"What was that?" I peered into the darkness beyond our balcony.

Callie"What was what?" Ginny looked at me.

We sat on the balcony enjoying the stars.  Over the noise of the traffic on the highway in the distance, I heard it again.

"I don't know."  I paused and strained to hear.  "There!  Do you hear it?"

Ginny turned in the direction of the sound.  "Yeah! I do hear it."

"It sounds like a bird, but what bird would be crying at night?"

"I don't know.  Maybe the fox is attacking the geese again."

The noise stopped and we forgot about it until the next day, when I came home from work.  Once again we sat on the balcony and the noise started up.

"Ginny that sounds like a kitten crying."

Ginny listened closely.  "You're right!  I wonder if one of the strays who raid the dumpster had kittens?"

"That's probably it.  Those cats have been hanging around for months.

They're sure to breed."

For three days Ginny and I listened to the kitten crying in the brush. We looked at each other.  We knew something had to be done.

"Gin, do you want me to get it?"

Ginny sighed, "Yeah, go get it!  The temperature is supposed to go down to 20 tonight.  It will freeze out there in the brush."

I went inside, put on my boots, because I had to crawl through high grass, and slipped into my jacket.  "I'll be back," I said to Ginny.

The grass, cold with frost, crunched under my boots.  I dipped my head, stepped through a hole in the fence behind the apartments and climbed over the barbwire fence used to keep children from walking on the railways.  I walked to the cluster of brush, where we thought the kitten hid.

The brush beside the track was eight feet tall and grew in a patch about twenty feet by eight feet.  I mimicked the cry of a kitten and was rewarded with a weak response.  The kitten's cry came from deep in the centre of the brush.  I kept mimicking it and worked my way toward the sound of the kitten.  Near the centre of the brush, I finally spotted it. The kitten's gray and beige markings blended perfectly with the brown grass.

I reached out and the kitten crawled between the stumps at the base of the bushes and out of reach.  I crawled out, circled the brush and approached from the other side.  Once again the kitten retreated and headed back to where I first spotted it.

When I circled the brush a second time, I spotted the kitten hiding in the grass.  I reached out, grasped it by the scruff of the neck, lifted into my arms and into my heart.

Back in the apartment, the stray kitten quickly adjusted and after a good meal of kitten formula that Ginny madeCallie a quick trip to the store to get, was soon playing with my fingers.  We guessed it was a female and about four weeks old.

Now she had a home.  She waddles unsteadily around our apartments, plays with the toys our cat finds no interest in and cuddles with us.

The little kitten is content.  She doesn't live in the brush and she cries no more.


Michael T. Smith  <heartsandhumor at gmail.com>


Michael lives and works in Idaho and shares his stories with those who enjoy a sensitive read. You can see a video of Callie, the kitten, just a few hours after being rescued here:


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She cries no more appeaed in a recent PetWarmers and Mike kindly gave me permission to publish it on The Daily Mews website. Thanks Mike!

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