Almost two weeks ago, I rescued a kitten. I first heard him in the shrub "talking" to me as I left for work. I put out food and water and than sat on the steps to talk to him when I got off work. The next evening he came close enough for me to pet and I swooped him up and shut him in the library (2nd bedroom) while I ran to the grocery store for supplies.
He was really sweet. I flea powdered him and bought him a few toys and a little house. Naturally, he preferred a corner behind a cat tree. He litter trained himself after I put him the little litter tray just once. He would raise himself up to my hand and then curl up on it while i petted him (head to toe and on his tummy). He didn't like being picked up, but we were working on it. I promised him he was safe. He was nearly fearless when the others (two dogs and two cats) came to visit through the pet gate.
Two co-workers offered to adopt him. The first had a daughter around 8 years old and a single older cat. The other lived alone and had no pets. I agreed to give the kitten (now named Zak) to the little girl and they picked him up on Sunday morning. When I got into work on Wednesday, the coworker had responded to my questions about the kitten by saying they'd lost him in the garage on Sunday night and hadn't been able to find him. When I asked to come over and sit in the garage to see if he'd come out to me, his wife told him "No" and he told me she was weird about having people in the house.
By Friday, I;'d paid $2.00 to find out his address and then I went to the neighborhood to see if I could find the kitten. Fortunately, the neighborhood was off the main drag in Dupont, the houses had lots of landscaping, and the coworker's house was near a green belt. i felt Zak was probably taking care of himself, but a baby shouldn't have to … and I'd promised him that he was safe.
I made up 35 flyers and put a few in protective sleeves. Yesterday, I spent about an hour and a half walking the neighborhood. I left flyers at all the nearby houses and talked to whomever answered the door. Some neighborhood kids had seen him at the opposite end of the development but still near the back, so I went back to the car and drove around in that area taping flyers to the consolidated mailboxes. I didn't see or hear him when I walked along, but I hoped someone had found him and given him a home even more than I hoped to get him back.
Later at home, as I was knitting and listening to an audiobook, I had an epiphany. One of the gentlemen who answered a door close to the area the kids identified said approximately, "He sounds cute … we lost our cat resently … maybe we'll just keep him if we find him?" I told him I would be happy to know he had a good home. I realized at that moment that they had probably taken him in and gotten attached to him. At least, I really hope so.
I am still so angry at the coworker and his family. I gave them the kitten's things, asked if they needed an extra litter pan and stronly suggested they needed to introduce the kitten slowly to the household and their other cat. Apparently, they keep their litter box in their garage with a pet door for access from the house. The coworker took the kitten out to use the litter box the night of the day that they took Zak home and Zak got away from him. They continued to open and close the garage door and who knows (given how small he was) whether he got out that night or when they were opening and closing the garage door to get their vehicles in and out!!! I saw no sign that they had talked to anyone in the neighborhood about losing him. I've learned once again to place more trust in my instincts … when I got their request to come by and take him home that Sunday, I almost said, "No."