Life of Riley

by Shirley
(Antelope Valley, Ca.)

I discovered a starving litter of feral kittens living under a sticky pyracantha bush behind a shopping center. Thus began my twice daily trek there to take them food and water. As they began to recognize the sound of my car they would scramble over each other to peek out of the bush and to devour the food. But always as I approached, they retreated deep into the thorn covered bush until I returned to the car. There were 4 or 5 babies and no mama. They appeared to be 5 wks or so in age. Unfortunately, the bush was located by a busy street and right by a driveway where trucks delivered to the stores. It was constant traffic and no homes nearby to help these babies. One day, sadly, 1 of the babies was killed in the traffic. I began taking a cat carrier with every feeding and tried every trick to lure them out of the bush. Very discouraging work and hot weather was quickly approaching in our high desert country. Then one day I succeeded in luring a kitten into the carrier. I took the tiny, filthy creature home and gently bathed him. He was totally trusting and happy. Much to my surprise after the bath and cleaning those dirt filled ears, I had a beautiful white kitten! Never would I have guessed that!! And what a joy he has been. So loving and dear. Oh, one more surprise. As the weeks went by and he began to fill out, his little string of a tail became a beautiful fluffy plume of BLACK. His crowning glory! I vowed he would lead the Life Of Riley and never be homeless or hungry again. Unfortunately, tho I returned over and over for Riley's siblings they simply faded away and tho I watched everytime I drove by I never saw them again. Thank goodness for Riley!

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