I remember this clear as day. My brother and I were in my room, watching a movie. A terrible, terrible movie. It was Attack Force, with Steven Seagal. It may be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I doubt it has a single redeeming quality. IMDB has it under 3 stars, and reading some of the user reviews is hilarious. Some movies are so bad they are good. Not this one. All bad movies should be judged against it as the ultimate measure of badness.
Anyway, while watching said terrible movie, we heard a faint meow from my window. It could have been our imagination, but it was still ten times more interesting than Attack Force. We checked, and sure enough there was a cat. Two in fact, a mother and a kitten.
At the time, we lived in a fairly rural area, a 15min drive to anything resembling civilization. Animal noises, such as wolf howls or frog croaks, happened near continuously, but never right in our own yard. We went outside to check it out. The mother eyed us cautiously; the kitten hid about 20ft away, absolutely terrified. Over the next 20min, we cooed and coddled and offered milk, and mommy kitten decided we were awesome. The kitten wasn’t so sure. He watched from the shadows, took a few cautious steps forward, but if we looked at him he bolted back to the night.
The mother was used to human interaction, but the kitten clearly was not. Most likely she had an owner, but when they found out she was pregnant they tossed her aside. The little kitten may never have seen a human before. My heart broke as I thought this, and I became determined to reach out to him.
It took seemingly forever for the little guy to work up the nerve to come over. When I saw him up close, I hate to say it, but he was pretty ugly. How can a kitten be ugly? His coat was nice and all, but his face, wow. It looked squished, as if someone had hit him repeatedly with a thick book. It was bizarre. But when I finally reached out to pet him, he erupted into the loudest purr I have ever heard. It vibrated the night. You could likely hear it from inside. I fell in love instantly. This was late October, it was cold out, so we took the happy cat family inside.
This wasn’t the best idea.
The kitten had never been inside before, and he reacted badly. This is a euphemism. He spent the next five minutes zooming from one object to another, from table to plant to couch to chair, all in a whirlwind of destruction. He weighed less than five pounds but somehow knocked books and lamps over. It took the rest of the weekend to clean it all up. The kitten ended up hiding under my bed. My mom, not too impressed with me, ordered the cats out.
Once again, we were cooing for the kitten to come to us. I had no luck. My brother, who has a knack for animals, slowly and patiently got the kitty to walk into his arms. Once again, the purring rivalled a motor. The kitten purred and purred as my brother walked upstairs, opened the door and then placed him out into the cold. The mother went as well, of course, and boy, she looked infuriated at her son. She slapped him a few times and then they both vanished into the night. The whole experience seemed rather surreal, save for the wanton destruction in our living room. It was an experience, all right, though I supposed I’d never see them again.