If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, May 9, 2008


Our next door neighbor has lots of cats and one small dog. It seems she doesn't spay her female cats and they have frequent litters. At the moment she has two litters just 3 weeks apart. The moms are very protective, as you would imagine, and they appear to be co-parenting.

The kittens are old enough to begin roaming around and frequently wander into our front yard. Our neighbor is generally successful at finding new homes for the various litters but I still find it incredibly irresponsible not to spay your cats. She has gone away for a week and has friends and acquaintances (including our postman) "dropping by" to keep an eye on the kittens. Before she left she told me that the last time she went away and left a litter of kittens someone came by and "swooped" them all up. One of the kittens (the most dominant one in the group) gets along well with her new dog (her last one was hit by a car) so she wants to keep her. She decided to take just that kitten to her friend's house for the week--for safekeeping.

Last night there were thunderstorms and tornado warnings in our area. When b and I went to bed we heard a kitten (the little orange one) crying outside our window. When I got up to investigate I found our other neighbors were already on the case. They located the kitten and brought him in for the night.

Today Boy and I had to drag them out from under Boy's car so he could go to work. I think we're down to 2 maybe 3 kittens (there were 7 originally). I can only hope the mother cats have moved their location (what with all the activity) or others have "swooped" in to rescue them.


life_of_a_fool said...

that makes me so sad!! If it were my neighbor, I'd want to swoop them up as well! (do you need some nice, fluffy little kittens???) It is cute that the momma kitties are co-parenting.

Brigindo said...

Yeah, but then you'd have to swoop some every 6 months or so. That, plus having 2 cats already and the fact that one of them (the Brute) isn't very kitty friendly, keeps us from taking any in. The mama's are sisters and sleep head to tail with the kitties snuggled between them...very cute.

k8 said...

That is really too bad. I admit that growing up on the farm we encouraged stray cats to "set up housekeeping" in the barn and looked forward to the many kittens that were produced. Now, many of the cats were feral and not tame at all, but a good number were more like pets.

Now that I'm older and wiser, I would try to get those cats spayed, but at the time this was just part of living on the farm. We wanted to keep the cats around (and have a steady supply of them) because they kept the barns rodent-free. The only time I remember ever seeing a mouse, it was in a cat's mouth. But, we also fed them daily and made sure that they always had fresh water available. And, a number of kittens were give to friends searching for pets.

I'm always a bit conflicted about this issue. I wouldn't keep a pet cat outdoors. At the same time, I'm still enough of a farm kid to see the logic of having barn cats. Of course, I suspect your neighbor isn't keeping the cats to guard the grain supply and keep down the rodent population.

k8 said...

Oh, if you didn't already know, a cat can get pregnant 3-4 times a year. The gestation period is fairly short.

Hilaire said...

Oh my god, this seems so irresponsible to me! I'd be very upset, if I were you.