Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, October 02, 2017

Can't sleep

Tonight, as I was outside sweeping the porch, the new neighbor across the street suddenly yelled at the top of his lungs, "keep your stinking cats on your own property". He's never spoken a word to me before, and this time he still didn't come over and talk, just left that bellow hanging in the air as a couple of the kittens ran across the road from his yard. If I could keep them in the yard, I would do that, but I don't see any practical way to make that happen. Now I feel sick and worried that he may harm the cats.

I know the cat situation is bad here. It has been like a snowball rolling down hill, getting worse every year. This neighborhood has always had a lot of stray cats around. I had my four cats who lived always only inside but even without there being any cat food outside, cats would tend to gravitate to my yard, probably because it's big and unkempt, with lots of places for small animals to hide. I would try to find homes for them when I could. After my four cats became elderly and sick and passed away, I decided not to have any more pets - my health isn't great and there's just no money for anything extra.

But a few years after my cats had died, another stray cat appeared during the winter. I felt sorry for him and left out some food. And I guess I was lonely here by myself, and I thought, "one cat - how bad could it be?" I called him Scruffy..


- Scruffy napping

There were two other cats who had been hanging around and now they joined Scruffy on the porch - Vicky and Olive. When spring rolled around, Scruffy the cat's family appeared - a mama cat and three babies (Thor, Dina, and Lucy). They were all semi-feral but I tried to figure something out. Every place I called or wrote to ... the SPCA, PETA, Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary, Alley Cat Allies, and a number of other organizations ... were no help. None of them would take the kittens to socialize and find homes for them. PETA and the SPCA actually recommended that I just euthanize them because they were un-adoptable and there were already so many homeless pet cats.


- Olive


- Vicky


- Thor, Dina, and Mouse


- Lucy

So I kept them and managed to catch them and get them spayed and neutered. They lived in the big yard and I fixed the garage up with some old cat furniture and pillows and rugs so they would have an indoor place. I wasn't lonely anymore, but I could feel a rising panic. Then spring happened again. A mama cat and a kitten showed up in the yard. I tried again to find some place that would take them, but couldn't. So Misty and her baby, Mouse, moved in too. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Scruffy disappeared, so there were seven cats now.


- Misty

And then spring happened yet again. Another mother cat and kittens appeared in the yard. The mama cat disappeared but the kittens remained - this time I was able to talk the vet into taking a few of the kittens to adopt out, but there were still two I couldn't catch no matter how hard I tried - Hansel and Gretel. Now there were nine cats and I felt pretty overwhelmed, but I eventually got Misty and Mouse and Hansel and Gretel spayed and neutered and thought to myself that maybe the neighborhood's stray cat cornucopia was finally empty.


- Hansel and Gretel

But then spring came and Marie and her five kittens appeared. This time the vet would not take any of the kittens and I turned to the County Animal Shelter for help. They couldn't promise the kittens would find homes, especially in kitten season when they had so many tamed kittens to give away. That meant they would be euthanized. Didn't matter because I couldn't catch them and the older they got, the less adoptable they became and I didn't want to send them off to die. So now there are fifteen, yes, fifteen, cats here in the yard, six of them not spayed and neutered.


- one of Marie's kittens, Snowy

I'm way beyond overwhelmed at this point. The neighbors hate me. The cost of the cat food is hard to come up with. I don't know what to do, and I just know that there are more cats out there. I hate the organizations and agencies that are supposed to help with this problem but which really don't. I hate the neighbors for always only making things harder instead of helping ... all these stray cats that keep appearing are not being spontaneously generated from nothing. And I hate myself for being so unable to be "normal" and do whatever it is normal people do in these situations.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Dyan said...

Hi Crystal,

I've been thinking about your post quite a bit over the last few days. I wish there was something I could say or do that would be a tangible help to you; I feel so inadequate and so far away.

I'm glad you're not "normal". Normal people don't care about the little things like you do, instead they assume things and then yell at their neighbors. You're my kind of people :)

I'll be praying for wisdom and help to be sent to you (and patience as you try to deal with all these cats). I think the kitties keep showing up at your home because there's love there!

Hugs to you!

12:33 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dyan. Thanks for the kind words! Sometimes I feel like everything i feel must be wrong because no on else seems to feel this way - it's good to know someone else understands. One surprising thing was my stepfather - he hated cats when I was a kid but now he has a whole passel of stray cats he cares for, so maybe the neighbor can change his mind too someday.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's wonderful that your stepfather's heart was softened! I'll keep your neighbor in my prayers too ;)

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Dyan said...

That above comment was from me - don't know why it didn't publish my name :)

6:10 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

:)

9:31 AM  

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