Saturday, July 9, 2011
It is a tradition in our family. When our Dad was young, he had a black cat named Snow, as did I. It has been nearly 17 years since the day our own Snow bunny arrived on the scene.
One bright spring day, the children came running in from outside. They could hear the tiny mewlings of kittens in the old "Carriage House." I rushed outside with them. Apparently kittens had been born in the attic of the old building and had fallen down between the walls of the structure.
The first, a tiny male calico we named Lucky, we rescued by cutting through the sheet rock near the ceiling. We could still hear a second kitten, but could not locate her. So we crawled into the cramped, dusty attic, flashlight in hand. We found a crack in the attic floor and when we flashed the light down between the walls, we found her. The tiny black kitten had fallen over almost ten feet to the floor below.
I did not know what to do. The walls were of tough old wood--not sheet rock. It would take a power saw to cut through to her. If we did that, the tiny kitten could be terribly injured, or dreadfully frightened. The kids and I took a moment to pray about it and came up with an idea.
We lowered a sheet with gathered corners to see if we could slip her up the wall that way. But it did not work--though the little thing seemed to like the softness of the cloth. After further thought, we safety-pinned the gathered corners of the sheet and put a bit of cardboard in the bottom to make a kind of basket.
Covered with dust, we knelt on the attic floor, one holding the flashlight, another helping to lower the makeshift basket gingerly down to the trapped kitten. I remember praying out loud, "God, please, you have angels out there, couldn't you ask one to give us a little help?"
The kitten was interested, we could see that--she biffed and nosed the fabric. But she did not get inside. Long moments passed--I was heartsick. I could not imagine listening to the kitten's weakening cries as she starved to death.
BUT suddenly to our great surprise, she abruptly toppled head first into our basket. It was as though someone had given her an invisible push from under her backside. We all gasped. Hardly believing what we'd seen, we carefully hoisted the tiny kitten to safety.
Later I watched my daughter cuddling the small cat in her lap. The kitten's bright yellow eyes, huge in her tiny black bewhiskered face winked with mischief. Snow was instantly a member of the family. Indeed, she thought my children were hers--and the two of us were their mothers.
Our dear Snowbunny left for heaven this Spring. I'm sure she's keeping the angels on their toes up there. In the meantime, we miss her very much.