Friday, May 8, 2009

Serendipity Kitteh

Last month our cat died. It was bad. I'm not going to bore everyone with the details, blah blah blah. Besides, I'm saving that one for a different post.

I should at least mention this:

1) she was a “mutt”
2) she was an indoor cat
3) we bought her from a local mom 'n pop pet store for $10.

Best. Cat. Ever.

So we've been thinking of getting another cat, and toyed with the idea of a pure breed. After Googling around, we found that this could cost somewhere between $300-$1200 dollars, and often requires a contract of “things you will do, and are not allowed to do”. If the cost alone isn't a deterrent, the contract certainly is. I can sort of understand this if you're going to buy a show quality cat (snicker), or you're going to breed other show quality cats. But a pretty, pure breed pet? Nah.

Then some friends told me that adopting a regular “mutt” cat isn't too different. A few adopted from a chain pet store, only to find out the store itself doesn't sell the cats. They're just acting as the liaison between the crazy cat ladies and the customer.

It can be expensive too. I know someone who paid $100 for one of their “babies”. And then there's that contract again. Declawing is the biggest no-no. I've also heard: “you must spend at least ___ amount of time with pet”, and “no children under the age of ____ in the household”.

And the people selling the cat had the right to follow up with you and physically inspect the cat to make sure you're taking proper care of THEIR animal. If they find that you've broken the contract, they can take the cat back. No refund either.

Even weirder, sometimes the cats (and kittens) come PRE-NAMED, so if you were hoping for a Fluffy or Whiskers, it sucks to be you. Instead, you're getting a Winslow Forester Bartleby, or whatever other dopey name they came up with. In reality, you're just borrowing their pet.

So we put the word out to a few friends who sometimes have kittens, in the hopes of finding a free (or $10) kitten who needs a good home.

Then last night around 9pm – the first night with no rain and enough warmth that we could open the windows again – I heard a funny-sounding bird calling from the yard. It screeched for a solid half-hour before I decided to find out what it's problem was. So with flashlight in hand, I went trudging out the front door. The noise was coming from the hedge just below the open window, and now I wasn't totally convinced it was a bird.

Hubby came out, pulled back the shrubbery and found a baby kitteh. Eyes were still closed, ears were not up yet, but it was fuzzy – so about a week old.

No momma kitteh to be found though. After scanning the yard with the flashlight, there she was, about 50 feet away under a tree watching us as if to say, “Hey, look what I did!”.

This was one of several strays in our neighborhood; usually found skulking through our yard, eating baby bunnies and pooing in the daffodils.

Hubby and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing. We'd like another kitteh, and look! Here's a kitteh. Delivered right to our doorstep.

Serendipity kitteh?

There really wasn't anything we could do. The kitten needed mother's milk at this stage, and you shouldn't take them away from their mother til they're at least 4 weeks old. So we went back inside and waited for momma kitteh to come back.

And she did. We checked this morning and both were gone. I'm sure she found another place to hide her little one. Except now we want her to stick around so we can “adopt” baby kitteh.

We put a bowl of kibbles by the hedge in the hope she'll come back (I hate it when people feed strays – but I'm willing to make this one-time exception). However, it's quite possible I'll attract every other cat in the neighborhood, but I'll worry about that later.

Right now I have to shoo a large squirrel away from the bowl.