8 weeks ago I rescued 4 kittens from under my back deck. I caught the mother but she got away when transferring her to a larger cage that would allow me to put her kittens in with her. A day later I caught Papa. Papa has been around here for a couple years, having his yearly fling under the shed out back. Last year I had help to catch the kittens from that litter. This year I was on my own.
I took Papa to a pet clinic that neuters strays for a reasonable cost, had him neutered and released him the next day. I hoped he would not hate me. I have seen him around since so I guess its okay as long as I keep feeding him.
Momma I haven’t seen in a while. I hope she’s not off giving birth again.
I thought I could catch these kittens and find a place to take them the same day so it would be quick and easy. Uh uh. The kittens, I found out, were too young to be neutered. They must be 5-6 months old; these guys were only 8 weeks old. I know their age because I discovered them under the deck with Momma probably the day they were born. After my discovery Momma moved the entire litter to a new location, probably under the shed where previous litters were raised.
So I became a kitten custodian, raising these kittens until they are old enough to be adopted. I could have taken them to the SPCA, but there was no room. They all had a respiratory infection requiring a trip to the vet and medications, also worming.
Fortunately I have a small bathroom off the master bedroom that I am able to use as “the cat room”. It needs a paint job anyway. They haven’t destroyed it as such, but they have definitely left their mark.
I did not intend to but found myself wondering if I could keep all four cats. Besides the cost of food, litter and vet bills, I wasn’t sure how I could handle them and care for my husband. I lay awake nights trying to figure a way to cat proof my house, so they would not get outside when I opened the door to get husband in his wheelchair outside. A perfect escape opportunity for curious cats.
Husband said we should keep them and seemed to enjoy watching them play when I let them out of their room at feeding time to stretch their legs. His attitude changed when I had to pay them increased attention, cleaning litter boxes, socializing them, giving them medications. He no longer wants to watch the kittens, but sits in the living room watching the TV while I feed and exercise the cats.
There is a tiny female in the liter I named Tina. She is an independent spirit but very loving if you can catch her. She comes out with the others to play but does not go back in to feed as the other do, leaving me to try to catch her. I cannot leave her outside the cat room while I go about taking care of other chores, so must spend time in frustration trying to catch her. I have found a newly opened can of cat food helps. But it is annoying and time consuming. This one antic is my biggest drawback to keeping any or all the cats. Tina is mostly white but with a lot of calico patches blending over her back, rump and tail. Fur is like rabbit fur, so soft.
Of the others,
Fluff, the only long hair in the group, is a sweetheart. Under his billowy fur he is very tiny, smaller even than Tina. Very affectionate. Coming along standing up to BB and the others. Uses the cat tree to sharpen claws and chase BB. Mostly white with orange tabby marks on his face, back and tail, small orange smudge on muzzle, just like Papa. Although Papa has short hair.
Essy, short for S.C. (sick cat), had such a bad respiratory infection she could not smell her food and would not eat. She is healthy now but is still coming around to being affectionate. If I catch her and hold her, she will purr but doesn’t sit still long for being held. 80% white with calico marks on head, rump and tail, fur is smooth and sleek.
And BB, the sweat heart of the bunch, larger than the others by a couple pounds, white with black patches. BB stands for Big Boy, Bad Boy, Big Belly, Butter Ball, and Baby. I shortened it to BB like BB King the musician. Affectionate from day one, his fur is like velvet. Eats like a little pig, pushing his siblings away from their food so he can eat it. I stand guard over the food dishes to be sure everyone gets their share. BB is most active on the cat tree, scratching to sharpen claws, climbing up to the platform and performing cat antics. He sits on the platform over seeing his siblings’ antics and may decide to join in. He is the one I might keep.
All the kittens are being taken to be spayed or neutered next week, then they go to a Pet store to find new owners. I will cry my heart out, but I don’t know how even one cat will fit in when husband’s demands take precedent over everything else. Also I’m afraid BB will jump up on the bed while husband is sleeping or resting and hurt husband with cat scratches, not intentionally, but it would make husband less willing to have cat.
Also must mention our dog Tippy Toes, a 13 year old black lab, who just lies still while the kittens sniff and walk around her. BB has been nose to nose with Tippy, the others are still not sure. Tippy has hip dysplasia and is arthritic. She can’t do steps without assistance. She won’t be with us a whole lot longer. Her brother died two years ago and is buried up on the hill.
I don’t know if I should push to keep BB or if all this is just too much and I should just let them all go until there are fewer demands on my time.
Also have to consider cat fur getting onto my medical device products. My workroom does not have to be sterile but the product must be clean. If a patient would be allergic to cats and my product has a trace of cat hair, it could cause a problem. Don’t need that.