Cats and ducklings: Part two

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This is a continuation of Cats and ducklings: Part one.

Since our cat Smokey died on Sunday, April 6 and was cremated on Thursday, April 10, these became two significant dates in our search of a new companion for lonely Eli. Reincarnation is a comforting idea, especially for grieving mothers. Soon enough, a litter of kittens born on April 10 were being advertised in the Portland area. We drove up to have a look at them and claim our kitten last weekend.

Here’s the litter of five with momcat and here’s our new girl (at only three and a half weeks old):

Lily's litter Lily the kitten

We chose the white and gray female, who has stripes on her sides and six toes on her front paws. Check out those catcher’s mitts:

Lily the kitten Lily the kitten Lily the kitten

Having a very similar fur coloration to Eli, she has been dubbed Lily (short for white tiger lily). She’s going to have longer fur than him though, maybe medium hair.

We plan to pick Lily up on Saturday, May 31. She’ll be over seven weeks old by then. So she should have had plenty of time to learn from her mother and become reasonably emotionally independent.

Lily the kitten Lily the kitten

Also, on Thursday night, just a few days after picking out our new kitten, I heard the crying of another “kitten” outside and rescued a three-day-old (I’m guessing by size) mallard duckling from the sharp clutches of Eli’s aunt (the stray calico). The duckling didn’t seem to be injured, just a little stunned. We brought it inside for a few minutes so it could be coddled and hopefully calmed down, while we decided on the best thing to do.

Mallard duckling Mallard duckling

The duckling scene was definitely within Eli’s interests:

Mallard duckling with Eli Mallard duckling

Ultimately we decided to hop the fence to the pond and wander around in the dark until we found a nest of sleeping ducklings hidden along the reeds by the water’s edge. After a bit of walking we got close enough to disturb some ducklings and their parentals. Once the other ducklings started chirping (more like a high-pitched beeping), our rescued duckling got all excited and started chirping back. We placed it in the grass so that it could rejoin its duck family in the pond. It was a happy ending as they all swam away from the reeds to the safety of the open water.

Hopefully the stupid cat didn’t eat the duckling the next night when we weren’t paying attention (like that poor yellow pekin duckling).

OK, I think I’m finally done. These past two posts have been cute baby animal overload for me. I hope you enjoyed the animal photos, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

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