There were a few seconds when I believed I might be hallucinating. Having arrived at Rosewood to clear brush and work the gardens for a week, I’d certainly seen the odd feral cat glide through the woods over the years. Yet I’d never known one to take up residence. So as I stood somewhat dehydrated in the blazing sun of 71-percent humidity and saw the world through sweat-clouded eyes, I briefly thought I was seeing a mirage as two kittens perched atop the rocks of the field stone fence.
Hovering near a den they’d found in a crevice, they were wary, underfed and far too young to be on their own. As they tended to head for the thickets when I initially moved close, I waited until they were comfortable enough to at least retreat into their den before drawing near to set out tuna, the only suitable food I had on hand. Feeding and monitoring them for a day, I began making calls to regional animal rescuers—and then a storm hit.
Rain poured down overnight and thunder ripped the skies. The next morning, the kittens were gone, and didn’t return. Dismayed, I thought the downpour had forced them to seek shelter elsewhere, and I worried about their safety. Yet days afterward, a friend suggested the kittens’ mother may have returned and they’d followed her away, and it made sense, as leaving the protection of the den in the dead of a stormy night hadn’t made any sense at all.
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