Caring for kittens

When I was a student sharing a flat at St Andrews, it was a fairly impoverished existence.  We had barely enough food for ourselves, some of it from the back garden, yet some misguided friend thought it would be clever to give us a kitten.  In retrospect, we should have refused, but it was a cute tangerine coloured little thing we named “Tango.”  We would spend pennies on tins of cheap catfood, but fortunately the elderly lady upstairs fell in love with it and supplemented its diet with more nutritious fare.

Then it produced kittens, as female cats do.  It must have been with a black tom, because the four little kittens found in the coal-shed featured one orange, one black, and two mottled orange and black.  We christened one of the mixed ones Mendel, in honour of the early geneticist.  One day Tango brought them one by one into the house, carrying each by the scruff of its tiny neck. When we took them out again, she brought them in again, so we set up a little pen for them in the hallway.

Fortunately we had just enough friends who lived in the surrounding country to find each one a good home, and the kindly neighbor asked if she could adopt Tango herself.  We breathed sighs of relief as the flat became cat-free once again.