General Non-Fiction posted March 11, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
The kitten finds a guardian angel

The Mailman and The Kitten

by prettybluebirds

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

I love driving this mail route, it's so pretty and peaceful out here. Sure, sometimes it's a little tough in the winter, but a day like today makes up for all the bad days.

This early in the morning the fog is curling around the ancient oak and pine trees giving the woods a mystical, fairyland atmosphere. The smell of pine and rich damp soil assault my senses. The dirt road vanishes into the fog ahead of me and, for some reason, reminds me of the story of Alice in Wonderland. Soon the sun will chase the mist away, but until then, it's like being in another world. I must admit I have never seen any wood nymphs or other mythical beings dart in front of the car, but there were some close calls with deer.

Most of my fellow postal workers don't like these rural routes. Often, it's a goodly distance between houses and, as I mentioned before, these rural roads can be a real bitch in bad weather. For myself, I don't much care for the city or town routes where I have to stop every few minutes, and all the traffic goes whipping around me. It seems there are always some road-rage assholes giving me the finger or blasting their horn at me. What the hell do they think my flashing light represents; Santa Claus? Nope, give me this peaceful mail route in the country any day.

There is one long stretch through these woods that I particularly enjoy. I often see black squirrels in this area and today is no exception, but....wait a minute, that's not a squirrel. I slow down for a closer look and, lo and behold, a small, bedraggled black kitten comes crawling out of the ditch. I wonder what on earth a kitten is doing out here in the middle of nowhere. Of course, I already know the answer to that question, some low life scum dumped it out here to get rid of it. It is too small to hunt or care for itself, and will die a slow miserable death unless a hawk or something gets it first.

So, I have no choice but to stop and pick the poor little critter up. I don't need any more cats, but I won't leave the poor thing here to die.

The kitten is ecstatic at being picked up. He, it is a boy, begins to purr and burrow under my jacket looking for something to eat. There's no telling when the little guy ate his last meal, but I can take care of that in a hurry. I open my lunch box and get a sandwich out to share with the tiny cat. I break part of the sandwich into small pieces and watch the hungry fella tear into it. After he gets his tummy full, the kitten curls up by my leg and falls into a deep sleep. It makes my heart feel good to know that I came along at just the right time for this lovable guy.

I continue down the road to finish delivering the mail. I'm running a bit behind now, but I feel it is well worth the lost time to help the kitten.

When the kitten wakes up he stretches and yawns before running up my arm to sit on my shoulder. He isn't the least bit afraid finding himself with a strange person and riding in a car. Some cats go ballistic when you put them into a moving vehicle, but it sure doesn't seem to bother this small fella.

When I stop at the next mailbox, the kitten runs up my arm and into the box. I coax him back into the car and we continue on our way. This seems like a great game to the kitten, and every mailbox thereafter, he repeats the same routine. He is costing me more lost time, but I am thoroughly enjoying his antics.

I am almost to the end of my mail route, and my last stop is a rather nice farm where a young girl, Emily, probably seven or eight years old, often runs out to get the mail when she spots me coming. Today I see her come running around the back of the house to meet me. I like kids and often chat with Emily for a while before going on my way.

I stuck my hand out the window to give her the mail and, of course, the silly kitten runs up my arm. Only, this time, instead of going inside the mailbox, he lands on Emily's shoulder. The look on her face is priceless; I am laughing so hard the tears run down my face.

When Emily gets over her first surprise, she wants to know where I got the kitten from. I told her how I found the little tyke in the pine woods several miles back down the road.

"Oh, she's beautiful. What are you going to do with her; can I have her?" Emily asked me.

"It's he, not she," I reply. "Yes, if it's okay with your parents you can have him. I have four cats already, but I was going to take this one with me and try to find him a home."

Emily soon comes back with her mother and, they both kiss and pet the kitten till he squirms. They thank me over and over for bringing them such a wonderful present. Go figure that one out. I think they are doing me and the kitten a favor by giving him a home.

Oh well, I'm so glad things turned out as they did. The kitten has a wonderful home instead of dying a terrible death back there in the woods.

It's not likely I will ever run into any wood sprites or fairies on this route. However, maybe it was a fairy that pushed the little guy out into the road so I would see him. Who knows?

Write About This contest entry


My brother, Ken, was a mailman for many years. Ken had a rural route over around Coopersville, Michigan. He told me this story about the kitten in the woods and the girl who wanted to keep it. Ken said he often found cats and kittens dumped along the road, especially in that long stretch of woods. He would catch them when he could and try to find homes for them. Often he couldn't catch them and it made him sad to think of the fate in store for those lost animals.
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