Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Birthday Present From My Garden

On my birthday in November 2005, even though it was not a warm day, I decided to do some work in my garden as I was feeling very sad and restless. The day before, my beloved Russian Blue Bebop had been put to sleep, so I felt I needed a bit of garden therapy.

As I opened the door of my conservatory, I saw this cute little kitten sitting on the tree bench in my garden. She had been eating the bread crumbs for the birds. When she saw me, she came straight to me and started to purr and rub her little body against my legs. While I was doing some weeding she started to play with me. She was purring away, rubbing her little head against my hands and she loved being stroked and petted. I didn't know what her name was, so I decided to call her Kadootje (which is Dutch for small present) because it was my birthday.

Kadootje cheered me up - something I really needed at the time - with her friendly, playful way, her purring and the gentle kittie kisses she gave me. As I held her in my arms, I noticed how thin she was and, while muttering under my breath about how some people don't know how to look after a little cat properly, I got her some cat food. She ate it all and then looked at me for more. So I gave her some more food and she finished that quickly too.

After her 2 meals she decided that she wanted some quality time with me sitting on my lap. As it was November and not very warm I could manage half an hour with Kadootje, but then it got too cold. Reluctantly I put her down and told her to go home. And away she went.

The next day she returned, and the next and the next. And every day I gave her food which she ate, and slowly she put on a bit of weight. In the meantime I had been enquiring in my neighbourhood if anybody knew to which people the cute little kitten belonged. Everybody seemed to know the charming kitten, but no one knew where she lived. I had phoned the local vet and Amivedi as well, but to no avail.(Amivedi is a organisation for lost and found pets.) I was very surprised that I couldn't locate her home, as Kadootje was such a friendly little cat and so used to being around humans. Was she really a stray, this pretty little thing?

Kadootje came to visit me at least 3 times a day, every day, and started dropping large hints about wanting to come and live with me. And she knew me and my ways very quickly, because every morning as soon as I opened my bedroom curtains, there she was. Then I would open the curtains in my living room that has 3 windows and she was behind each window in turn as I opened the curtains, very funny, a sort of peek-a-boo. Then she would run to the conservatory because she knew that I would open the door there and come out to feed and pet her. And I would play with her for awhile too, of course.

If I was in the conservatory during the day, she would climb on the roof just to be close to me and to see what I was doing of course. We are talking about a cat here and curious is what they all are. I discovered that, as soon as I was anywhere near my garden or a window looking out on the garden, Kadootje appeared. And every time she told me she wanted to come inside the house and live with me.

In the end I decided to put a collar on Kadootje with a note saying: if this kitten has a home please phone me at ......... Kadootje wore the collar for a whole week, and was very proud to wear it too, but nobody called. And that was that, Kadootje got her wish and has been living with me and my other cats ever since. And she is a joy to have around, she is such a gentle and sweet little thing.

It's not very often that you get such a wonderful present for your birthday, and from your own garden too!


Carol said...

Oh my Yolanda, my eyes filled with tears while reading this fabulous story of Kadootje your wonderful birthday present from your garden! xox

Pam/Digging said...

That's a lovely story. She sounds like a very special cat indeed.

We had a friendly cat like that come round every day, about a year ago. My daughter named her Ice Cream, and we all enjoyed her company. She had no collar but seemed well-fed, so we assumed she had a home somewhere. Then one day she just disappeared.

I hope she went off with her owners. I fear, however, that a coyote may have gotten her, as reports of coyote attacks on pets have skyrocketed in my neighborhood recently.

Your little Kadootje was lucky to have found you.

Annie in Austin said...

What a sweet story - with a happy ending! I like the way Kadootje knew how to guess at which window you'd appear.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all,

Carol thanks for your kind words.

Pam, Kadootje was indeed lucky and is a happy indoor kittie now. I'm very glad we don;t have coyotes over here. It doesn't bear thinking about what they might do to a cat. I hope Ice Cream is well.

Annie, Kadootje is a very clever girl and she made me laugh every morning with her peek-a-boo game. Now that she's an indoor kittie I miss our little game but am happy that she is safe and well loved. And that's the most important thing.

Birgit said...

Oh Jolanda Elizabet, that`s the beautifulliest story, that I heard from a long long time. I have tears in my eyes. I wish you a very long time of happiness and luck with your little Kadootje and your other cats.

stadtgarten said...

What a nice little cat! I think she is very happy to be with you now.And cats are very smart, they know where they are welcome.
Groetjes, Monika

Carol said...

I love your story about how your cat adopted you! Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Kylee said...

Yolanda Elizabet, you knew I would love that story, didn't you? Kadootje is adorable! We have gotten some of our best kitties just like that. I'm so glad she came to you!

Petunia's Gardener said...

Thanks for visiting me and for sharing this story here. I blog about Emily our big gray cat that adopted us. Well, I never say on my blog, but she finally got friendly with me on the first Father's Day after my dad passed away. She is a special cat to me and a little ornery just like my Dad. They really have an extra sense, don't they.

Gotta Garden said...

(pausing to get my Kleenex) They do say that cats choose you, not that you chose them. I think nothing could be clearer here! (From Kadootje's perspective, I think she must have been saying "What took you so long! And, what else must I do?"!)

When we went to pick out a kitty (note 'a' kitty...somehow we came home with two), the owner told me that he, the one we named Sam, had chosen me as he curled up in the crook of my neck and went to sleep. It was the most precious thing. Although, explain to me how he went from that to adoring my daughter most of all, then my husband...and I am in way down in third place in his affections (first for food, however...if he gets hurt, I notice he comes to me also)!

The other cat, the one my daughter chose, Leo, has a less loving personality but seems to have chosen me...I'm afraid of what that must say about me! Lol!

Bert said...

What a lovely furry present and a very soppy story. But she a lucky cat to find a home like yours, with many cat friends. Nice and warm in winter and with plenty nice things to eat.

Julia said...

I loved that story about your "little present" cat Kadootje. It made me tear up! Thank you for taking in this sweet little soul! I am happy she worked her magic on you!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all,

Thank you for all your wonderful comments and your own cat stories (Kylee, Petunia and Gotta Garden)that you shared with us here. Gives hanky to Gotta Garden, Julia and Birgit.

Julia welcome to my blog.

Cats are indeed magical creatures and enhance our lives a great deal with their presence. I feel very fortunate and honored that Kadootje choose me to live with. She's a lovely little cat that makes me very happy and I hope I make her happy too.