In my neighbourhood, there are a lot of stray, abandoned, and feral cats wandering around. I also live on a street that has many people that adore cats. My next-door neighbour (we’ll call him Jim) has quite a few cats, most of them rescued from the neighbourhood. For example, take last summer: there was a sweet newcomer stray that my neighbour and I nicknamed “Cali” (she was a Calico cat — we’re so creative, aren’t we?). She had a litter of kittens in my woodpile mid-summer last year, so we made sure Cali was well-fed so she could feed the babies, and then Jim and I found homes for the babies. A friend of his took two of the kittens, and a woman up the street from us took the other two. Then, my neighbour adopted Cali. Next door to the woman up the street is another family that has adopted some of the neighbourhood cats, and the same can be said of a family down the street too. We try and take care of the popluation as best we can: we frequently trap-spay/neuter-release new cats we see in the neighbourhood to keep the population down, but that doesn’t account for the abandoned cats we see all the time.
And there’s a lot of abandoned cats. People get foreclosed on, can’t take their pets with them, and just leave them behind hoping that they’ll “make their way”. Cali was one of those abandoned cats.
So, earlier this summer a new kittyface showed up. She was sweet; she just wanted to be petted, and if you gave her some food that didn’t hurt. At first we thought she was someone’s housecat that had just gotten out, but she never disappeared. I scoped out ads, looking for someone saying “lost cat”, but never came across this sweet little girl. Now, my house has a screen door, with a glass bottom (top is screen, bottom is glass). My boys like to sit in front of the door and look out, since that’s the closest they ever get to the great outdoors. One day, this new kittyface comes up to the glass door and just sits there, staring in. Locke sat on the other side, staring out. He put up his paw, she put up her paw, and BAM! She earned the nickname “Locke’s girlfriend”. Over the course of a month, maybe a little longer, every day she’d come up onto the porch and lay on one side of the glass, and Locke would lay on the other. If she didn’t come by, Locke would get pacy and bounce from window to window, looking for her approach. At the same time, if you had to go in or out of the front door, she’d try her best to slip inside if you weren’t careful.
So after about four months of her hanging around the house, I went to go talk to Jim and see if he’d been able to find if she belonged to anyone, since my search had come up empty. He hadn’t. Now, my husband has said time and again: no more cats. We have two cats, two geckos, and a fishtank. We’re a zoo already. No more animals. And honestly, I tend to agree with him. So if anything, if we were to adopt this sweet kittyface, she’d be an indoor/outdoor cat. If she wanted to go outside and run around, fine. If someone else decided they wanted to keep her, fine. We would take care of her inasmuch as that meant getting her some vaccinations, getting her fixed (if she wasn’t already), and letting her do her thing. And I agreed. So I packed her up in a kitty crate and called the vet to make an appointment… only to find that they’re booked solid until next Friday. So I made the appointment for next Friday, let her outside, and went about my day.
Early afternoon, my husband had to run some errands. Since I was parked behind him in the driveway, we had to swap cars. When we were done, and I was walking back toward the porch I saw Locke’s Girlfriend in the flowerbed. Aw, how cute. And then… could it be… does she…? It was! Locke’s Girlfriend had a little kitten with her! I waved my husband over and we snagged the little tyke, and hunted around for more. We found where Mama and baby had been nesting, but there was no sign of any other kittens. So we took the two inside and I sequestered them in my husband’s office (it’s being used as storage right now anyway).
The kitten is probably about 6 – 8 weeks, at best guess. Her eyes are open, and she’s walking, using the litter box, drinking formula, and attempting to eat food. So now these two will remain here for the next week, until their vet appointment. Both of them need to be cleared of anything they could give to my boys (like FeLV) before we introduce them to the rest of the house. We will definitely be finding a home for the little kitten, as I don’t want a house with four cats. Hopefully once they’re cleared health-wise we can convince a friend, or our friends can convince their friends, to take the little one home with them. I mean, I don’t want to sound like a bad guy, but I don’t want a house with four cats. I don’t even really want a house with three cats, but Locke’s Girlfriend seems to have chosen us, for better or worse. If she spent most of her time outdoors and came in to eat and sleep I would be okay with that. But it’s enough trouble to keep my house clean as it is! (And anyone that knows me knows I clean religiously… the last thing I want is someone dropping by and having my house smell like cat!).
So, we’ll enjoy the kitten while she’s here, and take lots of cute little cat videos to remember her by, and then hopefully find a forever home for her. In the meantime, enjoy some of the kitten videos we’ve already taken!