On one of our morning walks a couple of Sundays ago, as Layla was approaching one of the culverts that run all through our neighborhood, I swore I could hear the high pitched, scared out of its mind meow of a little kitten.
We stopped and listened.
Layla heard it too.
I began calling, "Little Kitty, Little Kitty, Where are you?"
Each time I would call, the kitten would answer me back.
Layla and I could hear the kitten but we could not see him and could not be sure of where the cries were coming from.
"Where are you Little One?"
"Tell me where you are."
I crawled down into the ditch (yes I did) with confused but excited Layla by my side (she must have been thinking we were on a treasure hunt!)
I continued to talk to the kitten and narrowed down which culvert he was hiding in...unfortunately it was a long culvert with no end in sight so I couldn't see anything but pitch black.
As Layla became more and more excited, I realized how silly it was for me to be calling the little kitten while holding a German Shepherd...doh!
Layla and I went home, I told my daughters about the kitten, we went to church and stopped by the culvert on the way back home.
I didn't think about it again.
The next morning was Memorial Day and Layla and I were in the backyard. I was sitting in the swing watching her eat sticks when I heard that same little scared "Meow!"
The culvert where we had first heard the kitten is down two streets from my house so surely it couldn't be...I followed the sound, again talking to the kitten as I walked.
I left Layla in the fence and realized that the kitten was under my middle daughter's car.
Layla began to bark bc she didn't understand why I was outside the fence and she was inside so I decided to enlist my daughter for help.
"Whitney," I said to my still sleeping 17 year old.
"Whitney, I need your help."
"Mama, do you even know what time it is?" she groaned.
"Whit, I think there's a kitten under your car!"
Huh? What? Where?
She was awake then.
My girls are a lot like me when it comes to animals that need saving ;)
As she began to look under her car and talk to the little kitten (who all the while is still talking back to us), we became afraid that the kitten was somehow in the engine of the car.
Until Whitney said, "Mama, here he is...awww little one, come here."
Thankfully, Little Thomas O'Malley was sitting on top of my middle daughter's tire.
He was absolutely frightened to death, crying and even shaking. For the record, I've had cats all my life and I've never seen one shake.
He was petrified.
Now, I'm making a huge leap here in assuming that the kitten on Whitney's tire was the same kitten in the culvert...but if he was desperate, and I think he was, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that he followed our scent up the street to our house...probably even traveled through the culverts.
We wrapped him up to keep him warm in case the shakes were the beginning of shock and held him close to our bodies.
He immediately began to purr...sounded like a helicopter...I'm not kidding at all.
As soon as we were sure he was ok, my youngest claimed him.
Then, the oldest and middle daughters started fighting and fussing over who should get to keep the kitten, assuming that there was no way the 7 year old was going to keep the kitten.
"You already have a cat!"
"And, you have a dog!"
"So, you don't need another animal!"
"Just because I have a dog doesn't mean I shouldn't get to have another cat!!"
"Yes it does!! You're leaving in a couple of months anyway...you can't take the kitten to the dorm!"
"He can be my cat and still live here! What's wrong with that??"
There's plenty wrong with that...I'LL end up taking care of YOUR cat...and I'M not taking care of YOUR cat!!"
By this time they were screaming at each other and my youngest was crying.
How in the world my husband slept through all of that I don't know.
I told the big girls to HUSH!
The Firstborn is leaving in a couple of months and the middle daughter will follow in a year.
My youngest has never had an animal of her own so if ANYBODY got to keep the kitten, I was determined for it to be her.
I told her I couldn't make her any promises, but I would talk it over with Daddy.
My youngest has been in and out of her own bed for 7 years...mostly out...every time I've managed to get her out of our bed, something happens and she's right back in bed with us.
I told Reagan that I already have a cat; Thomas O'Malley cannot sleep with me...I don't want Uh-Oh any more upset than he's gonna be when he sees this new kitten. Beneigt usually sleeps with Whitney and I don't want him upset either.
If Daddy says the kitten can stay, after a clean bill of health from the vet, he must stay with HER and in HER bed at night.
She didn't even hesitate.
I honestly did not believe her.
Neither did my husband.
I guess they showed us :)
Like his namesake, Thomas O'Malley is a scrapper. He stands up to face even Layla and will give her a 1, 2 punch in the nose if she gets too close. The vet even said that while Thomas O'Malley stayed with them for his check-up, he was hissing and spitting at everybody :)
Uh-Oh and Beneigt weren't sure at first, but once they realized the feisty little kid wasn't gonna get in their way, they were fine with Thomas O'Malley moving in.
Even the Head of My Household is ok with Thomas O'Malley...he's like a hero...finally got the youngest out of our bed and all that ;)
Abraham De Lacey
O'Malley the alley cat.
Abraham De Lacey
O'Malley the alley cat.