Terry, what’s the noise?
I don’t hear anything.
There it is again.
You didn’t hear it. Listen... There, did you hear that, a sort of rustling noise.
No, I didn’t hear anything. It’s probably just the wind.
No it’s not as there is no wind tonight. I can just make out the tips of those trees in the moonlight and they are still. There it is again - did you hear it?
Nope. Where is it coming from?
The back door I think.
It’s probably that twig scratching against the kitchen window, the possum might be in the bush again.
No, it’s not that noise, it’s different... there is it again. Terry I’m sure it’s at the back door, go and have a look.
There won’t be anyone there.
There it is again, and you can’t hear it?
No, I must be going deaf.
Go and have a look.
You’re spooking me. Shit I feel scared, what if it’s the headless axe-man.
I’m sure if it is he’d have hacked the door down by now.
But he might be rubbing the end of the axe against the door-
Ah shut up Terry and go and have a bloody look. You’re the man of the house, go and see what it is. Put the back door light on.
Oh all right, but I bet there won’t be anything there...
Well look what we have here, you were right Ann, we have a visitor... yes, please do come in.
Who is it Terry?
What is it - come and have a look.
A KITTEN, IT’S A KITTEN TERRY! Hello there you little thing, what are you doing here, where is your home?
Yes, what is it doing here, and where would it have come from?
I don’t know Terry but isn’t it cute, look at it, and it’s cold, and probably hungry too. Here Terry you hold her.
Yes, we had lots of kittens when we were young. Listen Terry, she likes you, she’s purring.
Gee she’s not very big is she, there’s hardly anything of her.
She’s only still quite young. Put her on the table and see if she drinks this milk.
Yes, that’s a good little kitty girl, you lap that all up. And I think we’ve got a sardine can left... so we’ll see if likes fish.
Yes, she does, good girl!
But what are we going to do with her Ann?
I don’t know... keep her I guess.
But shouldn’t we take her somewhere in the morning-
I don’t know, the vet, there’s one in town I’ve seen the sign. Or to a lost cat’s home, or maybe the people who’ve lost her are looking for her.
But Terry, how would they have lost her around here. And Jill up the road only has dogs; no Terry, she’s lost or has been dumped more like, because she’s not feral, she likes people, she knows about milk and fish, look how she’s eating them.
So what are we going to do?
Well I think we’ll worry about that in the morning, for now we’ll have to set up some sort of a bed for her. We can use that box and I’ll put your old jumper in it, the one you were going to throw out. Let’s go into the other room where she can get warm in front of the fire.
Gee Terry, she’s a pretty little thing isn’t she?
Yes, she is, and she likes you patting her. She sure looks happier now.
Terry what about if there are other ones outside somewhere, do you think you should go and have a look around?
Yes, her brothers and sisters.
God, all right, I get the torch.
Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty if that’s what you call kittens and how you call them. And as if I’ll be able to see any if they are here, this torch hardly lights up anything. Kitty-cat, here kitty... puss, puss, here kitty...
Na, this is ridiculous, I can hardly see a thing, I’ll have to look in the morning.
There you are! Hello, what are doing in there? Hang on, I’ll just move this log away, and there you are; here you go, are you a brother or sister, here you stay warm in my coat. Are there any more of you...
Look Ann, another one, you were right. Here you take it and I’ll keep looking, the batteries are just about done.
An hour later.
Well Terry she likes you, look at her all snuggled up on your lap.
And he likes you Ann. Shit what a night. So what now?
Well it looks like we’ve got two new additions to our family.
You mean keep them?
Yes, why not, they are so cute, and look at how beautiful they are, sound asleep. And to think what might have happened to them, slowly left to stave.
The foxes would probably have got them without their mother to look after them.
We could see if we can find homes for them... but then, they’ve found us Terry, it’s amazing how they came here, sent by God I should think. And so our lives have changed yet again, and so fast, and so easily, and without us having to do anything.
Yeah well you can say that again. And he’s so soft. I’ve never had anything do with a kitten before. We had a cat for a while but it was older, a friend gave him to us as I’ve told you. But I was never really into cats, nor dogs for that matter.
Oh Terry you wait, you are in for a big treat. And two of them! Now I won’t have to go anywhere as I’ll have to stay home and look after them.
But what about them growing up and becoming cats... the wildlife; and what if they went feral?
We’ll wait and see Terry, we can’t worry about that yet, one step at a time. But of course we can talk more about it, and any bad feelings that come up about them... but I want to keep them Terry... can we?
Yeah, well... I don’t see why not. I mean, two cats, we’ve got two cats now, and why not!
Kittens Terry, they’re still only young. We’ll have to take them to the vet and have them neutered when it’s time, the vet will know. And you can buy them come cans of kitten food tomorrow, the milk and sardines should last until then, we’ve got three cans of them left and we’ve got a few extra cartons... and we’ll have to set up a litter tray, I’ll organise that in the morning, I’ll get some soil and put it in that cooking pan we never use. And they can sleep in our room so they won’t feel lonely.
All right then, gee, I don’t know how I feel. Sort of excited by it all, blown out, shocked - stunned! Having a pet, two pets, I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it. And there might be some more, I’ll have a better look around in the morning.
Well they seem to have settled well enough Ann, look at them over there in the box, sleeping soundly together. I suppose they would be brother and sister, it’s too much of a coincidence, and they obviously feel very close.
Yes Terry, I am thrilled. The feeling has been growing in. I can’t tell you how thrilled and excited and happy about it I am. I loved our cats, but I’ve not wanted to have another one because I’ve never felt settled enough, but now... and they came to us, it’s like we’re meant to have them, it’s all meant to be, they’ve come to help us with our healing.
Do you think so?
Yes, that’s how I feel. And they will Terry, that much I know. You wait, you’ll see, they’ll soon be the bosses of us, they’ll soon have us well in hand telling us what to do.
Oh God, just what I need. To have my life run by two little furry people.
They are so beautiful Terry, look how the candle light picks up the pretty tabby pattern. We’ll have to think up names for them.
Look they’re waking up. What if they need to go to the toilet?
They can go in that other box, I’ve shown it to them, with the shredded paper... see he’s going to it now. They know Terry, they’re not that young and they’ve been looked after - someone must have just dumped them I reckon. And now his done is business like a good boy... lift him up Terry, he wants to come up on the bed.
Hello little Mr K2, you’re a pretty boy.
She’s followed him, they are so good, to use their toilet like that, to know already... and up you come to, she’s very pretty - K1 I guess you are for the time being. Oh she wants to get in with us!
That’s all right Terry, lift the sheet up... there you go both of you... down you go.
But won’t we hurt them, role on them during the night or something?
No, cats are very good at keeping out of the way. Our kittens and cats always slept with us in our beds. Sometimes they’d be down the end, other times curled up with us. Billy always slept with me, he being my cat. He’d start on my pillow next to me and then move under if he got a bit cold. You’ll get used to it, but look, they’ve curled up together in front of me, so that’s all right, you won’t be disturbed too much.
Gee, in our bed together! Shit I hope there aren’t two more outside waiting for me in the morning.
Later the next day after Terry gets home
There you are... and so how are you all? Gee they look so peaceful, how’s your day been Ann with them?
Wonderful Terry, it couldn’t have been better. I love them both, they are both so adorable. We went outside in the sun a few times and they are so good, they didn’t wander off, they stayed close to me. And they’ve played with everything they can, and have been just a dream.
It occurred to me around lunch time, that I now have family - of sorts.
Yes, we do, and how’d you feel about that?
Good, surprisingly, good. I’ve felt good all day. I told a few of my clients and they were all very happy about it, telling me all we’re meant to do, and about experiences they’ve had with kittens and cats and about their pets. I’ve suddenly become a ‘cat man’ Ann. It’s like a whole new world has opened up.
Yes well I feel blessed in a way. You know Terry, like God is looking after us and has sent these two to us. And privileged to be able to look after two little kittens that were obviously not wanted, not loved, and so we can love them and look after them and hopefully give them a good life. I still feel thrilled at having them, I can’t believe our luck. And how it happened, for K1 to come right to the door like that.
Yes that was amazing, and how you could hear her but I couldn’t. It must have been meant to be.
I think that’s obvious Terry, to say the least.
Yes, but just think, that I am a father of sorts now, right when I’ve been feeling the last thing I want is children for fear of damaging them.
So now you can practise and get something of a feeling for parenthood with these two.
Yes, who’d have guessed that would happen. I’m still blown out by it. Anyway, my customers were only too helpful, so I’ve bought a selection of food and other treats, I checked with the vet and we’re booked in for Saturday morning for a general check up; and I even, upon advice of Carol, went to the pet shop over in Tassel and bought a cat bed for the two of them and a proper litter tray and some things for them to play with. I’ve been on a right shopping spree.
That’s what it’s like when you’re a new father Terry. Look K1 has taken a shine to you Terry, she wants you to pick her up.
Hello there little girl, you know me already do you? Gee there so quick at settling in aren’t they! I love her little purr, and you’ve got lovely pointy ears, and her big eyes.
She like’s your lap.
Yes, and now that she’s settled on it, that’s it for me, I can’t do anything else, I couldn’t disturb her.
See Terry, I told you, they take over, you’re no longer the boss of this household.
Yeah, I see what you mean. So it’s not all bad our healing.
No, it seems like we’re to have other experiences now, and it’s very nice to feel very happy and that things are good, and even better than we did when we first moved down here.
Yep, it sure is!