So - what do I do now?

joyfulguySeptember 8, 2005

On Tuesday evening, on my return from a meeting where we learned of a new company that's about to be listed on the stock exchange that has found some promising mineral deposits, as I appraoched my lane I saw a cardboard box sitting by the post under the mailbox.

It had no name, address or identifying markings, was rather light, with some holes roughly cut into it, no scrambling as of a wild animal when I moved the box and a rattling sort of like pebbles but not so hard-sounding, when I shook it.

Put it into the car, took it into the yard, was not about to leave it in the car or take it into the house, so put it into the shed, placed it flat side down on a narrow block. After sitting quietly for a short while - it moved.

So I pulled off the heavy orange tape, opened the lid - and found three half-grown kittens of mixey colour looking up at me.

What to do with them?

Three years ago when I stayed there with uncle in his mid-80s after his wife died, he had a dozen cattle and more than a dozen cats. As he, having had three hip replacements, suffered severe back, hip and leg pain, several of us who cared about him wanted to have him cared for during the late days of winter, fearing that, should he fall in a snowbank, he might freeze, with no one any the wiser.

By the time he died a year and a half ago, the cat population had shrunk to about a dozen.

I cared for the home, making it look lived in by sleeping there nightly for about a year, feeding cats and watering his former relatives' cattle. One cat had two kittens, one of which, about half grown, died/got killed and lay on the barn floor, shortly after that the other disappeared. Another cat had first two, then it seemed five kittens, but they disappeared when quite small.

The farm was sold and the new owner rented the house to me.

By now the number of regular cats has shrunk to three or four.

SO - it looks as though the cat population had almost doubled, again.

What was I to do?

During the evening I thought of composing a letter to send to the local newspapaer, addressed to the person/family who dumped the kittens.

In the morning when I went to the shed, no kittens were immediately visible - but there was a stately, tall, pure white adult cat, which looked at me with interest.

The kittens appeared and went to her.

She appraoched me, and I her, she was comewhat hesitant, but allowed me to touch her.

So, it does appear that there has, indeed, been a 100% increase in the cat population.

So - what do I do with them?

Keeping them will be costly.

Letting them go wild will not be doing them any favours, especially with winter coming soon, with a mother unfamiliar with survival in the wild. As a humane person, I find that alternative distasteful.

Taking them to a local animal shelter will be expensive, I expect.

Killing them seems unfair. If I get caught - that could cause me a good deal of trouble, plus expense.

My son came up with a fifth alternative - put them back into the box and ...

,,, drop them off in front of someone else's house.

I think that he knows his father well enought to know that such advice will be given little house-room.

So - where can I find savings in all of this?

Hope you're all having an interesting - but uneventful, if similar kind to this, anyway, week.

ole joyful

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I"m at six cats because I assumed our queen was no longer able to have kittens anymore.

My cost latest cost cutting measure is switching to Cat Chow.

Also, I've limited for series of shots for the cat who insists on being indoor/outdoor.

You could try just placing an ad for free kittens. Or better yet, ask your friends if they would be interested taking a kitten.

We did that after we discovered Maggie was pregnant, but before she ended up having only two cats. I felt bad because we had a few interested and we have two little boys who each wanted a kitten.

I remember as a kid how important it was for me to have "my kitten" as opposed to the family cats. There's just something different about your own cat.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 8:17PM
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How sad that people would do this. We used to live in the country and ended up having several dogs. Does the Humane Society here in the city charge to take them if they understand that they were dropped off? It might be worth a call. Years ago we have taken dogs there without a charge. They at least have a chance of getting a home that way. I have been told that the shelter on Pine Valley does not try very hard to get homes and most get euthanized quickly. I find this very disturbing. Maybe a sign at the gate offering free kittens would get results. I know my grand daughter got a beautiful kitten that way a couple of years ago.Let us know what you decide. The best to both you and your new furry family.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 8:37PM
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I would try asking around, and putting up notices at the Library and Vet's office before advertising generally.
I would also be tempted to write a letter to the local paper castigating heartless jerks who seal kittens into boxes and dump them at gates, with no guarantee that they will be found before they starve to death >:-[.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 8:43PM
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Most folks get home every day or so.

But the kittens were in the box - but the Mom was not: a second dirty trick, in my opinion.

o j

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 8:53PM
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that is some cold hearted person to do that!!

is there no humane society around or animal shelter to take them?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 11:01PM
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In my area the animal shelter will take abandoned animals for free.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 1:08PM
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I meant to say that the Mom *was* a second dirty trick, in my opinion.

Cats still in the shed.

Haven't fed them yet.

Mom and kittens a bit skittish - but have been used to people.

No signs up yet.

They say that the animal shelter will take them, without charge - but, while I used to live in their jurisdiction, now that I'm on the farm ... I don't. Which may or may not make a difference.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 3:54PM
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suggestion posted on K Table

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 11:02PM
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Went to feed the new cats this afternoon.

They're gone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 4:32PM
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That's not good. See if you can find them and take them to a "no-kill" shelter. If they are running around they may be killed on a road, by a wild animal, or the elements. If they do survive, they will end up breeding and cause even more of a population problem.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 2:01PM
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My cousin lives on a farm and has a barn. People constantly leave unwanted kittens near her barn. Little do they know, every spring she rounds up all the cats and takes them to the SPCA, which then kills them.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 1:49PM
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Apologies to all.

I should have come back to say that the next day (Sept 11) the cats were there.

I started to feed them.

The kittens have got used to me.

All of them have that extra toe/claw that we occasionally see on some cats - on every foot.

I say they're Camel cats" as they have that large foot that doesn't sink into the sand.

The mom is very friendly - followed me part way out the lane to the mailbox the other day, meowing frequently. She and a couple of kittens wentall the way out with me this morning - will have to put a stop to that, as the paved road is busy.

The kittens followed me to the barn where I feed the former cats the other morning - the barn cats had come up and a couple of times gave the new kittens a sharp claw, bowling them over.

The kittens are now eating in the dish at the barn - the barn cats don't bother them while they're eating.

There are 4 small kittens that recently appeared in the barn, also.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 2:12PM
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goodness! How many total?? I lived in a gorgeous house on a farm in Pennsylvania in the late 1970'S. The landlord had a large shed on the property that we called the Cat Barn and there must have been 30 cats that lived there. He fed them everyday and we never ever saw a mouse! in the house.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 2:28AM
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Have you ever given thought to what they'd have called your house had you imported the cats there?

In the light of the term that you used for the Barn.

o j

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 4:57PM
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The three kittens that were dropped off are bouncing around like good ones, hang around back door but I won't let them into house.

Walk so close to me that I have to alter steps frequently to avoid stepping on them.

Mom was gone for a few days a while back, but reappeared for a couple of days, recently has been gone again for a couple of days now.

The four kittens in the barn were growing, about ready to start eating from the pan, and getting used to me.

Then, almost a week ago, they disappeared - haven't seen hide not hair of them since.

Life as a cat is a bit tough with coons, coyotes and foxes around. Also distemper, that gets quite a few of them.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

o j

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 4:18PM
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More recent update,

Saw a black kitten, about half grown, in the yard yesterday and in the barn this morning, that's probably one of the four that I haven't seen for over a week.

Can't get near it - I was getting close and petting them some, before they disappeared.

That's life, I guess.

o j

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 3:39PM
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Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news.

Recently I'd caught a glimpse of the half-grown black kitten, one of the four in the most recent litter, in the barn and a couple of times around the house, left some feed for it about three days ago near the lilac bush into which it ran, which was eaten - but it may have been by the regular cat crew.

Last evening when I arrived home - it was lying dead in the middle of the driveway near the back door.

It was not lying where my tires travel, and was not crushed, and it was not there after I backed up to leave that afternoon.

I have no idea what happened to it.

Haven't seen any of the other three of its mates for a couple of weeks, I think.

A cat's life is not a happy one, at times.

ole joyful - but not about this

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 2:03PM
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