Monday, May 27, 2013

The Road To Hell

You know what they say it is paved with... good intentions. But really it's paved with kittens.

Oh yeah, I've got enough good intentions to pave the entire planet. It starts out with an idea that you know is wrong-headed and will ultimately cause trouble, but you do it anyway because there's a very hungry feral cat eating pizza crumbs off the picnic table. We had seen the cat prowling around for a few days. It was hanging out under the bird feeder. It was chasing lizards in the wood pile. It was eating stale bread in the compost pile. It was achingly skinny. So Roger says, why don't you give it Bonsai's leftover wet food since you toss it out everyday. So, the paving begins.

It always starts out innocently, like meager leftovers put in a plastic dish on top of the compost pile. But it became increasingly obvious that this was not enough food. So, we started buying big cans of Friskies, and the feral one got a full can everyday, which it completely inhales in less than five minutes. That goes on for a couple of months, and then one day three coyotes show up and the feral cat (who we started calling "Blackie") disappears. We didn't see it for two days. Roger set up the motion sensor video camera in the compost pile and records a fox and a skunk eating the food put out for the cat, but no Blackie. So, we assumed that Blackie was killed by the coyotes. I felt bad, but I also felt that s/he had been given a few really good months of reliable food, and that was some solace.

Then, Blackie shows up really hungry. I mean, REALLY HUNGRY. S/he is running to the compost pile four times a day. S/he wants FOOD. We accommodate by adding an additional half can of Friskies, plus Bonsai's leftovers, plus kibble. That seems to satisfy. The increased appetite is puzzling until Roger notices one day about a month ago, Blackie is in our yard with what appears to be a small white kitten in HER mouth. Roger's presence deters her from her plan, and she leaves with the kitten.

A month goes by, and we watch her running from the compost pile to the woodshed several times a day. There's not much room under that woodshed, and yet she squeezes under it all day long. We know there must be at least one white kitten there. We also know it's only a matter of time before we get to see it. And then it happens. Not just one, or two, but three kittens almost weaned and completely FERAL come bounding out from under the woodshed. Oh yes, we are witnesses to the result of our very best intentions.

There will be trapping and transporting in everyone's future. Blackie will be spayed, and hopefully a safe place for her will be found. The kittens will be socialized and fostered.

Could someone please warn us the next time we have a really good idea? Or we could start a blogging meme called: Mistakes We Have Made.


  1. they are so cute. your intentions were good, no need to castigate yourself over that one. Remember those ladies in Seascape that fed feral cats by the dozens? They created quite a boom in the local population, and then people starting volunteering to go out and trap them.


  2. Oh well. Our oldest three cats are that story: Mama and two of her babies. Mama is now an old (fixed) lady, and her daughter Rusty is also fixed.

    I hope you can find homes for the kittens. In our experience, it's hard to find a home for a grown cat.

  3. Sorry Robin, but a warning will do no good. You have a good heart and your kind deeds will continue. And that's a good thing.

  4. The locals here tell us that it's good luck to care for abandoned kitties that show up. I don't know about that, but I like the idea of showing kindness to creatures that were abandoned and/or abused. Somebody has to. But we'll stick with the FIVE we have!

  5. Yeah, the only one going to hell is the folks who abandoned Blackie. Definitely not you.

    Indeed, trapping and neutering well zip you straight to heaven, whatever you imagine heaven may be.

    The kittens, if caught young enough, can indeed be socialized. Even adult cats can, but it takes a dedicated and determined person to achieve success.

    Bless you for helping them. You know how karma works. You've done good, my dear.

  6. That photo reminds me of my boyhood and watching my uncle at milking time. The feral cats my grandmother protected would line up in a row and each get a squirt.

  7. I would say your intentions were pure and there is no Hell in your future. They certainly are cute, sure you won't keep at least one?? Maybe keep Momma around when she is fixed? I know, I am a trouble maker.

  8. You guys are a couple of teenagers in disguise. :)

  9. When our (now fully indoor female) cat showed up with two unbelievably cute and cuddly kittens before she became an indoor cat, we thought, "Oh no, now look what we've got to deal with!" However, for whatever reason, the kittens were only with mom for a few days. I don't know what "got" them (this was pre-coyote days here), but I'm glad that something did.

  10. So strange, the feral nature seems to pour out of their eyes...