My son and my niece (she, her mother, and brother lived with us back then) found 95 and his brother, Felix, under the porch of the clubhouse at the neighborhood golf course in
He and his cousin reared those two kittens and spoiled them. Such joyful times. A seven year old boy, his ten year old cousin, and their two cats.
At 3:25 on a Wednesday afternoon, my sister-in-law was coming back to our house after work with her two kids in the car. As she pulled into the drive, there were two large coon dogs in the front yard murdering Felix. I won't go into the details, but my niece leaped from the car and began screaming at the two dogs. They growled at her but eventually ran off. It turns out that they ran across the golf course and killed another cat and attacked its owner. Police then became involved and the two coon dogs were hunted down. Later we found out that the dogs were quarantined for 30 days and then returned to their owners in neighboring
It became apparent that the two kittens had been in our garage when the dogs came. We used to leave the garage door open for them so they could come in and go out. The old couch that we kept in there was shredded, as if the dogs had ripped it apart to try to get at the two cats. Obviously, the two bolted from there, and we know that Felix had made it as far as the front yard.
95 was nowhere to be found. We assumed that the dogs had carried him off to the woods. So we searched high and low. Nothing. My niece was devastated at losing Felix. My son was inconsolable over losing his 95.
In the predawn quiet before sunrise the next morning, the birds began their calls as they came out from their evening slumber to find their partners. My son's exhausted tears had finally given him away to sleep sometime late in the early fall night. Mixed in with the bird symphony, I thought I heard a faint meowing from my open bedroom window.
Grabbing a flashlight, I ran outside and tracked the call into the neighboring woods. By this time I was joined by the whole family, We were all calling out 95's name. We could all hear the cat's cries, but they were so faint, yet strangely close.
I'm not sure who looked up first. But that's where we found 95. He had scrambled to the top of a very, very tall eastern pine-perhaps 70 feet up. No amount of coaxing, however, could get the kitten to shinny down. So we looked in the phone book and called a tree specialist at 7 am. I must say, he wasn't very pleased to be awakened at such an hour, and he told us that the cat would come down when he felt like it...just before he hung up.
Sure enough, about 45 minutes later, with all of us standing around and cheering him on, 95 began to inch down the trunk from his dizzying height.
I can't begin to describe the joy on my son's face that moment when he held his cat once again. It was all tempered, however, by the tragic loss of Felix the day before.
The next few months came and went. 95 grew up into a delightful young cat. One cold winter day, lightning struck twice. As my son and niece were returning home from school, they saw two big dogs running from our yard. One of them had something in his mouth.
Although we searched and searched, day after day, we never found 95.