Herding cats

We’ve been putting the cats inside the pink house at night to make sure they don’t get eaten by predators or anything. Which means we spend part of each evening herding cats.

If you’ve never tried to herd cats, well, good for you.

Yesterday, while I was at work, Sunshine went looking for the two newest additions to our gaggle of cats, which I have named Thing 1 and Thing 2.. He couldn’t find them anywhere. Which is about normal for these two idiot cats. They’ve hidden behind furniture, behind the fridge, inside the fucking stove for fuck’s sake. For three days, these cats have hidden from us without eating, without drinking much water, without making any noise. So when I got home from work, we took Mollie inside the pink house and turned her loose to look for the cats. Mollie, being the good little hunting dog that she is, has been pretty good at finding the cats whenever I want to try to cuddle them. Last night, Mollie kept trying to crawl through the hole that accesses the back side of the plumbing for the bathroom, so we began trying to figure out how to get the kittens out of the walls and back into the house proper.

The bathtub in the pink house is one of those old, one-sided, cast-iron numbers. The tub has three walls built around it, and there’s also a space between the tub itself and the cast iron exterior portion of it that is visible when you step into the bathroom. The cats were in this cavity around the bathtub, inside the walls. The hole Sunshine had cut in the sheetrock allowed us to kind of see up in there, but we couldn’t reach around and try to grab the cats.

Sunshine did what any good man would do. He broke out the power tools. Power tools are awesome. Unless you’re a scared little kitten that doesn’t understand that power tools are sexy and the people using them are trying to help you.

Well, we were able to see the kittens, but we couldn’t reach them. So Sunshine had to go to the closet in the bedroom located on the other side of the bathroom, and he had to cut a hole in that wall so I could take some brooms and rakes and try to drive the cats out the other end of the cavity.

Sunshine didn’t make the hole big enough to actually reach in and grab the cats, so he began cutting the wall some more. One of the cats ran toward the hole where I was waiting to snatch it up and throw it in a kennel. Then we had to work on getting the other Thing out of the walls. Sunshine started cutting the wall again, and the cat headed my way. It kept inching away from me just out of my reach, so I had him just make noise with the power tools until it finally decided that I was probably the lesser of two evils and let me snatch it up and throw it in the kennel too. We gently pulled Thing 1 and Thing 2 out of the kennel and loved on them a bit. Sunshine decided he would get them some milk, and that seemed to work. The kittens lapped up the milk, letting us pet them the whole time. We put the kittens, some dry food, some milk soaked dry food, and some water in the kennel with them and went to bed for the night knowing Thing 1 and Thing 2 were snuggled up together safe and sound.

I wish I could say that our adventure ended there, but it didn’t.

When I went to check on Thing 1 and Thing 2 this morning, I was horrified at what I encountered.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 had splattered their water everywhere in the kennel, along with their dry food. There was mushy soggy cat food all over everything. It gets better. They had also shit all over the kennel. The kennel, AND both kittens, were covered in mooshy food and crusty dry cat shit.

I pulled one kitten at a time out of the kennel and bathed them gently in the bathroom sink. Thing 1, being the smaller, more timid one, got a bath first. Thing 1 did not like the bath, but tolerated it rather well. Thing 2, being the bigger wilder one, was not so easy to bathe. I managed it, but if you’ve never tried to bathe a shit crusted cat, I would suggest you keep it that way.

I’ve moved Thing 1 and Thing 2 to the bathroom along with food, water, and a litter box. I’ve bought them some canned cat food, as Sunshine thinks they are probably barely weaned and aren’t quite ready for dry food. I’m going in there sporadically and cuddling them whether they like it or not.

I seem to do a better job of keeping them still in my arms if I manage to get both of them at the same time. I actually had both little black kittens sleeping in my arms while Sunshine was in the closet repairing the hole we had to make last night to get the kittens out of the wall space inside the bathroom. I’d call that progress in learning to herd cats.


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