Kittens1Why me? Why do they find me? And why am I always the one in the neighborhood who ends up having to clean up after everyone else’s irresponsibility?  Ok, I don’t have to, but no one else will and the alternative isn’t pretty.

My cats mind their own business.  They love to lay in the green grass in our new backyard or lounge under the canopy over my back deck, catch the occasional butterfly and watch the hummingbirds fight over the nectar at the feeder.  They’re not fighters. They’re peaceful felines, mostly. 

Then along comes one beat up tom cat looking for a handout.  He’s an old scarred up mess. I put his photo on an earlier blog.  I don’t mind giving a hand out to the occasional waif but then another showed up…and by Friday I had three tom cats fighting in my back yard and my cats scattered to the four winds.  Luckily, they all came back and I had to run off the tom cats with a garden hose. 

Last night, ANOTHER tom cat…more of a young adult/older kitten crying and begging for food.  And all of them belong to my hillbilly neighbor down the road who “let’s the neighbors feed ’em” as he told another neighbor of mine. 


On our early morning walk the other day, Midgie and I go past a lake house that hasn’t been used in some time.  There is the mamacat I spoke about in an earlier blog and her six kittens on the side deck.  They’re about 8wks old already and extremely affectionate. Great..more cats…from the neighbor who doesn’t give a s… about his animals and lets them breed everywhere.

They’re skinny because other than mother’s milk, they’re not getting anything to eat, but otherwise healthy. So I go buy kitten food and chicken broth and make a big bowl of kitten glop which they wolfed down in minutes.   Yesterday, a friend of mine who used to do rescue comes over with dewormer and I bring the Frontline. They each get a drop of flea stuff and some dewormer.  Best I can do.


So I call our local shelter. We have no animal control in this county.  What we have is a privately run, county funded shelter that does animal intake but not pick up.  To their credit, as shelters go around here, they’re one of the best, but as a taxpaying citizen who’s helping to fund that shelter…to be told I can’t bring in those kittens right now because they’re too full is extremely aggravating.   I had to make “an appointment” to turn them in on the 18th!  By then, dogs could get them or they could be hit by cars. 

I can’t bring them to my house, I don’t have the room.  With the serious, pet overpopulation problem we have in Georgia and South Carolina there isn’t a shelter from Greenville to Atlanta that will take them because they’re all overcrowded and the best ones are privately run so they don’t euthanize or try to avoid euthanizing.

However, in this economy, people aren’t adopting. So what’s the alternative?  Humane euthanasia by injection is a far better end than starving in the streets or dying of some preventable disease because there’s no one to care for them, or being eaten by coyotes or snakes.  


Why aren’t these no kill shelters spending their money on offering free spay/neuters and lobbying politicians to get the laws changed to REQUIRE spay/neutering. Why aren’t they spending their funding on a massive education campaign about the problems of pet overpopulation and the importance of spay/neutering???


Now I have in my neighborhood no less than six wandering tom cats, an unspayed female no one will claim and her six kittens who have absolutely no chance for a life here.  Meantime, my cats can’t enjoy their own backyard until I spend $2,000 to put up a higher fence to keep the strays out, and I have to spend my money to spay, neuter someone else’s cats and vaccinate and put up for adoption someone else’s litter of kittens.  No, I don’t have to, but no one else will do ANYTHING. Not even our local shelter.

It’s infuriating.  I’m angry at the shelter and I’m angry at my redneck neighbor and I’m angry at the entire system that thinks these animals are of no consequence.  They don’t realize that left to fend for themselves, they will mulitply, can get sick, spread disease – even rabies.  A colony of feral cats is no better than a pack of dogs running loose and we have those up here too.   The locals’ answer?  Shoot em.  Yeah, that’s gonna solve everything.


 So because my cats got run off from their own yard on the 4th of July, two of them went missing until this morning.  My kitten MaeMae ran outside early Saturday a.m. and was nowhere to be found and neither was Rosie.

I got everyone in yesterday afternoon except those two before the fireworks started. Living on the lake in Georgia, people go across the state line and buy fireworks in South Carolina and bring them back and set them off over the lake.  Lots of booms and bangs, whistles and squeals. 

Rosie finally showed up this afternoon and I just got MaeMae in..found her hiding in a storm drain about an hour ago down the street. 

I know, keep them all inside.  I live in a two=bedroom cottage. Anyone who has multiple cats knows even two can destroy a medium sized home if left to their own devices.  They have to be able to go outside.

I suppose I could just wash my hands of the entire pet overpopulation problem like everyone else.  And the case could be made from some rescuers that I should spay and neuter the entire population, then provide a feeding station for them.  Well I don’t have that kind of cash flow or time and there isn’t any place around here to provide a colony for them.  The HOA wouldn’t allow it any way.

And sorry, after rescuing for 25 or so years, and having had my homes destroyed by litter after litter of foster kittens and cats, I don’t want my house over run anymore.  I just want mine to live out their lives in peace and safety. According to my calculation, the youngest one will be 16 when I’m 70 and when she’s gone, then I’m done with multiple pets.

If I were retired and independently wealthy, I’d launch my own education campaign, but I’m not either.  It’s time for others to step up and do what I did for many years, and apparently am still doing.