My family and I went on a walk this evening to visit our neighbors around the corner, about 1/2 mile from the house. Erin had some information to drop off, and it’s been a while since we were able to just stand around and talk. David was the only one home, so after about 10-15 minutes, it was time to head home (after Colton petted “one more” animal). As we’re walking down the driveway, one of their three kittens start to follow us. We try to scare them away, even throw wood chips at them, but nope, he’s set on following us. So we break into a run… me, my wife, and my son, all running away from this kitten that can’t weight more than a pound or two. We get a bit down the road, turn around, and… there are now THREE kittens following us, although they are a ways back now. So we hurry up and keep walking home, hoping they’ll get tired and turn around. We get around the corner so we can’t see them anymore, and of course Erin is a little concerned that we should make sure they get home “safe,” and then we see a black pickup slow down as if to avoid hitting them, and then… stop. Oh no. Did one of them get hit? Are they going to pick them up and steal them (although it’s much more common to see cats dumped out here, not picked up)? We go ahead and hurry home, with me promising to get in the truck and go over and take a look to see if (hopefully not) one of them got hit.

So I get in the truck, head over there, and notice the black truck is just pulling out of another nearby house’s driveway. Oh good, maybe they picked them up and took them over there, thinking that’s where they belong. So I go over and check, but no, there’s no kittens. So I hop back in the truck and decide to see if I can catch up and ask whoever’s in the truck if they saw and did anything with the kittens. I find the truck, about half a mile down the county road, and start to follow it, wondering if the lady (i can tell now) might stop. But no, she doesn’t. Do I flash my brights at her to ask her this silly question about kittens? Do I follow her till she stops? The road ends, and she turns, and I decide to give up. At least I’ve noticed it’s a black dodge with an “In God We Trust” license plate. Maybe I’ll put up a guilt-trip note at the local gas station to see if they might fess up to stealing my neighbor’s kittens. Oh well. I tried. But I sure feel sucky.

So I call my neighbors back, as the rest of the family just got home. No, the kittens have not come back. They are no where to be seen. I have nothing better to do, and am feeling bad, so I decide to go out looking for “The Black Dodge.” Mind you, it’s dark out now. And it’s been about 15 minutes. And country roads go many places. But it’s worth the effort, at least… I love these neighbors. So off we go, Rodney Atkins in the background… try one road until it turns back the way I came, and then try another road… and there it is, a house with a black dodge pickup in the driveway with an “In God We Trust” license plate. And the lights are on. So I do what most people would do… I drive past. But then I see someone on the porch so back up and yell at them, “Have you seen three white cats?”… Yeah… sounded dumb… but at least she couldn’t understand me over the truck’s diesel engine. So I park it, and head up to a house I’ve never seen, in the dark, to ask them if they might have just stolen three kittens.

The girl at the door says she wasn’t in the truck, let her go get her mom. So I wait, listening to people inside talk about soggy chips or something. And then this lady comes to the door, and I say something like, “I know this sounds kinda strange, but I’m looking for my neighbor’s cats. They live 2 miles from here but I saw a black dodge like yours stop near where they were last seen and I wondered if, by chance, you’d seen then or picked them up.”

And what do you know, I’ve got the right place! The lady had seen them walking down the road, didn’t want them to get killed, and picked them up. She went to one house to see if they belonged there, but no one was home. So she decided to try again after the sun came up. (Maybe that’s what I shoulda done?) So she sends her daughter to go get them (daughter didn’t know about them yet apparently), and then the daughter who didn’t know they were there proceeds to tell me the sex of each kitten. Go figure out how that works out… I don’t know. But I’ve got my treasure, I try to convince them I wasn’t assuming they’d stolen them to feed to their dogs (not exactly my words), and get back in the truck.

Call the neighbors, call my wife, thank the Lord, and head back home. Good old truck… thanks for another adventure.