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April 25, 2004

Murphy's Law of Karma

Our neighborhood is overrun with feral cats. Yesterday, one chased Thistle across the yard, frightening the bekrishna out of him. This particular cat was a tiny kitten two years ago, one I scooped up and held in my hand at about six weeks of age, whereupon he hissed and spit and clawed and generally conveyed his impression of me. I reluctantly put him back down that day, wishing I had the time to take him to the humane society to be euthanized. Harsh thought, but life as a feral cat is no fun.

Yesterday, after Becky got Thistle safely put away and calmed down, I idly and angrily thought I should have just drowned the feral that day in 2002. The feeling passed after a moment.

Still, my fate was sealed by that momentary lapse of compassion. After a lifetime spent in contemplation of nature, justice, and fortune, it is abundantly clear to me that no supreme beings exist save Coyote the Trickster. It's obvious that Coyote was listening to my thoughts last night.

Zeke chased another cat from the yard this morning. He then persisted in looking at the spot where the cat had been, in a trench we dug to lay electrical cable to the shed. I parted the long weeds to investigate. Three kittens, mottled and dirty and tangly long-haired, lay in a pile at the bottom of the ditch.

They look to be about four weeks old. Five of six eyes are open, all of them slate blue. All the animal shelters are closed Sundays and Mondays. Coyote plans his jokes meticulously.


The good news is that they're healthy, cute, and at precisely the right age to be de-feralized. They hissed at Zeke and me at first, but then accepted our affection within five minutes. Zeke needs to be watched: he keeps gently lifting them out of their cardboard box and setting them down so that he can watch them walk around. He watches them so closely and devotedly I half expect him to begin lactating.

But he won't, so my next couple days will be filled with holding eyedroppers up to kitten mouths. Thanks one whole hell of a lot, Coyote. Let me know if there's ever anything I can do for you.

later that day...

The Berkeley Humane Society returned our call shortly after I wrote the above. They've taken the kittens, who were about two weeks old, not four. (Shows how much I know.) They'll bottle-feed them for a month, then find homes for them. We like the Berkeley Humane Society: it's where we got Zeke that happy day in November 1991. This is a good reminder for us to give them some money.

Posted by Chris Clarke at April 25, 2004 10:43 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Looks like Zeke is quite proud of his find. He's going to miss them.

Posted by: bill at April 25, 2004 12:25 PM
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Coyote doesn't waste much time, does he?

Posted by: Robert at April 25, 2004 01:39 PM
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Zeke's such a good guy.

Posted by: Craig at April 25, 2004 11:08 PM
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Zeke and Coyote -- the yin and yang of the universe.

I'm glad you were able to rescue the kittens. Feral kittens and cats are not good things, neither for themselves nor others.

Posted by: Rana at April 26, 2004 12:03 PM
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Additional evidence that the universe doesn't fuck around. As if any more were needed.

Posted by: The Bone at April 29, 2004 06:06 AM
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