The lost kitten

Din Din shivered as he made his way to the garden. Steady snow had fallen in the last few days and the ground was covered with a layer of clear white snow. Din Din’s tracks left their prints in the snow.

“Kit!” he called out. “Where are you?” He looked for his pet cat, Kit, who lived in a tiny shack Din Din had built. Din Din had found the kitten when she was just a week old and since then the kitten had been his shadow. She took care of Din Din’s prized garden and waited anxiously for him to return every evening. But today the young cat was nowhere to be seen. She usually rushed to greet Din Din by entwining herself between his tall legs.

The wind blew, bringing with it a fresh shower of snow. Bushes with bright violets, pansies and sweet-scented winter jasmine which Din Din had planted last month were now in bloom. Din Din returned to the lake when the sun was halfway down the horizon.

“Hello Din Din,” greeted Delma. “The edges of the lake are beginning to freeze and I’m going to move to the warmer coves near the Aquatic School.” When Din Din didn’t answer, Delma and Dazel were puzzled.

“What’s wrong, Din Din?” Dazel asked.

“It’s Kit; I can’t find her in the garden. I’m really concerned. It’s getting colder every day and I usually line her shack with hay in winter. This time I completely forgot,” shared Din Din shaking his head in remorse.

“So you think the cold has driven her out of her shack?” asked Delma.

“Yes, I haven’t been to my garden since the snow fell a few days ago,” explained Din Din.

“There’s also one more thing; since the last few months she has been behaving quite strangely. She wanders away from the garden. It’s not like her to do that.”

“It’s been nearly two years since Kit has been with me. I found her one fine day in my garden when she was barely a week old and since then she never wanted to leave me. All the cats live down South but I never found out who brought her to this side of D’Land,” the dinosaur continued in a tremulous voice.

“We will find her,” comforted Dazel. “The sun has gone down,” said Delma. “It will be hard to find her. We will have to start tomorrow morning.”

After a restless night, Din Din awoke even before sunrise. He trekked around Fruit Park and his garden but Kit was nowhere. That evening when he met Delma and Dazel at the lake, they too had no good news to share.

“I swam around the lake bank…,” said Delma.

“And I flew till the Northern Mountains, but I could not spot Kit,” said Dazel. Dejected, Din Din made his way from the lake. In the distance he could see Burrow the rabbit who was an expert gardener.

“Hello Din Din,” Burrow waved to him. “How are your winter plants coming along?”

“The violets, pansies and jasmines are blossoming well,” replied Din Din.

“I’ve just come out of my burrow to take a look at the asparagus and peas growing in my garden. There are very limited vegetables I can grow for my clan in winter,” retorted Burrow. “It’s a good thing we have stored quite a hoard of vegetables in our burrows. These burrows can be quite warm and cozy. I’d invite you inside mine if you could fit in.” Din Din bid goodbye to Burrow, thanking him for the peas he had gifted.

“Ma, these are from Burrow,” said a subdued Din Din as he walked into the kitchen of his spacious cave home.

“Oh lovely! I will prepare pea soup for dinner,” announced Mrs. Dee. As Din Din drank the steaming pea soup that night, Burrow’s conversation kept replaying in his mind, “Burrows keep creatures warm. Maybe Kit made a burrow for herself. There is an entire colony of moles who live near my garden underground.”

With hope to carry him on, Din Din waited impatiently for morning. At sunrise, Din Din was already at his garden. In the growing morning light he peered around the garden looking for the mole families who lived there.

A grey head with beady eyes popped out from a hole in the snow.

“What is it?” the mole asked.

Din Din shuffled uncomfortably from one great foot to another. He did not have a very amicable relationship with these moles as they usually tried to dig up his garden.

“I just wanted to ask if you have seen my cat, Kit,” asked Din Din.

“You mean that white cat who doesn’t let us into your garden,” the mole retorted impishly. Din Din nodded his head.

“As a matter of fact, I have seen her,” the mole shot back, a mischievous grin on his face. “She’s in one of our burrows, but she’s not alone.” the mole said.

His head disappeared and he returned a few moments later, carrying a bundle of white fluff.

“Kit!” Din Din remarked.

“No, it’s not Kit — she is resting. It’s her litter of kittens,” the mole said. Din Din was speechless.

“Kit gave birth to these three kittens a few days ago but it was too cold in her shack so we invited her to stay here in our burrows,” the mole explained.

“Thank you so much. How could I have not known,” Din Din said shaking his head. “I have been very neglectful in taking care of her.”

“My name is Messi,” the mole said, “And there is no need to say thanks. Kit is very generous with sharing vegetables that grow in your garden.”

A few days later Din Din had completed lining Kit’s shack with a thick layer of hay. He escorted Kit and her litter of three kittens to their home.

A vessel of warm milk awaited the kitten family.

“I’m sorry, Kit,” apologized Din Din, with a bowed head.

“Din Din, please. Don’t say sorry. You have taken care of me for years. And now you have renovated this shack for my kittens,” Kit replied with a smile. “Together we will take care of your garden.” And Din Din smiled as the entire family of fluffy cats snuggled against his legs.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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