house they came with Spooky who calmed down after the initial upset. My mother has had many kittens come though her life so she knew the drill.

The kittens were just old enough to start learning to eat solid food so we showed them some wet food and they figured out what to do. Some actually stood in the middle of the bowl while they ate - food ended up everywhere - kitty footprints all over the place but everyone was happy - except apparently Spooky. Her maternal instincts kicked in. These little babies had it too easy. Her kittens were supposed to learn to eat fresh wild meat, not this pre done cat chow. She would show them what was what! 

In came the first dead squirrel. She presented it to the kittens who only sniffed it. My mother was horrified so she carefully grabbed the squirrel by the tail and dropped it out the bathroom window where there was a big patch of brush. It was very early in the year so anything outside would freeze and on trash day we were going to get it and put it in the rubbish.

In came another squirrel; out it went the same way. Again she brought another squirrel - this one headless, out it went. This went on for a week or so. Suddenly the squirrels started looking familiar. There was the headless one; the fat one and the skinny tailed one. Apparently Spooky was into recycling and she just kept retrieving the ones being tossed out.

We tried putting them out in the trash bin and putting the lid on. Spooky broke in and in came the defrosting skinny tailed one. We buried the squirrels but in came the really dirty and frosty headless one. The battle raged on and on.  We would find them hidden in corners and under the flaps of the footstool. Finally my Dad took them to the dump. That ended the war. I guess she had filled her quota and done her motherly duty. Plus the kittens and Spooky, for that matter, preferred the easy canned meals that came every day.

We named the kittens - Fingers (double pawed calico girl), Fluffy (black and white - only male), Mouse  (Gray and white girl), and Plain Pudding (poor runt of the litter grey tiger girl).  We would have kept one or all but our resident cat Morris - a big yellow tomcat was greatly offended by the little creatures and pushy female that were in his home. He would only visit for a few minutes and race out of the house when he saw the interlopers. He moved in with the neighbours for the duration of Spooky's stay and when they moved out he gratefully reclaimed his rightful place. After advertising and checking out the people who responded, all the kittens and Spooky, found really good homes. It was a happy ending for everyone!

By Amiee Amaral, Taunton, Massachusetts


A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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