Margaret and I were driving down Rt. 23 this afternoon, and two kittens were frolicking on the shoulder, which is completely unacceptable on a road where most people drive 60-65 mph. As we went past the kittens, I shrieked, "It's kittens!" Margaret slammed on the brakes and started to back up. The kittens were getting closer to the middle of the road, and two more cars were rapidly approaching. When the kittens saw us running towards them, they ran into the tall grass in the ditch.
We walked around calling, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty." But they were understandably freaked out and hiding. Margaret found one quickly and picked it up, but the other was doing a better job of concealing himself. Margaret meowed, and just as I was about to make a joke about her method, I heard a kitten's meow. "Holy cow! I can't believe that worked. She's talking back at you. Do it again." So, Margaret meowed again, and I moved closer to the sound. Margaret meowed again, the kitten answered, and I got a little closer. After repeating this script a few times, I finally spotted the kitten and was able to catch it.
My little kitten hissed at me and laid his ears back, trying to look vicious, but he just made me smile. I put him in my lap for the drive home, and he stuck his head under my arm, trying to hide. Once home, we put them in the barn office and gave them some cat food. One ran under the futon and refused to come back out, but the little gray and white one stuck his nose into the food and rooted around like a pig. It seemed obvious that he had no idea what to do with dry food, so I sent Margaret into the house for some canned food. Although they did do a little better with the canned food, it is clear they have not eaten much solid food. Taking another step back, we gave them some goat milk.
They were on the road at least half a mile from the nearest farm house, and these kittens are only about four or five weeks old, so I'm assuming they were dumped. I can't imagine these tiny babies leaving their mama and a good home. They're really not big enough to be weaned. One fits in my hand and weighs about a pound, although they are admittedly thin and bony. Still, I've eaten baked potatoes bigger than these babies. The little one in the photo is all fur. I'm happy to report that he quickly decided that he could trust me, and I spent quite a bit of time carrying the kitten and walking around looking at Mike's new picket fence, but that's a post for tomorrow. The other kitten is hiding in the barn office, but she'll come out in due time once she realizes she's safe.