Anyway, there it was, bravely coming up to say hello as I got out of the car. This little thing was so bold and friendly that I stopped quite a while to pet it before opening my front door. However, as soon as I stepped into the house, it rushed in past my feet and waited for me to follow it! Then I remembered seeing this kitten the day before in our back garden – the little foxes had spotted it and always call me when they see an animal in the garden. It rubbed itself briskly around my calves and I decided to try giving it some ham, it was clearly a very hungry little thing indeed. I gave it 4 slices before making my own lunch of poached egg on toasted soda bread. As I put the fork to my mouth, the kitten jumped onto the table and tried to paw my toast from the plate, so I broke some off for it and it scoffed the lot.
I called my sister, she has a cat and knows how much I’d love one… we were meeting later as usual – Thursday is swim afternoon for the cousins - and she agreed to bring me a few pouches of kitty food.
After I’d picked them up from school, I told the little one’s about my visitor and we all agreed that we hoped the kitten would be waiting for us when we got back from the pool. I also told them that I thought it was a she because it had a plum coloured collar, studded with pearls and diamante. They decided that if she came back, we would call her Pearl.
After the swim, we picked up youngest fox, Tom, from nursery and told him about the visitor. They were all getting quite excited by his point but as we got out of the car, there was no sign of the kitten. It was raining so we went inside and I started getting dinner ready.
After dinner and bath, I was putting Tom fox to bed when Eve fox shouted up that she could hear something outside – we opened the front door and there she was, our little guest, Pearl. The little foxes were beside themselves with excitement and Pearl seemed very pleased to see them too for some reason. They took turns to give her some food while I explained to them that as she obviously belonged to somebody who would be missing her terribly, we wouldn’t be able keep her. What we should do, I told them, is make some posters to let people know that we had found a kitten.
The next morning they got up and rushed down to feed her. She had spent the night on a fleece blanket on our armchair and had used my sports bag as her personal en suite toilet… Hmmm… (Should I also say that we found a kitten poop on one of daddy fox's dirty shirts? Well, we were not prepared and therefore had no litter tray!) They got down to making posters straight away and I called the local vet to see if anybody had reported a kitten missing, to no avail I might add.
All in all, before school, they made about 15 posters and Eve also made lots of little square leaflets to put through front doors. I didn’t tell them what to write but gave them my mobile phone number, which they put onto every poster.
I was really impressed by their work, the wording was so, so sweet. While they drew and wrote they were saying how much they wished that they could keep her. They knew I couldn’t make them any promises though, and they completely understood why.
As we drove to school, oldest fox, Jackson, said that he wished she wasn’t there when he got home from school. When I asked him why, he said that that way, he would know that she was back with her ‘real person’ and that that person and Pearl would both be happy.
Pearl wasn’t there when I got back from the morning school run – nor was she back after school pick up. We haven’t seen her since but Jackson feels sure that his wish came true and this thought makes us all happy. We enjoyed having her as our guest and think that she enjoyed her stay with us.
Something good may have come out of this for my little foxes though. Daddy fox has agreed that perhaps a kitten would be a good thing for them and that he might just have to get used to living with one. The other Mrs Fox, Nina, has the same allergy but with lived with (my old) cats for years way back in the day, and her allergy diminished – he is willing to give it a try. Christmas morning might be extra special this year…