Calico "The Shed Kitty"
by Mary F.
(North Carolina, USA)
"The shed kitty"
It is May of 2009 and everything is warm and green back in this hillside in the woods.
It is kitten season and I have suspected that I would see mama kittys everywhere long before now.
There is a goat farmer across the way who has hundreds of cats roaming his property and most all are in very poor health and none fixed. It is a very sad and unhealthy situation that the county has turned a blind eye toward.
A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on my porch one night and seen a little Calico cat cross through my front yard heading toward my back yard.
The next morning I saw her again laying on the steps of my shed bathing herself.
She was very thin so I gathered dry food and fresh water and some bowls and headed out my back door to feed her.
She of course ran under the shed when she seen me as she is truely a feral.
I carefully placed the food and water in bowls, enough for a 24 hour ration, just inside the shed doors to keep the food dry from the weather.
I left the food close enough in sight of the door so that I could see her if she enters there to go eat.
I then left the food and went back inside my house and posted myself in my bedroom window facing the front of the shed to watch.
Within minutes, Little Calico came from under the shed and made her way into the shed and rested herself beside the food bowl.
Poor little thing ate for nearly 15 minutes then drank as if she was thirsting to death.
She then laid back down on the steps of the shed to bathe herself.
I watched her through out the day as she came from under the shed a few times to go for more food.
That night I went back to the shed to refresh her water and most all of the food was gone so I refilled the dry food and went back to the house.
The next morning as I got up, I decided to go check on little miss Calico.
To my surprise, Miss Calico had left me a little thank you on my porch. (a dead mouse)
This it typical of a cat when they want to show gratitude or seek praise.
Her food rations was almost empty so I refilled them and left her to feast at her leisure.
I maybe cannot pet her head or show her attention as I do my own spoiled, lazy cats who have it good in life but I can surely see that this little girl has a full tummy. It is the least I can do since way back in her bloodline, some human has failed to spay or neuter their pet cat and this is the result.
It sickens me how we humans who are supposed to be the smartest living beings just dont see how fixing our pets is so important.
People rant and rave about the animal population being out of control but what do some do about it other than complain? NOTHING!!!!
I wish I could educate and teach pet owners everywhere the ill effects of not fixing their animals.
Many animals die from starvation and disease because someone didnt fix their pet.
Thus many, many litters who do not survive and mother cats having litter after litter until their poor bodys are used up.
It is definatly not the fault of these animals that the population is out of control.
The blame lays with us humans.
When I get a new cat, the first thing on the agenda is to have it vetted for shots and treated for whatever it needs and then second comes Spaying or Neutering.
No compromises there. It is a MUST DO.
Getting back to Calico.
That second night I went to the shed to feed her and took my flashlight.
I laid on my
belly and shined my light under the shed and found her there but with 2 little kittens.
The kittens appeared to be about 2 1/2 weeks old.
I immediatly got her a dish of can food and slid it under the shed for her.
With babies to feed I knew she needed more nutrients.
As I slid the food under the shed, she crawled to the plate and began eating feverishly.
Her 2 kittens came close to the edge of the shed with their mama and I was able to look them over good by flashlight.
The one kitten seemed to be in fairly decent shape. It's eyes was goopy but for the most part it looked in decent condition.
That was not the case "unfortunatly" of the second kitten.
The second kitten had a very bad abcess around its right eye and the side of its face was swollen to a terrible size. My heart sank.
I got my daughter who is into animals just as much as I am and she agreed that the second kitten was in a bad way.
We mulled over the decision should we try to get that kitten out and clean its eye up and look it over but everytime we tried to get close to it the mama growled at us trying to protect her babies.
We decided to back off and not stress out the mama and to call for help from the county on Monday as it was now a weekend.
We left them alone with the food and went inside for the night.
I tossed and turned all night thinking about the condition of that kitten.
The mama cat also has major issues. Her eyes are badly infected and she has a large bulge in her belly which may mean she has not delivered all her kittens and may be still carrying a dead one inside. If that is the case then this will kill her eventually and she will die a painful death of infection.
I knew I had a decision to make and not one I was happy about.
I decided to wait till Monday to call Animal Control to come get her and the babies and have them humanely euthanized. I am not an advocate of euthanisia for any other reason other than pain and suffering that steals their quality of life. But these animals are in very bad shape and suffering.
On Saturday morning I ventured out to feed mama and check out her babies and found mama under the shed but her babies was gone.
Has she moved them to keep them safe? Or have they died and she has disposed of them?
I will probably never know and it distresses me that I waited to remove them but it is beyond my help now.
Today is Monday (Memorial Day) and I have already been to the shed this morning to feed Calico.
Her babies still nowhere to be found.
I have to assume they are dead as she spends all her time under that shed and if she had moved them then she would be with her babies.
My heart aches for this little sick mama cat.
She has eaten this morning and bathed herself and gone back under the shed.
Such a pityful life for a animal to live.
I will be tending to her this week until I can have her picked up.
It will break my heart to see them take her away as she has taken a piece of my heart but she is suffering and will die soon and so I must do what is right for her and see that she dont suffer needlessly for long.
God knows that this rescue bug that is in my soul does not always have a happy ending.
I grieve for those I cant save.
I beat myself up with hundreds of "what ifs".
But the bottom line is you cannot save them all.
But until my dying day, I will surely try.
Mary F. 5/25/2009