The neighborhood cats all know I'm a sucker for a mother and kittens. This latest brood moved in under our front steps a few weeks ago. The mother cat was starving. I already have enough cats, thanks, but here was this pitiful creature and her two adorable kittens. Of course, I made the classic mistake: I fed her.
And so, now we have kittens. I spend much of the day obsessing over those cats. Should I feed them more? My Love points out that if I do that, they won't hunt. If they don't hunt, they'll be dependent upon me. Since they aren't really my cats, that would be bad.
There are also reproductive issues to consider. It is bad enough having 3 cats on my front door-step. I'd hate to see that number multiply. Tribbles are cute, but there is a limit. I've found a place that can do the deed for me, and now I just have to get up the courage to put the little darlings in a kitty carrier and take them to the surgeon.
Maybe there's a reason my cats all hate me.
(Sad update: the kittens vanished on 8/27/08. The Momma cat is very upset.)
Update #2: the Momma cat was taken on 8/28/08. My kids saw the folks get her, so I was pretty sure it was the same folks who had the kittens.
After a rough day, and the kids upset, I decided to walk around the neighborhood. I'd seen the folks head up the street after they saw me, so I was pretty sure they lived up there, and there wasn't too far to go. It only took about 10 minutes for me to find Momma cat, scratching at a garage and to hear frantic mewing from inside. I looked around and someone drove up. I approached the man and said that the Momma cat was upset because his family had taken her babies and put them in the garage.
He became a bit annoyed and said, "That's my cat."
I pointed out that she'd been living at my house for several weeks, and that his kids had taken the kittens off my porch yesterday. I said that it was fine, they might even be his cats, but that I just wanted to make sure they weren't going to the pound or to be euthanized. "No, we got her from the pound and then she got pregnant."
I realized later this probably wasn't true because our local shelters won't release an un-fixed animal, but I wasn't there to argue, just to make sure they would be cared for. At this point, a little girl came up and said, "Daddy, is that the kitty's owner?" He told her to shut up. I said that I would not have complained if they wanted them, just that I would like to know before someone comes onto my property.
He asked where I lived and at that point I got a bit testy. I told him and said, "If you can't find it, ask your children where they got the cats from. Believe me, they know." Then I asked him to put Momma in with the kittens because she was still nursing. He said, "She's been with them."
At this point I did get angry with the lying. "No, she wasn't. She cried for them all night long last night -- on my doorstep."
I took a deep breath and just asked him to take care of them.
They probably ARE his cats. Part of me is glad they have a home, and the little girl looked like she'd be good with kittens. Knowing that the neighbors are watching, maybe he'll take better care of them. I do miss their companionship, though.