Yesterday afternoon as I was
I opened the door and responded, "Meoooooow."
And the kitten answered.
And I meowed.
And the kitten answered.
We played this game for about thirty seconds as I intermittently asked "dove sei?" (where are you?) but always received the same response. Clearly this little one was stuck somewhere.
So I followed the noise, and I tracked down the kitty to an attic-like space above my neighbor's house, only accessible from the outside by a rather unique staircase.
I started to ask her for a key, but then I realized I was in Calabria, and the likelihood of the door being closed with more than a clever contraption was low. Sure enough, a knotted rope greeted me, and as I started to untie it, I was assured that the kitty was inside because through the crack in the door, its little blue eyes glared at me before it hissed, swatted, and ran into the corner.
But no kitty.
I searched all over, meowed, and even poked around with a stick to ruffle some things about, but there was no sign of life.
I wanted to leave the door open for a bit to allow the kitten to let itself out, but it was extremely windy and Anna Maria would never go for it. So after a few minutes, I retied the rope behind me and formulated my plan to wait until Anna Maria went to church and then try again.
I was going to have to resume Operation Rescue Kitty da sola (alone).
And so when I heard the bells calling the faithful to Mass, I peeked my head out the door and meowed.
And the little one answered.
I climbed back up the stairs and performed the same routine as before, just in case it was now ready to come out.
So I tied the door partially shut, leaving room enough for escape, descended the stairs, and then started meowing loudly. At this point, I was pretty sure that its mother was around--there is one particular chubby stray that always used to hang around, but I hadn't seen her in a while. I now assumed she had been on maternity leave.
And I was right.
Within seconds, (skinny) Mamma came rushing around the corner. She looked at me as if to ask, "Where's my baby?" and so I pointed up the steps. She trotted up there to the crack in the door; immediately the kitten emerged, and they were reunited.
Baby rubbed all around Mamma as Mamma tried to clean the grime off Baby. And boy was the little one hungry.
Eventually Mamma decided on a more comfortable place for feeding where she could finally relax. You could see that she had just been worried sick about her little one from the way she collapsed once they were together again.
And another kitty family sleeps off into the sunset.