Behind our house is a farmette, one of the few left in our suburb. Unfortunately, they have barn cats. Cats they don't neuter or spay. Ten years ago, we took one of the cats to our vet to have it spayed, thinking it was a young cat in heat--thinking we would keep it. Only to find that Mollie was Ollie, who was much older than we thought (by about a year). We knew we could not have a formerly unneutered male cat introduced with our two male cats because one that sprays its urine to mark its territory will ALWAYS spray to mark its territory--and we couldn't live with that. So we contacted our local non-kill shelter, paid the cost of all shots and turned Ollie over to them (After spending over $300) and felt terrible and horrible for a very LONG, LONG time. (Okay, we still feel rotten about it.)
But . . . the farm cats seem to go on and on. My mom's friend lives about a half mile up the road from us. She lives on the south end of the farm and she's been feeding (and taking these cats to the vet) for years.
We first saw Orange Kitty with Stumpy Tail last fall. We also saw her many times over the winter, and felt sorry for her. And then we didn't see her at all until last week. Farm cats seem to come and go. The other day, we saw Orange Kitty in our front yard with a mouse in her mouth (at the time, we didn't know she was a she) and said, "Go, Farm Kitty--Keep those mousies from coming into our house."
We've seen her coming and going since then. But last night we were sitting in our enclosed porch when she came into the backyard, causing all kinds of kitty excitment. Except that Bonnie saw Orange Cat and got so hot and bothered she attacked the first cat she saw--her ailing sister. Then Chester and Fred saw Orange Cat on the deck and hot all interested. You could almost see the thought balloons over their heads: "Think we can kill this bitch?"
Orange Cat retreated to the rose campion portion of the garden. Then suddenly we saw not only Orange Cat, but teenaged Black-And-Orange Cat and teenaged Orange Cat. That's when we knew that Orange Cat was Mama Orange Cat. And how many other teenaged kittens were lurking in the foiliage on the west end of our yard? (Well, it turns out at least ONE more Orange teenaged cat.)
My family has a summer cottage in the next county, and I can't tell you how many ads there are in the weekly rag not only for FREE KITTENS but "Moving, please take our (aged) cat" ads there are every week and it breaks my heart. What is with these people? Why are pets disposable to so many damned people?
If you aren't willing to take on the responsibility of a pet for its entire life (or heaven for forbid for a HUMAN CHILD) DON'T DO IT! This isn't rocket science. Spay and neuter your pet. I'm not a PETA maniac, whose agenda really seems to be to outlaw pet ownership altogether, but let's face it--not spaying or neutering your pet and turning their offspring loose to fend for themselves is nothing short of animal abuse.
PLEASE, PLEASE support your local no-kill shelters. Please donate money so that people without means can have their pets neutered and NOT contribute to the booming population of unwanted animals that will either die from traffic accidents, or be eaten by other preditors (coyotes in my area), or die of disease.
If you have an ounce of compassion in you--please help these poor creatures.
And what's bugging YOU today?