As I drove home from school on Friday, I thought to myself,
"I am so relieved that all my pets have been fixed and vaccinated. We shouldn't have to pay another vet bill for a long time."
My 5 month old kitten got fixed a few weeks ago, and she has healed beautifully. It's worth the minimal cost to know that she won't get pregnant, and can run around at night without adding to the pet over-population problem.
Everyone should spay and neuter their animals unless you are a breeder, and then maybe you might need to re-think that. It's not like we have a lack of animals in the world- do you really need to contribute to it by adding more pure-bred, bug-eyed $200 chihuahua puppies that will someday sit in a shelter?
Anyway- I'll get off my soapbox now. I felt very satified as I drove home. When I walked over to the construction site to greet my husband, he said, "Sandy...there is a tiny black kitten hiding in the SIPS panels. See if you can get it out. It's been crying all day. If you go over there and meow at it, it will probably talk to you."
We live about two miles in the country out of town. Occasionally, people will choose to abandon animals near our property. Somehow they think this is better than taking them to a shelter or getting their pets fixed to avoid the problem entirely. There are coyotes, eagles, mountain lions, and bears near our property. People think they're "setting their animals free," but in reality, they are just feeding the local wildlife.
SIPS stands for Structural Insulated Panels, and they are what we are building our house out of. Currently there are seven or eight giant, blazing hot piles of these panels covered with black plastic sitting in our construction site.
I walked over to the piles and made some pathetic cat noises (I'm sure all those cat bloggers out there would be able to see right through them, but this little cat is very young.) Soon I heard some answering yowls.
It took me a while of hunting through the panels, but finally, in a far back corner, I saw two little bright eyes and a loud, crying, squaling voice. I could see the cat, and I knew it was hungry and probably dehydrated, but it wouldn't come out for food or water. I wondered if it was feral, but in any case, I knew I needed to catch to at least feed it even if it wouldn't ever be a pet.
After thirty minutes and the help of my husband and a broomstick, we gently pushed the kitten forward where we could reach him. I grabbed him, and was surprised at how little he weighed.
I could feel every bone in his little body. Ribs, hips, vertebrae...He looked like he couldn't be more than 3 or 4 weeks old.
I took him inside and gave him some cat food. I didn't have any kitten food, but he chowed down on the adult cat food. I gave him some tuna, and he lapped up the juice like crazy. Finally, he stopped eating and cried until I held him. For the last 2 days, he has wanted to sit in my lap constantly. He sits there and stares up at me for hours. His eyes are still blue, and his fur is long velvet black.
He is finally putting on a little weight. His little belly is round, like a kitten's should be, and as I write this...he is purring loudly in my lap.
Other than the hunger and dehydration (his skin still doesn't snap back quickly), he appears to be perfectly fine. He is lonely for other cats, and my two other cats, Bango and Tail-light, are unfortunately not willing to socialize with him. They are very upset.
My in-laws reminded me that I do not have to keep him. Three cats is an awful lot, after all. But this little boy is never going to an animal shelter. Ours are so full of kittens, chances are high they would either refuse to take him, or mercifully euthanize him. I can't stare into his big blue eyes and decide to abandon him.
I do plan to ask around at work this week to see if anyone wants a kitten. If someone does, and I trust and like that person, I will gladly give him away to them. But if that does not happen, which it probably won't, he has a forever home with me. We have decided to call him, "Sippy."