Four On The Fourth

Independence Day fell on a Tuesday this year awkwardly making for a holiday untethered to either end of the weekend and instead isolated and surrounded by work days. To complicate matters it’s a day spent worried about our stressed-out doggos and dreading the mostly sleepless night to come when greater Los Angeles turns into a veritable war zone of illegal pyrotechnics and heavy explosions, ranging from pops to house-shaking booms.

The day started out quiet as most do, with Susan and I walking the dogs. But it was on the homestretch when we passed this small pet carrier across the street and down the block from our house. I just knew it wasn’t empty, I only hoped whatever was inside wasn’t sick, dead or wild.

I picked it up by its handle and instantly felt the weight of something within. Thankfully it wasn’t dead and it

wasn’t a skunk. But it was four sleepy kittens two black and two gray — a couple of them sporting some sort of collars. Awakened by the crate’s movement and huddled together against the cold morning they blinked up at me with a plaintiff weak mew or two. How long they were out there and who put them there were two questions I asked myself. The last question I knew the answer to: they’d been dumped.

I try not to judge people capable of such actions. I’m not always successful, but I can recognize and give credit that they didn’t do something far worse like drown them or toss them in a dumpster. And I try to give them the benefit of the doubt as to their reasons and choices. My record’s spotty on that point, too. But without fail I hope they wince often at deep stabs of regret whenever they think back on their ability to discard living things like trash for someone else to pick up.

Susan and I were the someone elses this time.

Next stop: home.

We got them inside and upstairs to the spare bedroom and situated in a larger crate, and after cursory exams served them up some food and water, the former of which they gobbled up — which was a welcome sign that they’d made it into the weaning stage. Other good signs were that they were all bright, alert, responsive; clear-eyed, and energetic with no visible injuries or apparent conditions save for some fleas. Plus they’d clearly been habituated to humans. Someone had cared for them, at least until they couldn’t.

I added a litter box inside the crate and was overjoyed to see they knew what to do with it and a short while later we relocated them out of the crate into the spare bathroom where they would have a bit more room to romp. I even set up a Kitten Cam to monitor them.

Here they are above settling in for a nap after dinner last night. They handled all the firework noise pretty well, unlike me. And below this morning another promising development: a couple even came to the gate to give Hazel a sniff. Sweet.

Best of all (and quick before we get too attached — too late!) I found an organization that will see to it they get the best care and furever homes. I’ll be taking them there tomorrow.

Independence Day turned into Dependents Day for us and in honor of the holiday I named them in no particular order (or with regard to sex): Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison.