Thursday, December 22, 2011

How I Became a Crazy Cat Lady

If you saw 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


  1. Thanks you fur saving teh kitties Vicki. That iz a lots of kitties to save an luvs, its jusht sad they keeps coming cuz of bad naybors who duznt care. How comes sum hoomanz duzn't like us? We iz rill nice I pwomiss. *purrrr*

  2. So when are u getting another bunny? HAH!

  3. Why TNR (trap, neuter, release) and Cat Advocates Even Exist ...

    Toxoplasmosis: Behavioral changes

    It has been found that Toxoplasma gondii parasite is capable of changing the brains of whatever organism it infests. In mice, they lose the fear of cats and are even attracted to cat-urine. Making the asexual portion of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite's life-cycle faster to complete in order to replicate more quickly into its sexual reproduction phase in all primary-host cats. This loss of fear and apprehension manifesting itself in humans in a similar manner, even when common-sense tells them they should depend on that sense of fear or doubt for their own survival. Hence the higher accident rates and risk-taking by those infected by this parasite.

    Here are other ways that this parasite have been known to alter the thinking patterns of humans:

    I strongly suspect that it might even be responsible for all cat-lovers' wholly contradictory behavior of putting cats, all other animals, and even all humans in harm's-way through their adamant insistence of promoting TNR programs and demanding the right for their invasive-species cat to roam free, just to ensure the survival and spread of more Toxoplasma gondii parasites throughout the food-chain and into more livestock and eventually more humans. These people are, in effect, being controlled against all reason and common-sense by the very parasite that is reproducing in its primary host-animal -- cats. Even to the point of wishing harm and death on other humans. They'd rather murder a human than destroy their parasites' host-cat. This is how much this cat-parasite has taken control of their minds.

    Get tested for T. gondii if you are defending these invasive-species cats' lives. You're most likely obeying cats' parasites in your brain now. You can no longer think and reason like a human, ignoring all logic and common-sense. Your thoughts demoted to that of protozoan awareness, where only its base biochemical survival matters, without concern nor regard for anything else in its environment. (Sounds just like every cat-lover, doesn't it.) Though either way, even if you are not infected by this cat-parasite and still feel that it's better to destroy a human than a cat, seek professional help before you act on your blatantly clear psychopathic and sociopathic thoughts and values.

    The stuff that sci-fi used to be made of comes to reality. Real-life "pod-people". They can't think nor reason beyond the need of ensuring the survival and proliferation of Toxoplasma gondii parasites in their minds. It won't let them.

    For just a few of the links on studies of how this cats'-parasite hijacks the human (or any animal's) mind:

    "Toxoplasmosis and psychology: A game of cat and mouse"

    "Crazy Cat Love: Caused By Parasitic Infection?"

    "Research Links Parasite In Cats To Mental Illnesses"

  4. Dear Advanced PSer - just in case you missed it, this was a light-hearted post about why I have so many pets not a manifesto regarding TNR. Please highjack someone else's blog - or better yet, Don't!

    Yours very truly,

    Vicki Cook

  5. Hi Vicki,

    I think it's wonderful that you and your family are so caring to the furbabies. I suspect that if my husband and I owned a house rather than renting (with its pet policies and limits), it would much resemble yours. Right now, we're only owned by Cleopatra, but I can't resist a cat, and we'd have more if we could (well, I would, and I'd talk my husband into it somehow).

  6. Hi Liz - so nice to see you here. Give my love to Cleo! xo

  7. I'm glad we don't live closer!
    Your niece, nephew & his girlfriend have been trying to increase our cat population to 3 (or more) for a while now... and we've successfully held them off! If we lived closer I fear we'd lose the battle... and we've lost enough against them over the years! (chuckle)

    Nice article and nice response to Advanced PSer... had to chuckle at that one!

  8. Scott - Did I mention that I have a couple kittens that need a good home? xo

  9. Hi - I am Jeanne and just as crazy as you!!! I never intended to end up with 7 cats, but it happens. We did TNR in the neighborhood and the semi-feral 3 month old kitten turned us into a 7 cat household. I say the number isn't as important and the ability to care for everyone and afford it. Beyond that, it is no one else's business (so there to the moron above).

  10. Hi Jeanne - I tend to agree with you, but I'm obviously a "pod person". Thanks for visiting! :-)

  11. He he! I had NO idea!! Like Pandafur says, thanks for saving the kittehs!

  12. It's a good thing we don't have dogs running loose in our neighborhood or I'd probably have just as many of them! Happy Holidays to you and Cosmo!

  13. We have four inside cats. Three we brought to NC with us from Miami. Then we wanted to adopt/save an NC cat. Little did we know that the beautiful orange tabby that hung around our house would become number 5 but like one of yours...we bring him in his own room at night and in the morning let him out. He hangs around our house all day hunting and visiting his old friends. We are the next to last house on a culdesac so there is little traffic on our little single lane street. He survived living outside feral for four years before we took him for meds and check up and we chipped him. He is A REAL LOVE BUG, but hoping to have no more.

  14. Hi Marilyn - thanks for stopping by! Breckin still prefers to stay outside most of the time, so he has a shelter on my back porch. But if it's really cold, I bring him in. He's got the best of both worlds!

  15. Hi, Vicki! I've got 7 in my household right now, too - although 4 of them are officially fosters. Fosters can end up hanging around a long time,though, and we treat them same as if they're our own. No domestic creature deserves to be shunned, discarded to the outdoors or left to fate. And that means TNR is a responsible, good alternative for those cats not socialized for indoor living.

    Kudos to you for all your efforts! If there were less heartless people in your neighborhood, you wouldn't have had to personally go to such great lengths. You make up for their negligence. Peace and purrs to you. xx

    (Nice response to the zany comment above!)

  16. Kim - thanks for stopping by! It's good to know I'm not the only cat person in a tribe of dog bloggers! As I said to Diane, I'd have just as many dogs if people let them run loose. Thank dog for lease laws!

  17. There are other mixed households -- Kim Clune's for one -- in our tribe and some of my best friends are cats ;-)

    What a fun story. Thanks for being a crazy cat lady!

  18. Hi Edie - I knew Kim Clune had cats. I was just having a little fun with the "dog people"! xoxo

  19. I'd change your title a little bit ... cross out "crazy" and replace it with "big-hearted." If there were more people like you in your neighborhood the cats would be much better off!

  20. Thanks Amy, but I wear the crazy cat lady badge with honor. The world needs more "crazy" cat and dog people!

  21. Don't worry about that idiot "Advanced PSer" or whatever his name is. I Googled him and he appears to be one of those I Have No Friends, So I Stalk Online types.

    And he doesn't know squat about TNR studies - my neighbors and I have practiced TNR for the last five years, and are proud to announce we saw NO new kittens this spring. And our TNR'ed adult cats cannot be bothered to hunt birds (although we did have one lizard death last spring).