Our little street cat is a mother again. We never saw Felicity’s first litter and assumed they didn’t make it. We had a brief window when she wasn’t pregnant, and boom, she was carrying another litter. Even though she only came around for meals, we felt responsible for her welfare and that of our island. We have way too many feral cats out here. So soon after she got skinny again, we determined to get her spayed. Again, we didn’t see or hear any kittens.
But the day we made the appointment for Felicity’s operation, we came home to find her on the driveway with her four babies. Our best reckoning is that they were four weeks old. The next day we took her to the veterinary hospital for her surgery. When we picked her up, the staff told us to keep her indoors for three days. “Well that’s a problem.”
Felicity isn’t an indoor cat. And more to the point, we aren’t indoor cat people. Heck, we just became outdoor cat people. But she was heavily drugged so we set up a litter box and food in the back screened in lanai. Then we located the kittens in the carport under a leaning stack of ladders and behind the dryer. By marshaling all of our resources (three people) we corralled the kitties and carried them one-by-one to the porch where they happily reunited with Mom.
Forget the three days; that was two weeks ago. They’re all still living on the porch, and the kittens are almost weaned. The two all-black males, Udon and Sushi are the runts of the litter, easily a week behind the other two developmentally. The third male is black with white paws and face markings like Mom. Faye named him Felix. The last one is the feistiest of all, the only female. Tiger Lily is a very dark gray with orangish stripes and a tan stripe down her nose. They are SOOO adorable. But what are we going to do with them? I’m tempted to take all five including Mom to the Humane Society. But we’ve already invested in Mom. The arguments began immediately.
“We already have two cats, Puss and Felicity, and pets are expensive.”
“If we are going to keep Felix in the house, we should really keep two, otherwise he will be lonely.”
“Who said we are keeping the kitty in the house?”
“But you said I can’t bring the kitties inside unless they stay inside.” Yes, in a moment of weakness I said that, but immediately reverted back to NO kitties. “Why are you so afraid of fleas when we can put a treatment on them?”
“See, there’s an example of expenses. Cats are expensive. We would also have to get them fixed.”
“But Mom, you can get a coupon for free neutering at the Waimea Humane Society on Saturday.”
“Because I have homework and you’re going to want to stay in Waimea for the Cherry Blossom Festival…Mom, isn’t this one cute? She’s so soft. Here, hold her. See how she quiets down in your lap? We really should keep one for me and one for you.”
Believe it or not, this was the first time I’d held a kitty. I saw a kitty at Vicki’s house decades ago, but never gave myself permission to cuddle one. Tiger Lily was SOOOO soft and adorable.
This conversation didn’t occur all at once. No, Faye’s been grilling me for two weeks. Notice how artfully she kept changing the focus of the argument. She’s definitely destined to be a lawyer. And I fear we may be destined to keep two kitties. Now she’s arguing for keeping the whole litter if we can’t find homes for the other two, and to help her argument, she keeps bringing me each darling baby to hold in turn.
Help! Who wants a cute kitty?
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