“Meow…Meow…Meow!!!” The laments were at first almost inaudible.
I seriously began doubting my own ears and even worse, my own mind. “I swear I just heard a sound. Was it possible that I was imagining a feline symphony?” I asked myself as I scratched my head. “I mean I was tired from the endless walks through my Junior High School’s hallways and staircases, the long list of heated fights I witnessed in our school premises as well as the pressures of the daily life of just being a regular 13 year old. Imagining a cat meowing might be feasible.” I concluded. I decided middle school and my teenage years had done a number with my mind. However, as time passed the meowing not only began again but gradually increased in pitch and volume.
It was a dark, freezing, February night in New York. I lived at the time with my parents and younger brother in a small two bedroom apartment in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens. I desperately went around in circles trying to figure out the origin of the laments I thought I heard. My mom who always had a keen ear for sounds asked me to be quiet while she listened intently to the cries. “Hay un gato en el patio, “ she concluded. She was confident that the cat cries originated from the backyard. The night was dangerously cold. There was a shower of huge snowflaked that without mercy continued to cover the entire city. My backyard looked exactly like a mirror or a frozen skating rink. My mom and I embarked on a frozen adventure. We went out fully equipped in hats, scarves, gloves and all of our warmest winter gear to try to find the origin of the feline cries. It was a thorough investigation to find the culprit that was keeping us up at night. We attempted to walk around with a flashlight but the snow would push us into its base. Every step we took, the snow would swallow our leg then the next leg. I begin to notice that I could not even hear the cries anymore at that point. My mom said it was getting too cold and it was time to go inside. I wanted to cry. I was worried that maybe there was a baby animal that needed to be rescued.
At that exact moment as if the feline decided to utter a formal complaint in cat language we heard “Meow! Meow!” It was as if demanding, “Hey. How about me?” We heard the meow again. We followed the sounds of the feline symphony until we finally saw him. He was a small orange baby kitten just shivering. He was so weak that he could not lament anymore. We took him inside and made an improvised bed for him with some of our towels and pieces of old blankets. We offered him warm milk but he did not know how to drink it from a bowl yet. I had to put it in a little cup and feed him warm milk. He was beautiful. He had the majestic look of a baby tiger with his stripes and big, green eyes. It was late so my mom turned off the lights to sleep. I began missing him already as I went on my way to my bed. I decided to wish him good night again. He was just to adoreable! I went back in the dark to attempt to stare at him some more but he stuck his back out like a camel and hissed at me for getting too close to him. I jumped away in fear. It was unbelievable that such a tiny baby could feel threatened by us and plan to defend himself at all cost that first night. We rescued the baby kitten from the ice and he became our companion. We took him to the veterinarian for a checkup and his shots. He became our beloved pet. I even forgot that I was allergic to cats. I did not want to give up this adorable little guy that filled our world with fun and excitement. Our beloved “Tiger” also known as “Gato” which means cat was a source of love and entertainment. I loved watching him play with cat toys around the house and yard. He became the king of that house and yard. No other cats could even go close to his yard. He became my inseparable friend who would rub against my leg to be caressed as I watched tv. He was affectionate to my family as if showing gratitude. I believe he knew we had saved his life. One thing is for sure rescuing this baby kitten made our lives happier too. He became a new family member.