The fact based stories of a little girl and her single mother family growing up in a magical time full of endearing adventures
The Adventures of Scout
Scout and Laddie find the Barn Kittens
Scout woke up from under the covers, stretched, kissed her stuffed white kitten goodmorning, and pulled back the plaid comforter she had snuggled under since she was a baby. A soft warm breeze blew through the open bedroom window, lifting the white ruffled curtains, the breeze tickling her nose. She could smell coffee coming from the small bright, country farm kitchen. She knew that Momma would be sitting at the wooden kitchen table, with the red and white checkered tablecloth, eating 2 “dip eggs”, 2 pieces of toast with strawberry jam, and maybe some bacon. Scout wondered how anyone could make eggs look soo good!
Scout shuffled into the kitchen, slid onto Mommas lap taking a bite of her toast. Momma said “let me finish and I will make you some”, but by then Scout had dashed out of the house in her pink and white candy striped nightgown calling the dogs.
“Laddie” she called. From under the porch (one of their favorite hiding places and sometimes a Fort) Laddie crawled, shaking dust from his golden shiny coat. Laddie had been the only one of the litter of 6 collie pups that Scout had been allowed to keep. Laddie was her best friend and protector. Just ask her five year old brother Timmy, if he even tried to bully Scout, Laddie would jump on him knocking him down into the dirt.
Pulling a box of Ritz crackers from behind her back (that she had snuck out of the kitchen) Scout sat down on the porch step and began to write on the box with a pencil, “Laddie and Scout keep out!” Scout and Laddie went everywhere together. Everywhere except the corral. That was forbidden. Every day Scout and Laddie would watch from outside the corral, peeking between the corral fence as the hired men fed and cared for the cattle.
One day when the men had finished working with the cattle, Scout and Laddie decided to go search for the kittens in the hay loft, in the top of the big white barn. Scout would never leave Laddie behind, so she pulled and pushed and shoved him up each hay bale in the barn, higher and higher, until he could jump into the hay loft.
It wasn’t long before Scout heard Laddie whining, which meant he had found the kittens hidden in a corner, behind a hay bale. Just as Scout leaned over to see the kittens, a ball of colorful fur came flying toward them both! Scout fell backwards into the hay, dust and hay flying into the air. She heard a “yelp” and looked around to see the momma cat “Missy” pouncing right on the back of poor frightened Laddie! “Missy” Scout shouted in laughter, “Stop beating up poor old Laddie!”
But it was too late Laddie had skipped and slipped and jumped his way back down the stack of hay bales, tail tucked under, running out of the barn as fast as his legs would take him! Scout picked Missy up gently and said “for such a pretty calico cat you sure can be mean!” “I guess you just want to protect your babies, we know.” She softly put Missy down in the hay and petted her ruffled fur.
Scout then peered over the hay bale and was so happy to see a “bucket full of kittens”, that’s what her Grama T. had always called a big litter of farm kittens. Scout counted each one carefully, hoping to find a white one with blue eyes like hers. All the kittens were sleeping on top of each other, in a pile, so one by one Scout picked each up gently as if they were as fragile as an egg. Missy stood purring nearby, as if to show approval and how proud she was to show off her babies. Scout noticed Missy also kept an eye out for the Laddie, the “enemy!”
The first kitten Scout picked up was a calico like her mommy “Missy.” The second kitten was a gray striped tiger kitty, who Momma said are the “best mousers.” By now the kittens had started to stir and “mew” softly. Scout felt Missy’s soft fur rubbing against her bare leg as if to remind her that she was still watching over her babies. Scout reached down again behind the hay to pull out another kitten, each one seeming like a prize. This kitten was black, with one white paw and a little pink nose. She could tell that this was going to be her favorite; she would name it Raven because it was black.
Scout thought to herself “how could anyone be so lucky to have all these kittens?” “Thank you Missy!” “Thank you!” she said hugging her close to her chest and kissing her on her pink nose. Missy licked Scout’s nose as if to say “you are welcome.” Scout wondered if there were any more kittens hiding in the hay, so she slowly slid the bale away from the others and slid in behind, crawling between the bales on her hands and knees. Once she was closer she could see a little pair of eyes peering at her from beneath some loose hay. Gently as she pushed away the loose hay she couldn’t believe her eyes. Staring back at her with curiosity was the cutest little furry white kitten, with bright blue eyes! Scout jumped up and down with happiness, sending all the kittens scurrying behind the hay bales. Scout didn’t mind she had a job to do. She had to go tell everyone she and Laddie had found the barn kittens!
Scurrying and sliding down the hay bales from the loft, Scout dusted herself off and ran as fast as she could across the barnyard, to the little white farm house, sending the rooster and hens flying about! She ran up the wooden steps to the front porch and into the kitchen, letting the creaky screen door slam behind her. “Momma’’ “Momma” “Laddie and I found the kittens!” “Missy hid them from us but Laddie found them.” “But momma it was so funny, Missy jumped on Laddie and scared him away”. “Momma there are so many of them,” she gasped out of breath from running and excitement. Momma said “Wonderful, good job Laddie” as she gave him breakfast scraps from the table, outside in his bowl on the porch.
“Momma, there is a calico kitten like Missy, and a gray one, you said they are good mousers, right Momma right?” “Yes Scout, that’s what folks say.” “Now Scout, did you leave the kittens right where you found them?” “Yes maam’, I didn’t handle them a bunch like you said, but Momma?” “Yes Scout?”, “Missy had a white kitten for me, and Momma she has blue eyes!”
Scout sat down at the kitchen table, Momma could see she was hot, and covered in hay and dust from head to toe. Momma said with a smile “Yes, Scout honey, I think Missy did have the white kitten for you, she loves you so much, so don’t forget Missy was your first baby.”
Scout remembered the day she and momma had gone to the shelter in town to pick a kitten for her 6th birthday. There had been so many kittens to choose from at the shelter, all jumping and playing and rolling around on the floor. Scout had always wanted a calico cat and so when she saw the calico kitten in the corner, licking its paw she had felt sorry for it and picked it up.
Momma had said “Scout are you sure?” “She is so small and it looks as though she has a hurt paw.” “Momma, didn’t you say that I could choose whichever kitten I wanted?” Scout had reminded her. Momma had said laughingly, “Yes Scout, I did.”
Scout had swooped up the tiny calico kitten, wrapping her in her sweatshirt, being careful not to hurt her sore paw.
Since that day 2 years ago, Missy had grown into a big healthy momma kitty, guarding the barn from “evil, scary, mice.”
This was Missy’s first of many litters to come, and the whole family was very excited and proud of Missy, and celebrated, oh yes everyone except for Laddie!