Kittens, Pitiful Little Kittens
4 Little Black Kittens
Kittens, pitiful little kittens
It was a breezy sunny morning and I thought I should spend a little more time tending to my neglected little garden. There were weeds to be weeded out, and fallen dead leaves to be cleared from my lawn. My usual morning routine was to first prepare my simple breakfast and a cup of hot black coffee. Our local coffee is unlike anywhere in the world. The morning breeze was caressing the many wind chimes around my home with soothing melodies.
What has all these got to do with my article called “Kittens, pitiful kittens”? Yes indeed, kittens were the last things in my mind early in a breezy sunny morning. I was there, sitting in the patio, enjoying my breakfast with my favorite cup of hot black local coffee, and of course with the breeze creating fascinating melodies with my wind chimes keeping me company. I was actually trying to procrastinate clearing my garden again.
"No, not this time. I must tidy up my garden immediately after finishing my coffee," I said to myself. The first thing I did was to clear all the fallen dead leaves, and put them in the rubbish bin or what you may call a trash can or trash bin. I never throw dead leaves as rubbish to be collected by the rubbish truck. Instead I would empty them into a concrete cylindrical barrel at the edge of my garden, to be burnt. It took me some time to finish the task. My garden at least looked a bit more presentable. With a satisfied grin in my face, I lifted the trash bin and began to empty the dead leaves into the concrete barrel for burning.
The patio of my home (Note the glass wind chime hanging on the ceiling)
Another view of the patio
My favorite Woodstock wind chime
Melodies and meowing
Down they went, but I abruptly jumped back! I would have a heart attack if I was not in the pink of health. Mind you, I am 62 this year 2012. I big fat cat sprang up from the barrel when I threw in the dead leaves, apparently an immediate reflex action. And my counter reflex response was to shoo it away, with a few explicits added, I think, for this intruder was rude to me with its loud meows and snarls. That was a very naughty cat, I thought to myself. “Well, better get on with my work,” I said to myself.
Got myself a piece of old newspaper and lit it with my lighter, and threw it into the concrete barrel to make ashes of the dead leaves. Happy with the job done, I settled down in the patio again enjoying the breeze and my wind chime melodies. By the way, you can read and view and even listen to my wind chimes in my article “Melodious wind chimes”. That morning the interlocking chimes from my wind chimes sounded a bit strange with continuous “meowing” melodies. I was beginning to enjoy the unusual meowing stereo effect with the meowing sound seemed to be coming from the nearby barrel. “Oh my God!!”. The concrete barrel was then on “fire” with the burning leaves and the meowing sounds came from inside the burning barrel!
The concrete barrel and the trash bin
An honest oversight, a horrible accident
“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!” I panicked! I jumped from my seat, grabbed my garden hose, turned on the tap and shot the water towards the burning barrel. The meowing cries were hurting my heart instead of my ears. Horror of all horrors!! I was setting the little kittens on fire!! And I saw the mother cat staring at me nearby. By then the mother cat had returned to witness this horror unwittingly inflicted by me. I was panic-stricken and really heart-broken. I kept on hosing the water into the barrel. My mind was blank!
Sanity returned to me after the initial panic commotion. The mother cat was watching my every move with “blood” in her eyes! I went nearer the barrel which by then had ceased burning. I quickly but carefully removed whatever that was left of the dead leaves. I couldn’t bear to survey what was inside the barrel apart from the dead leaves. My heart stopped beating; inside the barrel were 4 little charcoal black kittens by then were without sound, barely moving. Kittens, pitiful little kittens! I could have died watching the sight. What a wretched evil person I was. Why didn’t I first take a look inside the barrel before I threw in the dead leaves. Why didn’t I think of something more than just the aggressive reaction of the mother cat?......................... Questions and excuses…………………………..
Kittens, pitiful little kittens
What more could I do except to leave it to the maternal instinct of the mother cat. She was watching me. I didn’t know whether she would ever forgive me. It was truly an oversight on my part. Being a Buddhist, my first precept is not to kill unnecessarily. I was really devastated. I stepped aside and secretly watched the mother cat’s every move. That took the whole morning. I couldn’t hear any more wind chime melodies. I was deaf, dumb and blind!! The heat had not fully dissipated from the barrel. The mother cat was trying her best to get near the barrel, but was fearful of the heat still on the barrel. One paw first, touching the top of the barrel; then retreated. That went on for some time. At last, the mother cat summoned all her courage of a distressed mother; jumped into the barrel! A few seconds later, which seemed like a long time to me, it jumped out with a little black kitten in her mouth, and slowly moved away. I hid myself making sure it did not notice me, so that it could continue with her urgent rescue. Twice the mother cat repeated the feat. That made two little kittens saved, hopefully. I knew for sure, the mother cat would not try to “save” dead kittens. As far as I know, animals have the instinct of the jungle law of “survival of the fittest”.
No more meowing
I stood watch for quite some time, and the mother cat didn’t return. I assured myself, “That’s it.” Very sadly I slowly sneaked towards the barrel. There were two more little black kittens. One was still moving. I picked up the other one and place it on the shade, said my Buddhist prayer and asked for forgiveness, and wished that it had a better rebirth. It was an honest accident. But I felt very very bad. Even now I feel very very bad.
There was nothing I could do for the other last kitten. I just hope that the mother would return and decide for itself whether the last one was fit to live. All the kittens were naturally black in color, not because of the fire. There was nothing I could do then, so I just got back to my work routine. After a few hours I went out to investigate the barrel again. There was no sign of the last kitten. Bless the mother cat for deciding that the last kitten was fit to live.
Kittens, pitiful little kittens. The breeze continued its rhythm, the wind chimes continued their interlocking melodies. There was no more meowing sound…….
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