In my defense, no credible dictionary would label one kitten sprinting about and four others wandering aimlessly, a “wild stampede.” Hyperbole or not, the hot gossip on this morning’s buffet line was last night’s midnight melee, Mama Su’s heroic “save” of the Cypress Five and the setback to my chances to rejoin the Kitten Team anytime soon.
One of the things they don’t tell you when you start this gig is that running a rescue means running a washer, dryer and HVAC 16-18 hours a day…and running up a stiff utility bill. House Kirkland has solar—by legend “one of the largest installations in California in 1996”—but like me, it’s past its prime and counting on 25-year-old solar panels to service our operation is like pulling out your Motorola Star-Tac and trying to trade bitcoin. It’s not happening.
Adding to the pressure of appliances running nonstop, our crew is expertly awesome at everything except turning off lights, and as a result, I spend a few minutes every night walking the grounds, shutting off lights and muttering under my breath like my old man when I was ten. So when I saw light seeping from the bottom of the door to the bathroom where the Cypress kittens are quarantined, it seemed like a prime opportunity to stiff-arm PG&E for a few cents. They all add up!
Unlike the other lights, this one involved planning and risk. On the one hand, Mama Su left strict instructions that the Five, not yet strong enough to be vaxxed, stay in the bathroom. No exceptions. On the other, the time of night, proximity from feeding and my ear to the door all suggested the Five were sleeping. Even Kirk, holding vigil for any tiny paw reaching out under the door nodded, “It’s been quiet.” I positioned my left hand on the doorknob, held my right hand at the level of the switch and rehearsed in my head. “Turn the handle, slip my hand in, flip the switch and close…” Uh, not exactly.
As soon as I cracked the door, there was a thrash of paws, and a little head popped out, body checked the door open and bolted into the hall. As I turned to give chase, the others took advantage of the open door and wandered out—“No…no…wait…%&$#…” Mama Su’s kitten sense is no joke and despite being three rooms away, within seconds she rounded the corner to find me lurching on all fours. With an exasperated “What are you doing?”, she scooped up the Five in one motion and had them safe in their nest with the light off before I was back on my feet with an explanation. “Really? For a nickel?” Well, they do add up…
In other buffet line chatter, we have no fewer than five new or expecting moms onsite with Symphony presenting a new quintet over the weekend. Tippy, a lovable male with a huge abscess repaired last week, is fixed and healing nicely. Sylvester, a KF adoptee who somehow ended up at the Sacramento SPCA with two ruptured eardrums, is back safe and at the vet this morning. And BabyFace, a Siamese with eye trauma we pulled from a mobile home park two hours prior to the events above is with him. Oh, and all eight of the cats we have being treated for FIP are all defying odds and doing amazing. Hope you enjoy the pics and video!