“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


All About Pets

Friday, August 19, 2005

We have great neighbors. The ladies who live next door take care of all the stray cats that hang around the neighborhood - and there are a lot of them. Last year a sweet little calico cat started hanging out at their place for the free food. She's just a tiny little thing, and skinny like most strays.

Amazingly enough, she survived the winter, thanks entirely to the neighbor ladies generosity. About 7 weeks ago, she gave birth to 5 kittens. Now, granted I'm a cat lover - I do have 5 of the little critters living in my house - but even if you aren't, it is a rare person who's heart can't be captured, if only momentarily, by an angelic little kitten face. They would run around exploring their little world, which probably seemed gigantic to them, stumbling over each other and suddenly dropping for a nap.

A & K (the neighbor ladies) were immediately taken by them. They were their pets and I think they took at least as good care of them as the mama herself did. The kittens grew quickly, and were healthy and happy. "A" eventually started to feed them dry food. They took to that pretty quickly. Last week, A & K brought 3 of the 5 into their home. (The other 2 were a bit evasive.) They would let mama in now and then to see her babies, but for the most part mama and the 2 stayed outside and the 3 stayed inside.

And of course, A & K fell in love. The problem is, they are both terribly allergic to cats. They both knew that they would have to give them up eventually, and we were all looking for good homes for them, but no one answered the call. There was talk of taking them to a shelter. I suggested they find one of the no-kill shelters in the area, though kittens usually get adopted pretty quickly. It's the older ones who don't stand a chance.

Yesterday, I was cleaning out in the back porch when they exited their house with a mewing box in hand. "A" looked at me and said, "They're going". I replied, "They're going?" A lame response, since I knew at that moment her heart was breaking, but it was all I could think of to say. She sobbed, "They're going," and turned away.

How is it that we get so attached to our pets so quickly? Two of my cats are now about 10 years old. I know I've only got a few good years left with them - if we're lucky we might get to spend the next 10 years with them - but it breaks my heart to think of losing them. I haven't lost a pet since I was a teenager and I don't want to do it again...but it comes with the territory. We outlive our pets, and that's a good thing - so that they will always be well cared for.

I just hope our kitties live long healthy lives...very long. And as long as they are here, they are welcome to curl up in my lap anytime they want.


At 8/19/2005 10:48 AM, Blogger Blond Girl wrote:

Thank you for not telling me about them before they went. You know we can't have another cat in this house and you also know I would have wanted one - one of the males, that is.

I'm glad I didn't have to decide. Once we are in Another State with a new home, I will get a new cat. A new male cat.

I am sure A & K's hearts were breaking. Mine would have too. Thank you for writing such a sweet post.

At 8/19/2005 12:05 PM, Blogger Geekwif wrote:

Yeah, I didn't tell you for that very reason. Why a male cat? I know you have had frustrating situations with both male and female cats.

In my experience, our male cats are cleaner than the female but that's mostly just because she's so big and furry she has a hard time caring for herself. Diva (the only girl) has the most gentle sweetness I've ever seen in a cat. That's not to say the boys aren't sweet - they are very sweet - but I guess I'm saying both sexes have their charms.


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