Five kittens followed their mother through a space under the fence, behind the rose bushes, and up to the porch, awkwardly negotiating the stairs that were each taller than they were. On this porch, mother knew was a bowl of food left out each morning by the young woman who lived there. Mother was intent on giving her brood a lesson that she knew was the best hope for their survival.
The kittens surrounded the bowl and ate until it was empty. This was a diverse litter of kittens, both long and short hair and all sorts of colors, except there were two twin grey sisters with white points, which could only be distinguished by an unusual white marking one had on her back that resembled an arrow.
Before long, their mother disappeared, but as she had taught them the kittens came to eat on the porch everyday. One day three kids from the neighborhood got their hands on a bee bee gun and decided to make the kittens their target. Hiding behind a parked car their first shot hit the food bowl sending the kibble flying in all directions, scattering the frightened kittens. The twins managed to stick together and they hid motionless behind a rose bush. But the kids saw them and fired a second shot in their direction. This time Arrow was hit, and she darted over the fence.
Hearing the malicious boys laughing, the young woman of the house came out and chased the boys away. She called ARR to come speak at the next monthly neighborhood association meeting. It was an informative presentation that called for a community approach to managing the feral cat population. Neighborhood residents were also challenged to be role models of compassion, and asked to actively pass on this example to their children.
It was about two weeks before the young woman saw the kittens again, not five, but only three. Finally little Arrow's Sister joined her siblings, summoning all of her courage to go to the porch without the protection of her twin who was never seen again.
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