One late spring day I was gardening in a corner of our large garden, when suddenly a tiny tabby kitten appeared. It had come through a gap in the hedge, then it disappeared into the wooden part of the garden. My husband and I had been feeding a feral cat.
The next day, I was working in the same part of the garden when a tiny white cat suddenly appeared then disappeared quickly. My husband started to put milk down for them in a small clearing, then food. Tilly, as we called her, started to come under the veranda to us when we sat there in the afternoons as summer came, so the kittens used to join their mom; so long as we didn’t attempt to touch them, they were happy to come close.
The summer progressed and we spent most of the time in the garden with a family of four kittens and their mom. As they grew, they started to explore. One day, sadly, the one tomcat went missing; he was later found dead on the very fast road past our house. It was strange and seemed to affect all the other kits and their mom.
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A few days later, one of the female kits was missing. Roy went looking for her and found her dead at the side of the road. We were heartbroken; we realized if we didn’t do something, the possibility of the other two being killed was very strong, too. We made the decision to bring them into the house. We already had a dear little cat, a tortoiseshell; how would she take it?
She reluctantly accepted them. Tilly had another litter the following spring in our utility room, a tabby and a white, both she cats. We have brought these in the house to live, too.
We managed to catch Tilly and have her spayed. Sadly, Tilly didn’t come into the utility one day for her food, all day she was missing. My husband went looking for her, he found her dead on the side of the lane. She had managed to miss being hit by cars for a good few years, she was probably five or six, but even she succumbed to the road in the end.
Our little tortie cat died just before last Christmas, aged fifteen. We still miss her badly, but we have our four little girls who keep us company and delight us with their characters and affection every day.
Story submitted by Susan Anne Booth from Elesmere, United Kingdom.
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