Thursday, September 9, 2010
And you shall have no pie
A few nights ago a little kitten appeared outside the screen door, peering in, sending indoor cat Joey into a panic. I assumed a neighbor had acquired the kitten and shooed him away, and all was well.
Until the next night. Kitten number one, the leader of the pack, had returned. With his brother and sister. People might get ONE kitten. People do not get THREE kittens. What happens is, I get three kittens that someone with no soul delivered to my neighborhood with no mother, no luggage, and no address. My feline problems were about to escalate.
They were very hungry, of course, and because I couldn't NOT feed them, I fed them, and they were pretty happy about that. Also, they were adorable. There are no nonattractive kittens. Kittens have to be cute to insure the survival of the species. No one really wants cats but because of the impossible sweetness of baby kittens, we enthusiastically bring them home and later, when they are grown and no fun or worse, we have become attached to them and decide they might as well stay for the next ten or twenty years because that's just how horrible it is to take them to the shelter, which is the only way to rid oneself of an otherwise healthy, but no fun, cat.
Well, there are two other ways. One is too gruesome for the average person to contemplate, even someone who really does not care for cats. The coward's way out is to drop them off in someone else's jurisdiction, consoling themselves with the boneheaded notion that SOMEONE ELSE would love to have as many cats as possible and what do you know, here come three more! Lucky! Thus solving their cowardly cat problem.
After I fed the poor little babies and put the old cat-carrier under a tree so they wouldn't get rained upon (of course it just HAD to rain), I had to wait until the humane society shelter and I had overlapping hours. In the meantime, three pairs of big round eyes followed my movements as I came and went inside my cozy home with my previously acquired cats, studiously avoiding looking at them until I couldn't stand it any more and went outside to pet and cuddle them. My cats (grown, minimally fun, not chosen by me but here for life) had absolutely nothing to do with the kittens and only went in and out through the front door or hid in my room. They were terrified. Once when the back door was open Lottie came tearing around from the front porch, jumped wildly over all three and landed inside the house. I wonder if they were worried about being replaced? Not idle fear--these kittens were seriously cute, and my cats left cute somewhere in the misty past.
But I, reluctantly possessing a few shreds of character, hurried home from work, stuffed them unprotesting into the carrier, and delivered them to the grim reaper. I mean the animal shelter. I would love to believe that because they are so darn sweet people will be fighting over who gets to claim them. I know, however, that spring kittens are as numerous as spring pollen and their chances of finding a loving home are very slender. At least, while they await their uncertain fate, they will be together, dry, fed, and ignorant. Kind of like the folks who scattered them in my alley.
Please, please, neuter your pets. If you don't see why this is important, drop off a batch of babies at the shelter and you might change your tune. And now I have to go get the empty dish from the backyard and try to remember a time when my cats were featherweight balls of fluff and mischief. They hope I can.