Getting Three Abandoned Kittens in a Box (the second installment in the triplets saga)

Jamie & The Two Black Cats
photo by Shannon

(Read first installment)

I headed back with the cat carrier, thinking I’d get behind that fridge, plop the timid triplets in and get them home. My sister Shannon offered to help and, as we walked, she told me about a dream she’d had that very morning – a dream about babies and a kitten in our home.

Another sign.

When we arrived, the landlady took us up to the apartment and we were thrilled to see all three cats in the living room. We entered quickly and closed the French doors, but not before the little grey darted out and disappeared. We decided to focus on the remaining two. The big question was: what would be better, a quick grab or a long coax?

Thinking tough love might get them home sooner, I grabbed the towel we’d brought along and tried to wrap one up quickly. I got a gash on the heel of my hand as a thank you.

Okay, slow and steady it is.

The landlady kindly bandaged my hand, telling use we could take our time in the apartment while she got back to work. Before she left, she called the former tenant and it turned out he was willing to come by and help capture the cats. We were relieved, though I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to meet the person who had left these kittens behind.

Two cats and two humans spent the next hour in a gentle stand-off, with Shannon and I taking turns looking for hidden away grey.

Abandoned Black Cat

The former tenant arrived with a friend. They were a bit rough and unsteady but they set to it. The tenant lumbered right in and grabbed the closest kitten. That little being fought with all his might but the man held firm. He pulled the writhing, scratching cat into his body and then pushed the little dervish into the waiting carrier. Onto the next, a repeat performance. After a fierce but quick fight Cat 2 was contained and the tenant had a deep and bloody reminder across his hand.

As he put the scratch under running water, the tenant told us the cats had never been anywhere but here, never been outside. He told us not to rely on the carrier door but to hold it firm with our hands too. He seemed to care about the cats though he was clearly unable to care for them.

The cats were bigger than expected and we thought better of adding a third to the carrier. We decided to take the two black cats home and come back with a second carrier while the men searched for the grey. When we returned, the landlady said the kitten had come out when the two men were alone in the apartment. They had managed to get the little boo in a box.

There at the top of the stairs in a fruit box, tucked under a shelf with a weight on it, was the third of the kittens. We put a blanket over the box and carried the last one home.

(Read what happened next)

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9 comments

  1. Suzie the Foodie says:

    Oh my goodness, the drama! And the injury, are you OK Jamie? I hope these cats aren’t too feral. I guess it’s good they haven’t been outside but my goodness. I’m glad the tenant came to help.

    • Jamie says:

      I’m okay. I was a bit worried but since we’ve had good news about their health, I’m not worried. We’re very concerned about their ability to be socialized and that’s one of the reasons that we’ll be taking this very slowly and being open to whatever it is that’s going to unfold.

  2. Susanne says:

    Oh my goodness, what sweeties! Every single cat I’ve had in my life — and I’ve had a few! — has come to me as a stray. At this age they’ll need a bit of work to get them fully socialized, but that’s the fun part: hours & hours of playing with string & balls & lots of cuddles & attention. Carry them around as much as you can (in a towel if they need the added sense of safety) to get them used to being handled & to help them identify you as their “mum”. A lot of people think you shouldn’t handle them or that you should let them hide until they get braver, but cats are very tactile, physical critters and, just like human babies, really need to be gently & lovingly touched & cuddled & handled to make them feel safe & confident, even the shy ones. Good luck & have fun! Kittens rock!

    • Jamie says:

      Thank you so much for the advice, Susanne. I very much appreciate your sharing your experience. We’ll be working on getting closer, working up towards touching and carrying. Right now they’re a bit wild for that but hopefully as they settle in a bit we’ll get there. It helps to know it’s okay to be assertive with the love :)

  3. Jamie says:

    These little kitties couldn’t have gone to a better home. I hope that you will be able to help them settle. I had a sweet little kitty that never really “warmed” up to being loved, she was a wild girl who I lovingly called the “attack cat”…but we figured out how to live with each other for fourteen years before she died…I still miss terribly. Good luck on your adventure.

    • Jamie says:

      Thank you so much, Jamie. It’s what we’re most concerned about, considering how their life has been so far. I’m trying to stay very present, be very loving and take each step as it comes.

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