yesterday’s post, you may have been surprised to learn that I am owned by seven (that’s right SEVEN) cats. Well, so am I. You see no one sets out with the idea of acquiring an inordinate number of pets - it just kind of creeps up on you.
Up until a few years ago, the most cats I’d ever had at one time was two. Two is a nice sane number, but what happened in my case - what pushed me over the edge - was buying a house. No, the cats didn’t come with the house, but they did come with the neighborhood. I live in a neighborhood where people let their cats roam – and they don’t spay or neuter them. So what happens? Kittens – lots and lots of kittens.
KC was the first cat to show up after I moved in. It was the end of October – just when it started to get cold. He was about six months old and looking for a place to get in from the rain. My daughter looked at me with that look that only daughters can give, and I said “Alright, if you can get him in.”
Then about four months later, as we are coming home one night, we saw a pair of eyes shining under the pine tree in our backyard. My daughter walked over to find a small gray female huddled up against the cold. Again I got the look, and again I gave the answer. That was Zelda.
We entered a nice lull with two cats – KC and Zelda got along fairly well. But the following winter, I found a big Maine Coon mix sitting in my kitchen window. I knew this cat belonged to my neighbors two doors down, but it was 16 degrees out – no sane person lets their cat out in weather like that. I opened the basement door and let him in. Meet Breckin.
Now Breckin has lived outside all his life, and he was not content to become an indoor cat. But this became a regular thing – every morning he showed up for breakfast, stayed long enough to warm up and then went back out. Life went on, and I adjusted to having three cats.
The following spring I saw a little gray fluff ball go tumbling through my backyard. Cute as a button, but I was NOT going to bring him inside. I watched him for about a week living beneath a bush in my backyard. Then along came a cold spring rain and in came Boyzie.
Last spring I found a gorgeous female kitten in my backyard. She was sweet as could be, but I also knew she belonged to our neighbors two doors down (yes - THOSE neighbors). I watched as the summer went on, and her belly got bigger and bigger. I started feeding her so she would stay near the house that way I wouldn’t have to go searching for her kittens. She finally delivered in July. I walked down to my neighbor’s house and told her that her cat had kittens at my house. She said “thank you” and closed the door. In came Sugar and all four kittens.
The kittens grew up happy and healthy. When they were around eight weeks old, I started to search for homes for them. But I wanted to know they would be with someone who would keep them inside, not let them roam around outside. And I wanted them to be with someone who would spay or neuter them so they wouldn't continue this never-ending cycle. I found good homes for two of the kittens – a calico girl and a ginger boy. The other two boys (Albus and Fluff) are still with me.
All my cats have been spayed or neutered. I consider it my own personal TNR program. I’ve gotten really good at the trap and neuter part, but not so good at the release part. And this has caused tension in my household. My formerly cat-loving daughter now walks around muttering “too many cats.”
I agree – seven is too many. But I won’t do what I’ve seen other people do: throw them outside to fend for themselves and risk getting hit by a car or attacked by an animal. No, they will stay with me and I will find them good homes.
Hi, I’m Vicki and I’m a crazy cat lady.
Image via SimpsonsWikia.com