This is GATO, one of three kitties residing at our home. The other two are his mother, Le Femme Nikita (Niki) and Mercedes (Sadie), his sister. His brother, Buttons, lives with our daughter.
How did we come across this feline family?
In late March of 2003, a brown tabby kept appearing in our backyard. I soon discovered the reason for her daily appearance. Whenever I went for my yard tools, soft mews came from the rafters of the shed. Mama cat moved her kittens soon after my discovery. I didn't hear a WHIMPER until one day in early June.
While weeding my garden I heard an occasional mew coming from SOMEWHERE. The animal seemed to be in minor distress but in looking, I found nothing! It became so aggravating that I stopped working in the yard, leaving the remainder of work for the next day.
Day two began in silence, but soon the mews began again, this time with more urgency in their tone. Having lost Friskey (our twelve year-old buff tabby), a year (almost to the day) earlier and because the mews were strangely emitting from the area surrounding his burial site, I became obsessed in finding their source. Yeah, okay...it was a bit like Pet Sematary!
After HOURS searching, I finally narrowed it down to the trees above the garden, but couldn't see ANYTHING! The mews were getting pretty desperate, so I went over into our neighbors yard. I now understand how the CHESHIRE CAT became invisible in WONDERLAND's trees! If not for those huge, piercing-green eyes and that hot-pink tongue (now panting from dehydration), I would never have spotted that kitten looking down at me from 25-30 feet in our neighbor's tree!