Monthly Archives: June 2011
A friend of ours is kitten crazy. Betty loves newborn kittens. She likes to take care of them from birth until they are old enough to venture forth to new homes. She is kitten obsessed.
The problem is that Black and Orange has been working with Betty for over three years getting all the cats in her neighborhood and at her brother’s trailer park spayed and neutered. Our goal: no more kittens.
So Betty and B and O are at odds about our missions.
Betty stands firm sometimes, declaring that she doesn’t need any more cats to feed. At that point, I think I’ve finally gotten her over her kitten addiction. She also always calls me when a new stray shows up and brings it for clinic to be fixed. I think I am making headway in turning around her kitten infatuation and then she launches into a new litany about the merits of tiny kittens. I don’t see the appeal like she does. I am more of an older, less hyper, no climbing-the-curtains type of cat person.
Betty seems to think I hate kittens. I don’t. I’d just like to see a day when “kitten season” is not a season and there are no unwanted babies being born and dying in misery. I’d like to see a day when everyone celebrated kittens like Betty, instead of dumping them along roads or in trash cans or in abandoned houses where they can’t fend for themselves.
Betty believes I try to keep her from fulfilling her kitten fix. She nicknamed me “Dr. Tiller” in reference to the notorious abortionist. She thinks I secretly take pregnant cats and abort their babies without telling her.
In fact, the last few cats Betty brought for clinic already had had their kittens and had only a little milk left when they went to be spayed. I told Betty that there were kittens somewhere in her neighborhood and she needed to go looking for them. She wasn’t sure how exactly to do that, so I told her to follow the mother cats.
Which she did not do.
Instead, she implored the one mother cat, Madea, to bring her a baby.
And this is what I read when that happened: “Guess what I just found on my porch? Yep, I know it is one of Madea’s kittens, because I talked to her for about two hours yesterday, telling her to bring them kittens over here (you already know I am crazy). Madea got stuck on my porch during a twenty minute hail and rain storm and was so scared I had to pet her the whole time. And, of course, I was worried about her kittens drowning in the downpour. I knew that soon they were either going to follow her over here or she would bring them to eat. I looked out on my porch and saw several of my cats very interested in something. It was this all black baby kitten. I cornered it and caught it…and got my butt kicked by a 5-6 week old FERAL kitten, but I hung on.:) I am so happy.”
A few days later Betty wrote and said, “I AM Falling in Love!!!” She then went on to extoll the virtues of her new little friend who follows her everywhere and comes galloping into the room when she calls. Betty wanted a baby and this kitten clearly wanted a mama. Madea, the biological mom, just wants food, according to Betty. She could care less about her offspring. She was probably thrilled to hand it over to Betty.
Last week when I wrote the story of my friend Cynthia’s mystery twin kitten, Betty told me that her kitten story was special, too, and why didn’t I write about that? Mom, Madea, had graciously given Betty her baby when she could no longer feed it.
I agree that it is very heartwarming (and quite amazing that Madea listened) that Betty begged Madea to bring her a kitten and then received her greatest wish.
I told Betty I couldn’t write a story without photos, however, so she promptly sent me over pictures of Little Tiller, who she had named in my honor.
Little Tiller will also be going to clinic to be spayed or neutered once she/he is old enough. And that will, again, end another kitten cycle and dash more of Betty’s dreams.
I constantly assure her, though, that there are always, always more kittens looking for her.
I previously told everyone the story of my friend, Cynthia, who found two abandoned kittens by the side of the road just a short walk from her house. She named them Simon and Peter and began taking care of them. A few weeks after she had them, a stray tortoiseshell female cat showed up and pushed her way into Cynthia’s house. Strangely enough, this thin, starving, pushy female was the mother to the two kittens. Somehow, she had hunted those babies down and forced her way into Cynthia’s good graces to be reunited with them.
Maggie, the mom, was very happy to be back with her lost kittens. You can read that earlier story HERE.
Since that story, little Peter, the orange kitten became very ill and did not make it. So it was just Maggie and Simon. Poor Simon was very lonely without his brother to play and wrestle with. Although he had his mom, she just wasn’t as rambunctious as his playmate sibling.
Maggie and Simon have been to the vet, in the meantime, and are now spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and looking for a new home (although, Cynthia assures me they can stay with her as long as needed). I thought this was where the bizarre story ended, but Cynthia wrote me on Friday with another strange tale.
Cynthia emailed me and said that she had begun to question her sanity with Maggie and this litter of kittens of hers.
Here is the odd situation Cynthia recounted to me.
Cynthia had laid down to take a nap, little Simon curled up beside her on the bed. After she woke up, her neighbor came over and said she was returning Simon, who she had been “kitty-sitting” all afternoon while Cynthia was asleep. Cynthia wondered what in the world the neighbor was talking about since Simon had been napping with her. And then the neighbor produced a little black and white kitten that was an exact duplicate of Simon!
Where did this little guy come from? Cynthia keeps a close eye on all the cats in her area and this was the first time she had ever seen this kitten. He was friendly and socialized and seemed perfectly happy to be around people. How had he survived? Who had been feeding him and keeping him safe? How could he just appear and look so much like Simon? He has to be Simon’s brother. They are perfect mirror images. Except…mom Maggie wants nothing to do with him and hisses non-stop at the little guy.
Simon, though, is pleased as punch with this new friend. The two have already become best buddies, playing and curling up to sleep side by side. After losing his brother, Peter, Simon now has a playmate and companion. Which led me to wonder if little Peter had not come back in another form to be with his brother again. Spooky! But, also, a sweet thought. The photo Cynthia sent (at the end of this posting) of the two asleep, bodies connected, makes me think there is some strange connection with these kittens.
In any case, this little twin will be taken care of, too, and will give Simon the wrestling pal he was missing.
It has been a couple weeks since we took in three very special cats, so I wanted to give updates on how each of them are doing.
First up is Exodus. Exodus, as I reported at the beginning of May, came to us with his jaw broken on both the top and bottom and with a hole in the roof of his mouth from a tooth being shoved up through the bone. He had been hit very hard on the underside of his jaw and his mouth was filled with infection. Dr. Tom Klein of East Hilliard Veterinary Services fixed our sweet boy. Exodus went back for a check up visit at the end of May and Dr. Tom put him under again to drain an abscess on his chin. He got another antibiotic shot and came back home with me to recuperate until the end of June when Dr. Tom wants to see him again.
Exodus actually looks like a cat now. His fur has grown back in–he was missing a lot of it on his front legs. Dr. Tom thought the hair was missing because he had been rubbing his hurt mouth with his paws trying to stop the pain. Thankfully, Exodus is out of pain now and has grown in a gorgeous coat of hair.
While his jaw is fixed, his mouth will never align perfectly now, so his lower left side still hangs down a little bit. He has learned to eat just fine, although, he does still sometimes get food all over himself and the floor. He loves his soft food and meals are very happy times. We are working now to put some weight on him, get him completely over the infection so he can be vaccinated, and find him a home where he will be inside and safe. Exodus is about the nicest cat you will ever meet. He loves other cats and people and just constantly wants to be with you. He so deserves a wonderful home.
Next up is Chaplin, who you will remember, came to us after being dumped at Capital by his owner. Chaplin was very angry and aggressive when I first brought him home. I am so happy to say that this is not at all his nature now. He is a happy, playful boy who greets me at the door with a loud meow and then proceeds to lick my toes and feet–yes, this from the boy who shredded my foot the first day I went in the bathroom to check on him.
Chaplin now rubs noses and gives kisses and loves to play. He is also very interested in my cats and has been sniffing them through the bathroom door. We are proceeding very slowly, because he has been through too much to just mess up our progress by scaring him again. I’ve also been playing with Chaplin and my “greeter” cats through the door and he loves that. I think that sometimes Chaplin plays a little too hard, because he was an only cat and he did not know that humans aren’t as tough as cats when they wrestle. I think that once he has a cat buddy to roll around with, he will work out a lot of his extra energy and that will calm him down even more. He has turned into a real lover who is so happy to see me. I am so glad this baby was given another chance.
Finally, I have to tell you about Charley. Charley is currently in foster care with Dr. Kim West, because I thought, after hearing the stories from his owner, that Charley had a ton of medical problems that would need fixed. His owner returned him to us at the middle of May, because she said he was not using the litter pan. Turns out, she had had Charley declawed, in violation of our adoption contract, and he was so upset and his paws hurt so bad, she said (emphasis on “she said”) he would not urinate in the litter pan.
Well, guess what? From day one, Charley has used the litter pan and regular litter for Dr. West. No problems. No accidents. Dr. West didn’t have to use special litter or litter pans. He just hopped in the box and did his business.
Charley also seems to be doing just fine with Dr. West’s cats who come to play with him under the door. We were afraid his former owner’s other cat had been bullying him and he might have a fear of cats because of that. But, no. He is fine with all the things we were worried about. Which just goes to show what a peaceful, loving environment can do.
Charley will be going to the PetSmart on Sawmill next as soon as the cage is free, which we are hoping will happen this week.
Thank you to everyone who sent love and good thoughts for these three special boys. Next on our agenda is to find them homes where they will stay forever and will not need us any longer.