Humans are of little interest to a pair of 4 week old kittens. A single kitten will cling to whoever is in her world but a pair will ignore you until dinnertime. When Charcoal and Glitch (named by the shelter) arrived at my house they wanted nothing to do with me. I had been on my way to the mall, to spend money that I may or may not have actually had, when my phone rang. The shelter needed someone to take 2 kittens that were found on the streets of Wilmington. I turned the car around and jumped head first into my new adventure. I couldn’t have been happier to have these 2 adorable kittens coming to my house. They felt differently.
Once home I tried to coax them out of the travel crate. I was rewarded with a teeny tiny claw stuck in my hand. Note to self, nail trimming tomorrow. I returned to my extraction efforts with a towel, wrapped them up and removed them from the crate. Tiny teeth and tiny claws thrashed. Hisses that were too big for their little mouthes filled the air. With the skill of a pair of practiced contortionists they wriggled free and quickly took refuge under the couch. My own cats were starting to take interest in the noise. I shut the door leaving me and the kittens alone.
I decided to create a make shift cage from a modular mesh shelf I wasn’t using. It seemed like a good way to keep them contained. After all, I couldn’t really care for them if they were going to hide under the couch all day. The shelf/cage consisted of 1 foot coated wire panels that could be configured in multiple ways using plastic connectors. It was meant to hold books, DVDs etc. No where in the instruction manual did it suggest containing animals. I, however was the mother of a preteen boy with extensive experience in building with Legos, Tinker Toys and Erector Sets. I got this.
Several hours passed. I configured and reconfigured until I had a 2 foot tall, 3 foot wide, 4 foot long corral. Plenty of room for a bed, litter box, food and water bowls and tons of new toys I had picked up on the way to the shelter. The kittens had not left their hiding spot under the couch. Eventually hunger got the better of them and when they heard the distinct sound of a can of cat food opening, they stuck their noses out to investigate. I swooped down with the towel on Charcoal, the black and white female. She struggled a little as I placed her into her new home. Glitch, the male brown tabby, shot back under the couch, out of my reach. I leaned down and tried to get a view of him back against the wall. I laid on the floor, stretched my arm as far as I could but I was still a good 4 inches from reaching him.
“Come on Glitch.” He stared. “Are you hungry?”
“YOWOWOWOWOW” Charcoal howled behind me.I jumped, or would have if half of my body wasn’t wedged under the couch. “YOWOWOWOWOW!” Glitch darted past me as another howl filled the air. I tried to reach out for him but by this time I was clearly stuck. Behind me I heard him pounce on the makeshift cage and panels came crashing down. Both kittens rushed back under the couch and there they stayed. I sighed, stacked up the mesh panel shelf cage abomination, walked out of the room and shut the door, regretting I had ever agreed to fostering kittens.