Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rental Cats and Kittens

My mother has worked with feline rescue groups for years. For a long time, I thought the reason we always had multiple cats in our house was because I was a complete pushover for stray cats and never could say no. Well, it's taken me more years than I should admit to realize that my mother is more to blame for the furry menagerie than I am (though I have to admit that the last furry rescue who ended up staying with us really was my fault - sigh).

So our next door neighbors have known about my mom's rescue thing for a number of years -- about two and a half months ago, one of these neighbors comes banging on the front door in the middle of a downpour. My mom is, naturally away doing "STUFF". I answer the door even though I really am in the middle of data entry and want to pretend I'm not home for visitors.  At the door I find our neighbor, carrying a large, wet blanket -- out of which a pair of frantic eyes are flashing.  "Here" says the neighbor. "Out cat just had a kitten. Outside. In the rain. And now she's yowling. You need to take her." (ok, long story with these neighbors and the number of kittens / cats that keep popping up in and around their property -- but feeding is sporadic,  neutering is too expensive, and after they outlive their cute factor, are generally disregarded and left to fend for themselves).  "Oh, and the kitten's umbilical cord is still attached".

Me -- I just stand there staring at her for a moment, thinking hard.  We've seen the cat around for the last couple of months. We know there's something wrong with her nose (which is easily visible, even from the depths of the sopping blanket) but NO ONE knew she was pregnant (first pregnancy for the cat and only one kitten, which, in it's own way must have been a blessing).

So after a moment of standing there, I do what I know I have to do -- and since I've done cat stuff with and around my mom for donkey's years, it's not hard to deal with.  Grab the cat, the sopping blanket, the mewping kitten, slam the door and head for the garage where we have a cat carrier (just in case, you know).  I throw the cats and a clean towel in the carrier, hustle the whole thing into a bathroom, find the space heater and stick that in too, grab some food and slam the door to the bathroom, wishing that when I open it again, the whole thing will disappear.  (Now a caveat here - I'm not a cat hater by any means. I love cats, but we're overwhelmed with cats lately -- four distinctly individual cats inside the house to feed and care for and we don't NEED any more to deal with).

Even though I was half sure that the mom and baby wouldn't make it the day (they really looked pathetic when I first saw them) they do survive.  So now, it's figure out what to do with them time.

So time passes and the cat situation moves forward.  Mom cat's nose problem is similar to a cleft palate and un-fixable. She can't eat well, gets infections in the nose and generally doesn't do well. Unfortunately, mom cat had to be put down because there was nothing to be done for her.

As for baby Scooter : Both mom and baby cat are all white cats -- neither is an albino, BUT we find out when baby scooter doesn't even blink when confronted by the menacingly growly vacuum that she's deaf as a post.
What do you do with a deaf cat?

Think about this for a moment. You can't call her so she CAN'T go outside at all  -- she'd be run over by the car before she could blink, or chased and eaten by a dog without notice, and she wouldn't come in for dinner... couldn't hear the dinnertime call.  So you have to find someone who could deal with a physically handicapped animal.

Not to seem mean, but we already had enough cats and one more would make the pack we had all antsy anyway.  So we were trying to find placement for her, not really hoping for much and knowing that in the end, if we didn't find someone who had the right qualifications, baby Scooter might end up euthanized also.

Now here comes the miraculous part -- I suggested that we notify the guy who does the local interest column in the newspaper -- you know, heart wrenching story about deaf cat.... sob, sob...

Well, my mom found a better answer (and heaven only knows how this came about).  She found a DEAF person (who already had several cats) who wanted to take on the responsibility of a deaf cat.  Perfect!

Of all the people out there who would know how to deal with this kitten, this was the best.

So now, after a wet, bedraggled and almost completely doomed beginning, a little tough kitten has found the perfect home for her.

The  next time the door bell rings and some one is standing out on our doorstep with a cat, though.... all bets are off.

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