The House for Wayward Cats

Every now and then, a stray cat will show up at our door.  Sometimes, when we don’t already have five cats, we’ll open the door and welcome it into our home.  (And sometimes when we do, we end up with kittens a month later.)  Husband insists there must be a sign in our woods, telling of this House for Wayward Cats and pointing the way towards our home.

About a month ago, we awoke one morning to find the fluffiest little gray kitten sleeping on the cushion I leave on the porch for exactly that reason.  So, of course, I gave it food and water.  Not many days later, the gray kitten brought along another kitten.  This one was not so fluffy because it had burdock seeds stuck to its tail and belly.  Of course, I gave it food and water.  The two kittens came back more and more often, and one day brought along a larger and fluffier cat (mama?).  So, of course, I gave it food and water.

We fed them nearly every day, and the children were able to approach them easily.  The two kittens warmed up to allow me to pet them and even hold them, and I was able to remove most, if not all, of the burdock seeds attached to the one kitten.  The larger one stayed wary around me, but she allowed the children to pet her.

Last week, we noticed that the little gray one wasn’t closing its mouth all the way, and it needed care we couldn’t provide by just popping a food bowl outside.  And being that we already have a handful of cats, we wanted these to have a chance at a real home.

I called our local animal control officer and she brought out live traps to catch them.  It was only a matter of hours before we had all three of them caught and I called the animal control officer to come pick them up.  She did, and she took them to a local shelter for care.  As it turns out, the little gray kitten had a chicken bone caught in it’s teeth, which is why it couldn’t close its mouth all the way.  The shelter will keep them for a week or so before placing them up for adoption.  Since the cats have become friendly after nearly a month of gentle persuasion by our children, I hope they’ll find good homes quickly.

Please, please, please. Please. Spay and neuter your animals.  While we enjoyed the chance to briefly get to know these three, and they now have a chance for a good home, it could easily have not ended well for them.  Be a responsible pet owner.  Many states have reduced rates for spay/neuter services.  Here in Maine there is a wonderful clinic that can spay/neuter your pet for much less than a veterinarian charges.