Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2158100-Paw-Prints-in-the-Snow
by River
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Animal · #2158100
Mandy saves a stray.

POSITIVE: Compassionate Intuitive
NEGATIVE: Overly- trusting

Mandy pulled her coat on and hurried to an old barn on her property. While out earlier this morning stocking the bird feeders she noticed cat tracks in the snow around the barn door.

The door was ajar. Thankful for her warm mittens, she pulled on the metal door handle expecting to find a stray cat inside.

Once inside, she peered around watching for movement. There! Something moved up in the hay mow. Cautiously, she climbed the ladder and called softly to the cat. She was answered by a loud hiss and caught a peek of a beautiful grey and white cat.

“Oh, poor kitty, you look so cold. Would you like to come in the house with me?” The cat ran and hid in a dark corner yowling ominously. “It's cold out here. You need to get warm and eat and drink.”

Mandy turned and headed back to the house to get some supplies. After several trips back and forth from the house to the barn, she was ready. She hauled her supplies up the ladder.

She placed a large cardboard box on a rug where she thought the sun's warmth would reach it. Mandy lined the box with straw then put a smaller box inside tucking straw between the two for insulation.

“There you go it's fit for a Princess. That's a good name for you, Princess.”

Next, she set down two bowls filling one with her house cat, Fluffy's food and one with water. The cat watched her from the dark corner. Mandy sighed, “You're so skinny, little one. You have to get some food into you.” Mandy returned to the house still worrying about the cat.

For the next month, Mandy took Princess food and water twice a day. Sometimes the cat would sit near the box and watch her fill the nearby dishes. One day Mandy reached out and rubbed Princess' neck, sure she could win over the cat's affection. She was rewarded by the whack of a paw, claws scratching her through her thick mitten. As time went by, Mandy noticed the cat was putting on weight, especially around her belly.

“Wow! You're pregnant, aren't you?” Princess came over and rubbed her body against Mandy's leg purring softly.

The next time Mandy climbed the ladder Princess was in the box. She popped her head up and meowed softly. Mandy set the food and water down and went to the box. Five little dark grey balls of fur lay curled against Princess' belly.

“Good girl, Princess, what a beautiful little family you have.”

Knowing the kittens couldn't stay in the cold barn she returned to the house. She had to make arrangements to transport Princess and her babies to the house.
Mandy found the large cat carrier she used to take Fluffy to the vet, put a warm blanket inside and grabbed another blanket to cover it with.

Now for the tricky part. Would Princess trust her enough to allow Mandy to put her and the kittens in the carrier? Or would she fight her tooth and nail?

She returned to the barn and climbed the ladder. She set the carrier on the floor beside the box and took a deep breath looking into Princess' eyes. The cat gazed back, purring and mewing. Mandy reached into the box and gently picked up a kitten and placed it in the carrier. Princess watched calmly. As she took the last kitten, Princess jumped out of the box and walked into the carrier. She made herself and the babies comfortable.

Mandy closed the door securely then picked up a rope and slid it through the handle on top. She tied three tight knots in the rope and gently lowered the carrier to the floor below.

She climbed down the ladder for the last time, wrapped the carrier in the blanket, and picked it up. Cradling it in her arms she quickly walked back to the house.

She set the carrier down, removed the blanket, and opened the little door. Princess looked up at Mandy and around the room then began grooming her babies.

“This is your new forever home, Princess. Welcome to the family.”

706 words.
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