All of a sudden, Tate started dancing excitedly and pulling me towards the ditch. We were on our daily walk, and I always had to be on guard near ditches, after having previously finding myself sprawled out in one when Tate suddenly decided to take a dip in the ditch water.
We were at the end of our street, and as I braced for a dive, Tate pulled against the leash and made his way down the side to the opening of the culvert. Afraid he might have located a snake, I began calling him and tried to pull him back up. He stopped, looked at me, and then looked back at the culvert opening. As I prepared to dig in and get him back out of the ditch, I saw the little tan kitty sitting in the opening of the culvert. He let out a little meow.
Tator heard a mew.
We didn’t see any other kitties or mama cat, so we ran home to report our find to the animal expert- my wife. After gathering the facts, she advised that there were several new kitties at that end of the street, and it had probably been temporarily stationed there by its mother, or even separated, and it was probably best to not move it.
I had forgotten about it, until we passed by the next day. Tate hadn’t forgot, and began pulling that direction as we neared. We arrived at the corner, and there was the kitty, sitting in the culvert opening. After a couple of greeting barks and a happy dance, he turned to me, and cocked his head motioning to me- “You see it?”
We ran home again, and this time the wife agreed it was time to rescue Tates’ discovery. After the kitty retreated into the culvert, my wife opened a can of food and set it down at the opening.
After two days, at least, of culvert life, kitty immediately threw caution to the wind and went straight to the food. After a couple of bites, my wife picked up the food with one hand, and before she could grab it with the other, the poor hungry creature began frantically licking the dirt where the can had just been. I wanted to name him “Calvert” in honor of the place where he was found- but the wife named it Frankie, which turned out to be better since it turned out to be a female kitty.
We’ve taken in stray kitties before, and there is always an adjustment period. They will hide under a couch or bed for a couple of days, slowly venturing out as they become more at ease with the new environment. Once, two strays I nabbed at a chemical plant stayed under the couch for over two weeks. No this one. From the get-go, he was comfortable with the new place.
That impressed me. A kitty that isn’t too proud to admit a house is better than a culvert straightaway. He was grateful to have been rescued, and he knows who is responsible: Tate. The rescued became the rescuer.
I am convinced, at that first meeting, Frankie told Tate she was lost and needed help. Even though we made her wait another day, Tate remembered his friend and led me back.
There is a Frankie (or a Tate) waiting for you to rescue them. If not in the ditch, for sure at your local shelter, pound, or rescue. They will be grateful, and your life will be better.