It isn’t by plan or even by choice. Now I understand, you become a cat lady one furry feline at a time.
I have always loved cats, but one or two is plenty to keep rodents out of the house and to melt my heart with cuddles and purr sessions. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when my daughter brought in a couple of kittens after taking out the trash earlier this year!
A couple of people offered to help cover the cost of cat food and suggested I set up a place for more donations. So here it is.
Cash can be combined and used where it’s needed most. I also made an Amazon wish list if you want to know what the money is used for.
I had some idea. I knew our cat wouldn’t appreciate the company and told my daughter to take them back outside. But these kittens were so sweet. They kept finding a way back into our home.
It turned out that they were a set of three. I quickly fell in love with and found a home for the adventurous little girl. But the two boys were so closely bonded to each other. I knew I had to keep them until I found the right house to keep them together.
We had 3 kitties to love ♥ (our cat + 2 kittens)
Then there were more
It wasn’t long before the mama cat started prowling around, hoping to get a little nourishment when we fed her sons. We tried to shoo her away, but she kept coming back. She ended up bringing 7 young kittens to our garage!
We tried to tame these babies and earn the trust of their mom so we could have her spayed before she got pregnant with more. She was so scared of people. She would hiss and growl between bites, which did not help us earn the trust of her babies. But we did eventually make friends.
We had 11 kitties to love ♥ (Our cat + Mama + her 2 oldest kittens + 7 babies)
And more ..
Now somewhere along the way, another mama cat saw that we weren’t horrible. So she brought over her two babies to cautiously ask for food. We turned her away. I hated to do it, but we already had more animals than I could afford.
I guess this second mama wasn’t a good hunter because a few weeks later she came back skin & bones. She was so severely malnourished that her beautiful soft fur was falling out and her mouth tongue and gums were so pale they were almost white. I couldn’t turn her away again. So we fed her.
We had 14 kitties to love ♥ (Our cat + Mama #1 + her 2 oldest kitties + her 7 kittens + Mama #2 + her 2 kittens)
But wait, there’s more!
Did I mention that by the time we gained the trust of Mama #1, she was pregnant again? We made a plan to earn her trust enough that she would (hopefully) have her babies in the house so we could socialize them with humans early on and find them homes while they were adorable. … But she could not get the hang of the litter box! And we did not want to spend 8-12 weeks cleaning kitty poo from the carpet and being woke by their little meows. We were relieved when she chose to have her babies in the neighbor’s shed.
But the neighbors were allergic so we agreed to keep the mama fed and catch the kittens when they got a little bigger.
We had 19 kitties to love ♥ (Our cat + the first 2 kitties + Mama #1 + her 5 kittens + her 7 new babies + Mama #2 + her 2 kittens)
Between March and July 2023, 22 cats and kittens decided that they live with me and my family!
Down to 11!
Out of the 22 cats and kittens who decided to live with us earlier this year:
- We found homes for 8 kittens
- 2 kittens disappeared from our garage
- Mama #1 also disappeared
I hope the 2 kittens who disappeared from our garage found good homes. They were skittish of people, but every now and then I wonder if the long-haired tabby I see across the street could be one of them. (It is just out playing. I am sure somebody feeds it, but I wouldn’t know which house to ask.)
I am worried about what may have happened to Mama #1. She disappeared when her kittens were only 4 weeks old, which is really sad but being hungry made them easier to catch.
December 2023 Update: Kitties Kitties Everywhere!
We are holding steady at 11. Everybody is spayed/neutered and has their rabies shot.
We have 3 feral kitties who enjoy dinner on our front porch. 7 kitties regularly let themselves in the doggy door and make themselves at the home. And 1 kitty comes in for a few minutes to tell us if he really needs something but mostly stays outside with his feral brothers.
A few more cats have shown an interest in dining on our front porch. I hope and pray that they will find homes elsewhere. But we already jokingly refer to one of them as “Number 12.”