Sunday, September 19, 2010

Furballs

I bought baby formula yesterday for the first time ever. We have visitors.

A few days ago, my husband spotted a couple of kittens peeking out from under our front porch. We knew there were stray cats in the neighborhood. My garden, for once, has flourished because of them. They've kept the rabbit population from turning our veggies into an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

There was a family of cats in our yard a few months ago. We had bought kitten food for them intending to rescue the family, but they moved on before we had a chance.

This mother cat also appears to be a stray. She's beautiful, all black with green eyes and no collar. And won't come near us. But one of her kittens was out in the yard on Friday, mewling and acting friendly and curious. 

We set out food for them for a day or two first. Then Friday morning, the curious cat not only let me pet her, but to pick her up briefly. I took advantage of the opportunity to bring her inside and put her in the powder room off our kitchen.  I gave her food and water, and begged some kitty litter from a friend in the neighborhood. Later in the afternoon I managed to snag the other kitten as she ventured out for a snack.

They are adorable, and took to the cat litter right away (thankfully). They were also both much happier once they were reunited. I still feel bad for momma cat. She's come poking back around the porch a couple of times, probably looking for her babies. As a mother, I feel terribly guilty about separating the family. But with cars and tomcats and dogs and potentially-non-cat-friendly neighbors about, there is no way I'm letting these two furballs fend for themselves outside.

We have a vet appointment set for tomorrow, and we stocked up on more kitten food and some powdered kitten formula. I don't have any idea how old they are. Possibly as young as 3 or 4 weeks, though they seem able and willing to eat both dry cat food and wet, and to drink from a bowl. And the milk won't hurt.  They are confined to our bathroom plus a few chaperoned jaunts around the kitchen for now. They have black spots inside their ears that might be mites, and are itchy enough to have fleas.

We don't know how long they will stay with us. Maybe not long. Maybe forever. Yet to be decided. I don't want to take them to the Humane Society, because they do euthanize animals that don't find homes. And I want these two little kittens to have a home, preferably together. My husband and I have still to weigh the pros and cons of allergies, small children, pet sitters, and scratching posts vs furniture before we will decide for sure.

They are beautiful, aren't they?

3 comments:

Kathy G said...

Awwww! I love kittens. Glad you were able to get them in the house where they'll be safe.

Bethany said...

So cute! How allergic are the people in your household? Gerd thinks he's slightly allergic so the cats aren't allowed in the bedroom. I didn't declaw my cats because I thought it was inhumane, after a few years of scratching post furniture, I'm no longer so sure if I feel the same way. Anyway good luck with whatever decision you make!

Kristi said...

My husband thinks he's allergic because when we last had a cat (over 10 years ago), he had a lot of sinus problems. Not confirmed by a doctor, btw, and he's had lots of allergy problems in the 10 years of living cat-less in a home that has never had a four-legged inhabitant.

We don't know if the kids are allergic or not. I probably am somewhat also, but I'm also allergic to dust and kleenex and the prettier cut flowers (nothing like a mother's day bouquet to give me a sinus headache for a week).

As I've told my husband, if I were the sole decision maker, then I would already have bought a cat condo and fluffy beds, etc. But I'm not, nor am I the deciding vote or the overriding vote. We need a consensus before we decide that the kitties are permanent family members. And while I have to sleep next to his sinuses, I don't have to live with them 24/7.

I will respect whatever decision he makes, and we both will make sure the cats have a good home. With us or with another family.