Saturday, May 27, 2006

Went to Look at Rescue Kittens Last Night

I decided to get a rescue cat for our next pet. I could tell you a very long story about feral cats but I am not in the mood to write about that today. I will share this, though. My last cat was a purebred British Shorthair and cost me $500. Hey, back then I was working full time, single and childless, and had lots of disposable income, so I justified the splurge. I was the first in the family to not have ‘just’ a stray cat. It ended up having ringworm when we bought it from a ‘reputable breeder’, and cost us hundreds of dollars in medical costs as well as having given me and my husband both ringworm! We struggled for nearly nine months to rid her of it and finally broke down and gave the medication to her that had lots of possible bad side effects (which worked immediately). To find out in this last month that my lovely kitty had a congenital heart defect which is passed down through the bloodline is further salt in the wound. The bottom line is that we were sold a defective cat which had a parent with a bad heart condition---that cat should not be used to breed kittens, in my opinion! So spending $500 on a cat is not proof of a healthy cat.

And anyway in the meantime I learned that they are many feral (stray, untamed) cats who have litters of kittens who need homes, and there are homes needed for feral adult cats, feral-born kittens who are socialized and are now tame, as well as many other unwanted cats who need homes. So anyway, our next cat will be a rescued cat.

I figured we’d wait for the end of the summer to get a new cat, so we could just have some time without a pet cat, and I could unwind from the care giving stress and also grieve about the loss of Sweetie. I thought that going into the fall and winter months with a new cat would be a fun project to do indoors as the weather turned cold and when we’d be indoors a lot.

However my younger son is taking the loss of Sweetie quite hard and immersing him in a new kitten project may be what is necessary now rather than later.

I already knew about so I went to the site two days ago. I connected with one rescue lady who takes the cats from the town’s animal shelter. The town does not help cats at all (they only help dogs), so she takes the cats and helps them, as a volunteer.

Last night we went to see her kittens. She had eleven kittens and four were already adopted/promised to others. While we were there another family was there and two more were adopted/promised to them. My younger son warmed right up to them. The kitten ranged in age from 5-8 weeks old and they were so tiny!

I had to fill out an application (!) which she had emailed me and give all kinds of information and even two references!! I was asked more questions than I ever was when I wanted to give birth to my human babies! I was happy to hear we were approved but on an exception basis. I had said we wanted one kitten and she said they usually have a rule to only give out two kittens together so the cats have company and playmates, but that at this point they had so many kittens on hand they’d be willing to give us just one.

I actually would prefer two for the very same reason. My husband is against it. I am working on changing his mind, though. Yesterday he hinted that it really is not his decision and that what I wanted was basically what would happen, that it was my decision. I was surprised at that. I don’t like to force things on him, I’d rather have him agree and not feel that I bullied him into getting my way, or that I did what I wanted regardless of his opinion.

Last night my younger son picked out his two most favorite kittens. I was not ready to commit to them. Those kittens are not ready to go home for about three weeks and they had not yet been checked by a vet or had their shots. Today there is a big pet adoption event where many area rescue agencies will gather to try to adopt out kittens, cats, puppies and dogs. We will attend that event, and some or all of the pets are able to be adopted and taken home on that day.

I want to make sure that the kitten we choose is active, playful, not fearful of children, happy, and healthy. I want a kitten that both loves to play and loves to receive affection.

My older son was afraid of the kittens, afraid he’d be scratched. This stems from one time when our cat Sweetie scratched him by accident while we were on a car ride and she was out of the carrier.

Our cat Sweetie was used to being in a home with just me and my husband. When our babies were born she didn’t warm up to them and she was probably jealous that nursing them and holding them for hours took precedence over them. I was disappointed that she was always skittish around my children and sad that my children didn’t have a close relationship with her. Near the end of her life she was mellowing out and my younger son got much closer with her as she allowed him to hold her, pet her and she was willing to be near him.

This morning when I woke up I heard little creature footsteps running and thought, ‘Oh that is Sweetie’ until I realized she is gone. It must have been a squirrel on the roof or some other little outdoor creature. I then realized I had a great night’s sleep last night and wondered what life with one or two kittens would be like. Will we end up with a kitten who likes to play and wake up the owner in the night? Will I have a cat who likes to sleep on my face (as my grandmother’s cat did), or on my chest (as another relative’s cat did)? Am I ready for one or two kittens right now?

If we find kittens at the adoption event today that we click with then we will adopt them. I am told there will be many kittens between now and October, so there is no rush. My main concern is that my younger son refocuses his energy on something positive rather than dwelling on Sweetie’s death and if that means we are to adopt now rather than later then so be it.

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wisteria said...

I wish you lived nearer to Mississippi, since I seem to be the drop off place for unwanted kittens. We have so many who need a little boy to give them undivided attention. I wouldn't have made you fill out an application!

Henry Cate said...

I was sorry to read that your cat had died. I hope your new kitten(s) bring you years of enjoyment.