Friday, September 4, 2009

Responsibility and The Kittens


Ahhh...this is a mini-rant about kittens...

I love them, Romie loves them, who doesn't love a cute little kitten? Apparently, there are those out there that may love them, but not enough. Not enough to take care of them and not dump them out to fend for themselves, with the hope that someone else will feel sorry for them and take up where they so heartlessly left off.


Pet responsibility is always a tough issue, even though it's relatively simple. It does cost money to have pets spayed or neutered, but there are low-cost clinics that will do it for the cost of a few bags of cat or dog food. Why should it be someone else's responsibility to care for your animals or their offspring just because you decided you don't want to?


Earlier this week, Romie and I took our usual walk down the road and as we passed the cemetery, I heard a familiar sound. We stopped, listened, and tried to determine if what we were hearing was a catbird or a cat. "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" confirmed our fears that it was yet another cat dumped at the cemetery.


As she came bounding across the field from the cemetery toward us, we noticed the resident Great Horned Owl, sitting on top of a large headstone, near where the kitten had come from. We started walking to meet the kitten and the owl took off for the woods. I shivered at the thought that the kitten was nearly that owl's afternoon snack.



Kitty appeared to be about 6-8 weeks old, female, and certainly not afraid of us. She was very affectionate and there was no way we were going to get away from the cemetery without her following us home. We couldn't have left her there anyway. So we took her home, cleaned out her ears, took care of her fleas, and fed her. The other cats were wary of her, but none of them had a major reaction to her.



The next night, we were riding our bikes around the square, and as we approached the cemetery, we had a strange feeling of déjà vu. There was another kitten running toward us, meowing loudly, and looking much like the other kitten's sibling should look. Picking up the purring furball for closer inspection told us it was another female.

We called "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" several times, to see if there were any other kittens there, but got no results. (Thank goodness!) Maybe whoever left them there didn't want the girls and that was their way of preventing more kittens at their place. Romie said, "Well, we can't leave you down here all by yourself, can we?" so yet another kitten is sleeping in our garage at night.


When we checked with the neighbors across the road to see if these were possibly some of theirs that somehow wandered away, they assured us they weren't and from seeing the cats there, these new little ones didn't look a thing like any of them. They've got the same problem we do, only worse. The cat population there is at an all-time high of 15.

Both our neighbors and we take good care of our cats. They receive all immunizations, are spayed or neutered, and get monthly flea treatments. Our original intent was to have one inside cat and one outside. But due to strays and drop-offs, that population is now at
our all-time high of eleven. Yes, we live out in the country and have the space for them, but taking care of that many cats is costly.

Where do you draw the line and what do you do when yet another careless animal owner shirks their responsibilities? We don't have a shelter in our county and the next one over is always full.
Would anyone like to adopt one or both of these adorable kittens?



14 comments:

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

We have the same situation here on our street with people dumping cats and kittens here because it looks rural and "inviting". So, of course, the cats find their way to our garden that looks so inviting and welcoming. Like you, we only intended to have two indoor-only kitties and none outside. That was 9 years ago. We now have 8 indoor-only kitties. Only the first two were chosen by us. The rest showed up on their own. We also have 1 full-time resident in the garden with 3 that are part-timers. And we'd still only have 2 if everyone took the initiative to spay or neuter their cat.

Robin Ripley said...

It's a good thing you aren't anywhere near here or I would snap these babies up in a heartbeat (says the women who has dragged home--how many?--animals).

You will be rewarded in heaven, Kylee.

Robin

Lythrum said...

We had the same problem when I was growing up, but with dogs. We lived in a rural area, and ended up with all kinds of strays coming around. Unfortunately, they would usually end up getting shot, because dogs are potentially more dangerous than cats are. I don't understand why people don't just get animals fixed or don't get them at all. My mom at one time had over 50 dogs, because she said she couldn't afford to get the females fixed. However, she could spend over $200 per month on dog food to feed all of them. Also, usually the animals end up getting dumped off when they hit the adolescent phase and aren't cute and fuzzy anymore.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That is so sad. They appear to be so friendly. They favor my little sweetie that I found one December night during the freezing rain. She has been the best cat!

Janet said...

What cuties. I love the white stockings on the first and the unusual coloring on the second. We had a stray who was my first (and only) kitty. what a sweetie. I think the strays know when they have it good. Now we have three dogs...big dogs. I miss my little kitty. she lived to 14.

Chiot's Run said...

This always makes me sick. Whenever I see a "Free Kittens" sign on the side of the road I always yell "Spay your cat" when I drive by. I hate that some people are too ignorant to get their pets fixed and expect others to deal with the problem.

I've brought home my share of free cats in my life, we just acquired a new one last fall who was evidently dumped by the back gate of our allotment.

Hopefully you can find a home for them, we're up to our ears in cats here already.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kylee it breaks my heart to read this .. I know it happens all the time .. we have adopted kittens from our Humane Society .. there are always so many of them that need homes .. don't even start me on the poor adult cats with no homes.
I just can't understand people that dump cats and dogs .. they are souless cold hearted inhumane creatures that should suffer the life of they create for these animals.
I'll get off my soap box now .. a very truthful post that should hit home but those sort of people will never "get it" sadly.
Joy

April said...

This seems to be the bane of rural living. Our problem is unwanted dogs - the two we have found us after wandering around. Fortunately we are blessed with two rescue units and have been able to find homes for the strays.
Bless you for being a cat rescuer.

TC said...

I put with cats, I have to. My two teens have one each. It the cattitude I have a hard time dealing with. I'd rather have a dog. But cats are cute too.

Kerri said...

Oh, what little sweeties! That last picture is so precious, but all are beautiful.
Yes, it's the very sad plight of so many unwanted animals. So many people are irresponsible in that respect.
We've been fortunate not to have any cats dropped off this summer (knock on wood). It is expensive to feed and care for them!
Those two little cuties were lucky to have 'found' you and Romie.
I hope you find good homes for them.

Kerri said...

Oh, what little sweeties! That last picture is so precious, but all are beautiful.
Yes, it's the very sad plight of so many unwanted animals. So many people are irresponsible in that respect.
We've been fortunate not to have any cats dropped off this summer (knock on wood). It is expensive to feed and care for them!
Those two little cuties were lucky to have 'found' you and Romie.
I hope you find good homes for them.

jennahsgarden said...

How wonderful of you to have taken them. I just don't understand how someone can do that to a cat - especially since had the mother/father cat been fixed, it would not have been a problem.

My aunt, who is the LAST person I ever thought would have a cat, recently adopted a kitten that found its way to her house. It's a little fluffy orange tabby - and so loving! To think someone just dropped her off is heartbreaking.

My hubby and I had planned on adopting an older cat, but my MIL surprised us with a kitten from the newspaper, so we later adopted our tabby from the Humane Society. There are places that will spay and neuter for FREE - why don't people do it? My SIL has a cat she refuses to have spayed. She always finds homes for them (we "fostered" one for a while before finding her a home, but it just makes no sense! Thankfully (I guess) we just have no more room in our house for more pets, and I'd be too scared on our busy road for an outside kitty.

jennahsgarden said...

How wonderful of you to have taken them. I just don't understand how someone can do that to a cat - especially since had the mother/father cat been fixed, it would not have been a problem.

My aunt, who is the LAST person I ever thought would have a cat, recently adopted a kitten that found its way to her house. It's a little fluffy orange tabby - and so loving! To think someone just dropped her off is heartbreaking.

My hubby and I had planned on adopting an older cat, but my MIL surprised us with a kitten from the newspaper, so we later adopted our tabby from the Humane Society. There are places that will spay and neuter for FREE - why don't people do it? My SIL has a cat she refuses to have spayed. She always finds homes for them (we "fostered" one for a while before finding her a home, but it just makes no sense! Thankfully (I guess) we just have no more room in our house for more pets, and I'd be too scared on our busy road for an outside kitty.

Deb Berning said...

I would so love to find those FREE spay/neuter clinics. There certainly are none around Hancock County, Ohio. Please post where this is at. I would take in more cats to be fixed if it's really out there. Thanks so much says the recipient of dumped cats and a neighbor who shoots his cats with bb's and NEVER feeds them. I have many things I would call these people but not here, and none are nice.

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