The bleeding hearts club


My family  haven't equipped me for the realities of life.  From my early days I remember my mum "shooing" big huntsman spiders from our bedrooms with the use of a broom.  When there was an ant colony that established itself near our pool, we put in a structure to help the drowning ants hop out of the pool.  The occasional mouse that entered our place was caught via a "bowl balanced on a toothpick with a bit of cheese" trap - you know, where the mouse pulls the cheese and toothpick and the bowl drops over them.  GOTCHA!  We would then drive a couple of kms and let the mouse out in a carefully selected location.  I have nursed quite a few baby birds with mashed up worms, and taken in the stray cat who was old and crochety, and still shied away from people in boots, obviously a remainder from a sadder abused life.  The only animals I can remember my parents deliberately killing (apart from mozzies, of course!) were brown snakes, in our yard when we were little. Dad going out with a spade, and him feeding the dead snake to the kookaburras down the back paddock.  I may have found some rat poison in the cupboard at some point as well, but noone talks to me about that.  So who know what went on there :)
So in light of all this, we are in a bit of pickle at Kugures this year.  Our hired help, who is usually wonderful, started feeding a stray cat a while ago, unbeknownst to us.  So today we arrive in the country after being away for a few weeks, and a new, dependent and hungry lookin' cat comes towards us.  She promptly decided to assert her territory and beat up our own cat (little princess) and then moved on to threatening my brother's cat. I got really mad, lost my cool, and started to gather a pillowcase in which to stick the stray into and take it far, far away somewhere (perhaps a coping strategy from my childhood mice herding?) - because the sad reality is, that although our hired help may feed the cat occasionally in summer time, if the stray gets dependent on our house for food, it will simply freeze to death in winter - because our house is shut up and cold - VERY COLD.  No cowshed with livestock and chooks and hay to keep warm in.  So I figured if there was no one willing to give the cat a home during winter, there was no point in feeding it all summer, have it beating up our own cats and make everyone miserable, only to meet a sad end in six months time. It would have more chance of survival if it roamed free and searched for a different house that was occupied in winter.  A long shot, I know, but better than going to the pound, where it was sure to be destroyed.
So I ranted and raged and got the keys for the car and a box for the stray, and then inspected the cat herself.  And she led me to her hiding spot....   to see her new litter of kittens.  Under our woodshed.  As it turns out, now we have a few more mouths to feed.
What to do?  In Latvia, its still pretty common to send the litter "to naval academy" (I think you can guess what I'm talkin' about), but with the bleeding hearts club at Kugures there's no chance of that.  Leaving all of them in the country means that they will either become feral in autumn or freeze to death in winter.  The pound?  For all of them?
I already suggested to our hired help that he should be taking in at least one of the kittens, seeing as this whole situation is his fault, but he's unwilling.  My brother is moving towards taking one of the littlies.  I'm not feeling particularly keen on taking a kitten - good lord, I have enough trouble with our "princess" Fizzy already.  My mum is already the resident "crazy cat lady" in town, who feeds all the alley cats who come regularly to the soup kitchen she runs for feline outcasts.  Don't think she could handle a permanent house guest.
So.... what to do, what to do?
As far as I can tell, mamma stray has at least two kittens, they look about 2 weeks old - all round with blue eyes, wobbly on their feet, with wonky ears and tiny tiny stripey tails.  Squeaking and mewing when waiting for mum.  I must admit I did suddenly find a soft spot for the mother cat when I saw her babies.  The way she let me see them, and purred contentedly when she crawled into her makeshift home to feed them (see pic above - blurry bub on the left). That maternal instinct, its a millstone, yet it makes the world go round...

5 Responses so far.

  1. Mamma M says:

    Oh goodness. I would want to keep them. What is better than a kitten?

  2. Mook says:

    One of them could be ALL YOURS! Take it home with you when come and visit in a couple of weeks!

  3. Em Bee says:

    I've messaged a couple of friends regarding the cat and the kittens!! Will advise! :-)

  4. I think keep the lot, one each and they make wonderful hot water bottles in bed at night. Who is this princess Fizzy by the way, I didn't even know you had a single cat. melx

  5. Fifee says:

    It's good to have multiple cats. Well at least two. They keep each other company and warm, and the boys can have one each. Besides they get to see a kitten grow up. Keep it keep it!!

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