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Arian and Rowan, part 2 - first festivals - destruction - Mystery

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Auspicious start? Interesting, though, if nothing else.

Four days later, I found a banana box and put an old jumper in it. I then put the box on my bed and gently put each kitten into the box. Amazingly, Yinyin showed total trust, even moving slightly to allow me to pick each kitten up. I then put the full box on the front passenger seat of my Land Rover. I built a cushioned protective area all around them. Yinyin was great. She got into the box and continued to nurse them. The kittens, Yinyin and I then headed off to their first festival! It was the Tapeley Park Didge Gathering.

Yinyin was fine with the travelling. We would arrive at a destination, I would then lift the full box out and back to my bed where Yinyin would meet us as I gently returned the kittens to nest happily.

Of course, I wasn’t always going to be able to leave the window open for Yinyin. I had to fit a cat-flap. Yinyin though, still used the window! Unless it was closed.

It didn’t take long before those tiny little kittens opened their eyes, discovered the wider area of the caravan and ransacked it.

Apart from the destruction, they were a joy. Experiencing pivotal moments of their lives are joys I treasure; from opening their eyes to discovering the outside world. However, those first few weeks were challenging! Anything that was hanging was a swing. They destroyed a dream-catcher that I had had for 25 years! (There’s a story about that. Remind me sometime to tell you about it). They would race around all over the caravan. It would be pandemonium at times.

The day they discovered the outside world was funny. The kittens were tearing up and down the caravan in their usual boisterous way. They had bundled down towards the door and one got knocked through the cat-flap. Yinyin jumped up to the bedroom window by the door and simply watched as one after the other stuck their heads out and jumped down to have an explore of the wide world outside. My first thought was to rescue the first explorer, but forgot that idea immediately, being reassured by Yinyin’s reaction. Of course, getting back in wasn’t so easy! It was hilarious seeing them jumping up and swinging on the doorstep as they climbed back in.

It was also time to introduce a litter tray. Poor Yinyin couldn’t keep up with them. That worked superbly well. The first thing Yinyin did was to use it. She then carried each kitten to it. It worked so well that within a couple of days I put it outside the door. From that point, they quickly learnt to go with Nature and the tray was not used again, except for when we were travelling. There were a few ‘accidents’, though, particularly with a couple. There came a point when I literally had to rub the nose of one of them in their mess. By this point, my mattress had to be thrown out and I was sleeping on the bench seat!

Then tragedy struck. I had returned to the ‘drove’ next to Crasken while I dealt with the mattress. Hairy Rich, that lumbering oaf I’ve told you something about, came to visit. It was jovial and the kittens were running around, playing. When he was leaving, he asked if there were any kittens under his car. A quick look confirmed that all was clear. Rich then stuck the car in gear and went for it. Within a second I was shouting for him to stop. I got him to reverse as I cradled one of the kittens in my hands. A few seconds later, she died.

I was devastated (I am crying as I remember; writing this now). I thought that Rich would have the good sense to move forward slowly. But, no. The kitten in her play, darted across his path. There no time to react.

Bless him though. As I lay collapsed with this little bundle of joy in the palms of my hands, wailing, he went off and found a box and filled it with paper. I placed the kitten inside the box and closed the lid. We went up to the ‘Round’ (the Neolithic camp). In the middle of the ‘Round’, there is a circle of trees, still quite young at the time. I chose an oak. Rich then dug the hole, I placed the makeshift coffin into the hole, then Rich filled it back in. I gave thanks to the Universe for the life of that little soul, as brief as it was. At this point, none of the kittens names had been revealed to me. I couldn’t think of anything else but to call her Mystery for that reason; I never learnt her name.

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