Minutes after I opened the door to let the cats out I heard an agonizing yowl. I rushed to the door and listened. It came again and I slowly walked to the van. Beneath, Rosie was twice her size, growling, hissing, and looking above her. Betsy walked towards the van, cautiously and beginning to fluff out. She too looked startled. Rosie screamed again, hissed, and still wasn't sure which way to run, or to run at all.
On my hands and knees. Nervous cats surround me. I strain to see into the darkness that is the transmission of my van, and can't see a thing. I rush to open the hood and can't move the latch. Finally, I open the hood in time to see a tiny black kitten, wide-eyed and wanting no help from me.
He wound his way back down through the engine towards the ground and hestitated for only a second. During this time I want to grab the tip of his tail, the only part of him that is showing. With one more scream he's off, a black blur, straight to the chain link fence. He hits the fence wrong, bounces back, shakes his head, then proceeds through the tiny diamond. Across the neighbor's yard to the bushes. I jump their gate and run towards the bushes, bare footed across nearly dead grass.
From his tiny size I guessed he's maybe 3months old if that. And just where did he come from? I left early this morning, pulling out of the garage and away from the house around 7:30am. I dropped Lillie off at school, grabbed a latte, and headed to Kendalia, where I parked the van until nearly 1pm. I drove to Blanco for lunch, came home, showered, picked up Lillie from school, and straight back home. The incident happened just after Lillie and I were home.
I looked for the kitten in the bushes and headed around to their back yard, where 3 large dogs lay asleep. I couldn't imagine a kitten going that far--he would most certainly end up dead. The neighbor came around the front side of the house after I rang the doorbell and helped me look for the kitten after I told him the story. He got a good look at the kitten behind their pool pump and said the kitten was shaking and looked scared.
He dashed one more time towards my end of the bushes and when he saw me he darted towards the pool. I held my breath--not in the water! Then right behind that thought I figured if he did go swimming I would definitely be able to catch him then. He skirted the pool and dodged under the shed. The end of the chase.
Not long after, I watched him head towards the neighbor's house one more time. I jumped the fence and tried to cut him off as he darted down to the dry creekbed and the treeline.
My question is this--where did he come from and how did he end up in my engine???!!!
*Update 30 Oct 05
I have seen the kitten again in the neighborhood. He seems to like the back yard area of a neighbor up the street--the same yard that the kitten from a previous story (that had to be put to sleep) was found. I wonder if he is a litter mate. He is well and seemingly happy living as a young feral kitten.
I suppose it can be said he was roaming our front yard when the cats were let out and his only recourse was the engine of the van.
The mystery seems to be solved, and I'm glad that it is--can you imagine thinking you drove across 3 counties with a kitten in your engine??!!!