So - what do I do now?
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.