I had a blanket, leather gloves, a cardboard box, a bowl of water and some dry kitten food.
What I really needed was a priest, some holy water, and a suit of armor.
I had just trapped a barn kitten from the farm at the end of the road and brought it home. It left behind three siblings, a mother, a bellowing community of cows and the kind of free to roam around a drink milk from the cow's utter that city cats dream about. It wandered into my trap going after the wet cat food and now I had it, hissing and spitting and clawing in the trap.
I'm not a monster. All these kittens are going to be round up one way or the other and shot in the head by the farmer, or brought to the Humane Society, probably the former. So although this little grey and white tiger striped little thing (boy, girl, whose do say?) doesn't know it yet, putting its little paws into the steel trap was the most fortuitous act of its young life. There has been a cat shaped hole in our life ever since Sport runned off and served herself as an appetizer to a coyote, and this little thing is going to fill that hole.
It was the brightest, bluest fall day in history, the day my mom and I let the little monster lose in the guest room for the first time. It went ballistic, jumping around and slamming head-first into the closed windows, leaping up onto the tall bed in one springy motion, darting around the room like lightning. I caught it wearing leather gloves and tried to hold onto it- the farmer told us the only way to tame it would be to catch it and force it to sit still while you pet it for hours. The farmer is a 63 year old Vermonter with hands like raw-hide and I'm sure he would be able to do this. But not me. The kitten hissed, spit and went for my throat. I threw it away from me, it twisted in the air and landed on the ground, then bolted away.
When we caught it again we held it down onto the bed. My mom's two gloved hands and one of mine held down on the little body with all their might, while I gingerly tried to stroke the back of its head with my other hand. It hissed and struggled. And then it started moaning. That terrible moaning of something that is so terrified it either wants to kill or it wants to be dead. Then it squirmed free and took off, spitting.
We left it alone. This was probably the best idea and we should have done it immediately- the thing has never been touched, picked up, or been inside a house before, and we tried to throw it all at him at once. We were just trying to take the advice of the farmer, but that 4 minutes of handling was probably pretty detrimental.
What the hell?!? When we heard barn cat, we thought 'kitten in a box!' The kind that cuddles up in your hand and sleeps under your chin at night. When we heard 'feral cat' we just thought, so it will be spirited! Alright!
Now we've got a little monster demon crouching under the antique dresser in our living room. So far the soothing tones and the disastrous attempt at petting didn't work. On to plan B I suppose: shaking it bodily while dousing it in holy water and shouting The Power of Christ Compels you!!