Two little kittens looking for a home

Published 7:13 pm Monday, October 26, 2015

“Three little kittens, lost their mittens, and they began to cry” as the old nursery rhyme goes. This is about two little kittens, and they didn’t lose their mittens. It seems they lost a place to live.

One day as I was on my daily walk with a friend through Brookwood Park, two kittens came scampering up the walk, a little tiger and a black kitten. I bent down to  give them a few pats and see if they would run away. They proved to be friendly and I started looking around for a possible owner. With no one in sight, my friend smiled and remarked, “I think you just adopted two kittens.”

“Oh no,” I shook my head and answered. “I have a cat and she doesn’t want company.”  We proceeded down the path and headed home.  Of course, being a cat lover, the thought of these innocent little animals stayed with me during the cold temperatures of the night. The next morning I headed out to see if they were still wandering around the park. “Maybe they lived close by and went home. Or maybe someone picked them up,” I said, hopefully, to my husband.

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We walked along the park trail, keeping a lookout. No kittens. Then as we turned to amble back across the bridge, two little heads peeked up from under the wood slats. What else could we do but go fetch two cat carriers from our basement, a bowl and some cat food, and make a plan to capture them? It didn’t take much. They were hungry and a bowl of food brought them running.  We let them eat, quickly grabbed them up, and dropped them in the carriers with some extra food.

“Now what?” we both asked each other. Recently I had heard that Foothills Animal Shelter was overcrowded and limiting drop offs to animals from Polk County. We were going to have to do some investigating to discover resources for Spartanburg County. Back home we opened the carriers in the garage, letting the kittens roam around. We put out a food dish, water and litter and decided to let them spend the night. They quickly disappeared into the safety of well-hidden, cavernous spaces.

It was time to make some phone calls. After several calls that led us from one facility to another, we discovered that Spartanburg Animal Control would come and pick them up and deliver them to the Greenville Animal Care. “We’ll be there tomorrow morning,” they assured us. And, sure enough, the next morning the truck pulled up.

By now the kittens had names — the tiger we called Thomas, and the black cat was Smoky. We were beginning to take some ownership.  When animal control unloaded two very small cat carriers, I began to realize they would be carted around in these uncomfortable looking cages all day with who knows what other animals loaded in the van. I shook my head. “No, we’ll take them to Greenville ourselves,” I told the driver.

After a phone call to the shelter for directions and times, plus an assurance they could take the kittens, we headed off to Greenville, arriving early. We unloaded the carriers with Thomas and Smoky and watched for the doors to open.

As we waited, an elderly woman approached with a carrier filled with six tiny kittens. “Nine weeks old,” she told us. “My son was very ill. He had a stray cat and she turned out to be pregnant. He passed away before these were born.” Sadly, she added, “I’ve had the mother spayed and I will keep her as a connection to my son. I’m hoping these little ones find homes.” After expressing our condolences, we admired the different colors, two orange kittens and a Siamese among the six.

Suddenly commotion broke out as a kitten from another carrier escaped. Everyone scrambled to catch it, cornering it by a wall, only to discover the door to the carrier had opened and another kitten was running free. He too was captured and it was time for the shelter to unlock the entrance.

We filled out the paperwork and handed over the two little kittens. But not before we made sure the receptionist knew we didn’t want them euthanized. If not adopted, the shelter will call us, and Thomas and Smoky will come back home.

And here’s some information in case you live in Spartanburg or Greenville County and need to take an animal to a shelter. Greenville Animal Care is located at 328C, Furman Hall Rd., Greenville S.C. and they can be reached at 864-467-3950.