I went outside just now to tidy up a few things that were laying out. Sure enough, the dominant male Tom showed up. He sat and watched me as I went about my business. I happened to have a huge bag of cat food donations given to our rescue cats today from Global Pet Foods so I began to open up a bag. I started to chat with him about how I knew he wanted the blueberries that enriched this amazing food I was getting ready for him. I stood there for a few minutes as we exchanged some form of communication. This Tom has been here from the very beginning. I'm told he just "showed up one day" about 10+ years ago. How has he survived that long? The average lifespan for a feral/outdoor cat is only 3-6 years depending on your source. This Tom (we call Uri) is well over 10 years old. He's trap savvy and king of the neighbourhood...
By now I'm inside and sitting down at the screen door looking out, watching him eat the high quality food. He doesn't realize he's eating one of the most expensive foods out there. He's just happy to have a meal. He's never come this close to me before. I'd never even be able to come to the window in the past without him running away. Now he's literally sitting just a couple feet away from me with only a thin piece of glass separating us. I begin to notice all his features... the dark spot at the base of his nose that so many of the Colony members have. Clearly a dominant gene. His jowls are huge. He's muscular, however a remark was made about how he's lost weight. To me, he looks majestic, strong, and handsome. But I don't know him like everyone else. I've chatted with several of the neighbours around here and many of them speak of kittens and cats running amok from home to home getting food from just about everyone. The whole neighborhood cares for these cats. Deeply. Everyone has memories they can recall with a smile. Last year, alongside with The Pride Rescue, we managed to pull over 20 Colony cats off the street here. There are still more. It was a lot for me personally; quite the undertaking to be honest.
On Wednesday, we finally caught MommyCat. Mother to our Colony Quints. I was over the moon happy. I still am, however I'm sad at times too. MC is not happy. It is not what she knows. She will get better in time, I know this from experience but to see her makes me sad as I've changed the only world she knows.
Then here I am staring at Uri. If I trapped him, what would I do? Clearly neuter and vaccines are at the top of the list, but then what? I watch him eat and wonder if he is having trouble with the kibble. Does he have bad teeth? Is his mouth sore? His eyes look tired. His fur dirty. He's looking back at me and I realize something. He used to belong to someone. He used to be a sweet and cute little ball of fur. He was scooped up and brought home like so many kittens are, and he was loved. Then, for whatever reason, he was alone outside. Alone to fend for himself. He became hardened, scared, and paranoid.
If I trap him, will the kitten come back? Look at Mina... she was hardcore feral when I got her, but her kitten came out. She still has her moments from time to time, but honestly, I believe she is rehabilitated enough to be adopted! She's approximately 6 years old. She was just spayed in December 2016 after being trapped/caught. It took someone seeing that something in her eyes. They saw that kitten and they had hope.
I look at Uri and I feel so sad knowing once upon a time he too was a kitten. He had trust and love. I'm sad knowing he wasn't the first abandoned cat or kitten and he certainly won't be the last...
It's kitten season. Please don't adopt for cuteness or because you want your kids to experience "kittenhood". If you want to adopt a "rescue", please have an open mind to all different types of personalities and characteristics. All kittens are cute. They grow up and they develop problems. Some may have heart conditions, some may have kidney issues, and some may get diabetes or cancer at the age of four. A kitten is a lifetime commitment. It isn't disposable or something you can just leave behind when you move. Please think ahead when you see that ball of fur. They grow up. Just like our kids do. The feline species is a lot more complex than you may think. They love, they appreciate, they show compassion, and they can and do feel. They are not possessions. They are living beings and their lives matter ❤️
A mom of 3 that loves Jesus Christ, my children, cats, and of course, all that God created. Thank you for checking us out here at ELM!