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.