|My indoor cat, Louie Mozart.|
Fast forward. I teach graphic design - a far cry from an animal doctor. My compassion for creatures is still here, so when I heard the muffled sound a a kitten crying in the area of my basement, I ran to investigate and rescue. What was a cat doing down there?
|One of the kitties coming out to grab a bite to eat before going back into it's safe home under the porch.|
Couldn't get to that baby kitty but I observed a dutiful mama cat sneaking in and out of the hole under the porch. Kitty was being fed. It was safe from the elements. All is well. Soon the kitty will be old enough to be on its own and on their merry little way they go. Too bad that only one little kitty has survived the March harshness...
To my surprise, several weeks later I saw two slightly larger, almost identical kittens near the hole! What? Where did it come from? Maybe there were always two and I just thought I was just seeing one. Nope. There were two.
Mama cat in black with two kitties.
Another week went by and my husband texted me at an art show that I was a vendor at..."there's FOUR!" What?! Four kittens and their mother had taken a liking to the space under my front porch. Mama cat must have been keeping the others somewhere else and bringing them to my porch. Beautiful creatures all of them. Mama was a black cat, small and thin from her batch of babies. Kitties were a gray/black stripe - one long hair (thanks to daddy cat) and three short hair.
I loved watching them move in and out of their new home. Sometimes they would sun on my deck, getting braver everyday. Tried to pet them but they would scattered. Mama cat liked to come to the back porch. Stare in the house from the glass door. So sad.
I decided to feed them when I came home one day and saw mama cat on her side with all the kittens nursing (or maybe just finding some comfort). She looked so thin and tired. As one mama to another, I knew what she was going through.That's it! Against my better judgement I started to feed them. They all took to the dry cat food and water that I set out. Perfect.
DON'T DO IT, said my husband. YOU ARE GETTING TOO ATTACHED. Too late, dear. They already have names - Chance, Lucky, Bliss, and Joy. Over the weeks they grew, ate, played and sunned themselves on the deck. I was even able to get close to Leona (the mama cat) as she ate on the back porch. Just a small touch here and there. The babies however would have nothing to do with me. Too scared and frightened. They would just be four ferel kittens and roam the neighborhood.
Then, one day in May, they were gone. I was sad. Enjoyed having these outside cats around. How dare they leave the place that gave them shelter and food for all those weeks. Maybe nature had taken its course and they were on their way to bigger and better things. It was probably for the best. I could never take care of all those cats. What about the responsibility of spaying/nuetering five cats? They are gone. Someone else's problem. It all worked out for the best or so I thought....
Part Two - stayed tuned for a lesson in patience!