I occasionally hike a section of the Hoover Trail that branches from the North Shore Trail along Lake Macbride. It is a longer walk and with fall weather, I seek to spend more time outdoors. It was perfect for a long Sunday walk.
A couple of gray kittens were sunning on dirt next to the trail. “What are you doing here?” I asked. It was half a mile or more to the nearest building.
They were not just born yet still very young. I talked to them, but didn’t touch them. If I had a bag or backpack with me, I would have picked them up, brought them home, and had them checked out by a local veterinarian. Lacking suitable cat transportation, I left them where I found them, hoping for the best.
The next day, my spouse and I discussed the kittens and decided if I could find them again I would bring them home for processing and potential domestication. That is, as pets. We decided they were not yet feral cats, because if they were, they would have hidden when they saw humans on the trail. Our fear was that someone dumped them, a common occurrence in rural Iowa.
Grabbing an old moving box, I put a couple of old towels and a pair of gloves in it and walked back to the spot. It is inaccessible by automobile and took a half hour or more to make it back.
I stopped by the benches and bike racks near the pond to cool down. The sound of birds was all around. There were squirrels, grasshoppers and other insects on a bright afternoon. It was peaceful and restful. The kittens were nowhere to be found. I will assume that is good news although was a little sad when I left. The lesson is to pay attention to one’s surroundings. I doubt bicyclists noticed the kittens while they sped by.
We seek to do good in life, yet sometimes it works out differently.