Friday, February 25, 2005

The amazing adventures of Xena

Well, the on-going saga of Xena, Warrior Princess continues…

In today’s exciting new episode, I was awakened at 5am by the sound of baby kitten clawing its way out of cardboard box. It was her first night on the verandah since we decided she was too little to stay here – we had been bringing her over for visits after school, but she’s been spending most of her time with her mum and brother and sister back at Mrs Pilon’s house, to get that quality time with mum before leaving home…

Anyway, we had decided last night that we would keep her here overnight, because the night before a dog had got onto the Pilon’s verandah, and snatched the little ginger kitten. Mrs Pilon heard the mother cat fighting the dog in the night, and in the morning the kitten was gone (except for a bit of blood). We were so worried we decided we wouldn’t risk leaving her there in case the dog came back. So, I instead spent a sleepless night listening for the sounds of dog feet sneaking up the steps of our verandah. (We’d blocked it off by some fibro, but it would be pretty easy to push over) (although I think the effect of too many cold and flu tablets was probably just as much to blame for the lack of sleep as the worry – think I had 2 too many, as I was speeding all night on the pseudoephedrine. Not good.)

Anyway, I got out of bed at 5am when the sound of kitten mewing was getting too loud – I’d kept some gravy from last night’s dinner for her breakfast to quieten her down in the morning – but when I opened the door, there was not one, but two Xenas sitting on the verandah!

This was the second time her little sister had mysteriously appeared in the box on the verandah – when I’d come home to eat lunch the day before she was in there too – not our Xena this time, but just her little sister. I assumed one of the Pilon kids had thought she was dropping Xena off to play, but had brought the wrong one over – but when I asked later on that day, no one knew how she’d got there. And now, here she was again – with her sister this time – two kittens on the verandah, when I knew for a fact there’d only been one there the night before!

Very strange, I though to myself, and was wondering if I was dreaming (yes, they do make speed from cold and flu tablets…) – but Pia got up 30 minutes later and made the same exclamation – “How did you get here, little one?”

When I saw Mrs Pilon later that morning, she said that no one had brought the kittens up to us, and she had thought the worst when she got up and saw that neither of them was on her verandah.

The conclusion that we’ve had to reach is that the mother cat did it herself – she figured out where Xena was spending her afternoons, and after the dog took her other baby in the night she must have decided it wasn’t safe where they were – so she’d been bringing them up to us all by herself! Amazing, because the steps to the verandah were blocked, and it’s about 1.5m off the ground – she must have jumped up the tree with the kitten in her mouth and leapt onto the verandah.

So, instead of feeling bad that I’d taken her baby from her, I’m now feeling like mother of the year, because she chose us!!

Xena is very happy now her sister is here too. When we’d been calling her Buai, the other one had been named Daka (not sure how to spell it, but for the un-PNG initiated, daka is the mustard you chew along with the betel-nut – our absent 3rd kitty was cumbun - or lime – the final ingredient in that lovely red-making mixture). But now that she’s a warrior princess, well there’s only one fitting name for her companion…

They look pretty happy curled up together, don’t they, our Xena and Gabrielle???


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