(No, not the politicians although I could make a strong case)
Heavy rains over the last 48 hours washed a family of three kittens out of the tree they were living in and they have disappeared.
Although I live in the land of permanent summer, life is renewed in the spring and the local tomcats and their female mates do a sterling job of renewing it. Hence the kittens living in the tree where three thick branches joined making a perfect bowl for a nest.
I first encountered the gang of small furry creatures while taking a late evening stroll around the gardens surrounding our apartment block. First, I saw a ghostly shadow on a low wall and then another and another until the flickering shapes turned into three solid bundles of mischief. Shortly after, more and more strollers came by until the kittens were surrounded by an admiring crowd clucking oohs and aahs in English and French.
It was obvious the kittens had lost their mother. Perhaps she had abandoned them, maybe she had died or a dog had taken her (it happens). They could had been dumped unwanted in the garden by their owners. Whatever the reason, they now had plenty of humans looking out for them.
The tree they chose to live in is almost below our window and we were able to watch their comings and goings and those of the various people who brought them dishes of food, milk and water. My wife and I, and our own two furry head-bangers, also provided support in the form of food. The kittens responded to everyone with joy and, being completely unafraid of people, it strengthened my belief that they had been dumped by someone.
Watching from the window was heartwarming. Here comes the big tough guy who hardly ever speaks, he’s cooing and carrying a bowl of food. Next, it’s the lovely lady who sings with more food. A brood of kids, mum in tow, turn up and play with the kittens, and return later with full dishes.
It’s not like these are the only kittens around, there are lots in the area but for some reason these three have captured everyone’s heart.
One young cat that we fed for weeks disappeared only to turn up again six months later. Bandit, the lovely masked kitten, is still around and growing strong.
It’s hard not to want to pick up all the kittens and bring them home.
The rains have now moved on but the little fellows haven’t returned to their nest in the tree.
Sadness and guilt surrounds us like an unseen cloak …
If only …