My Cat was a Feral Kitten Before He Became Famous ( i.e. my avatar)
My Avatar's Geneology...
My cat's mother was feral.
She used to breed two litters every year ranging from two to six kittens. That is, at least ten new strays each year. Fortunately, her kittens had the good fortune to find homes.
My cat's mom was named Princess by the neighborhood.
She was considered a feral stray because she did not belong to anyone. She was a beautiful cat; either an American Bobtail or a Cymric (no tail, which my cat inherited).
She was a very bossy attitude yet a very gentle soul. She loved to be pampered!
Princess, regally claimed ownership to a few households in the "hood" that she panned for food and asked for shelter from when she became ill or in the "family way".
Scribenet's Avatar as a Kitten with Mom
She Handpicked Me...
Somewhere along the way she found me and soon figured I could be counted on for food and that is how I became her meal ticket. My grocery trips involved cat food even when I did not have a cat!
I began feeding her and later new neighbors moved upstairs and began taking an interest in her as well. She had it good for awhile.
Before I found a rescue group to work with to have her fixed "at a discount" and also to place her to be adopted into a "real home", I kept her from malnutrition and made sure her kittens did not perish.
...She Gave Me Coco...
Along the way, I even adopted one of the kittens myself. He is my Avatar and my most cherished companion, every bit as regal as his mother with the same bossy attitude and gentle soul... and a clown to boot.
It was one of those serendipitous events. I had not planned on adopting a cat.
He was already spoken for, but something about him made me ask to keep him for a week longer to make sure he could survive. I fell in love with his little character and in a real fortunate turn of events the prospective new owners changed their mind. Some one else was lined up but I claimed him for myself and it has been over four years of devoted attention for us both!
Just two litters of a stray cat...
The Cycle Continued for a Little Longer...
On yet another day, Princess showed up once again at my door to greet me as I left to work.
Beside her was a new kitten. Feed me and my offspring she demanded in loud cries. As usual, she got food before I left for the day.
I came home to find Princess lounging contentedly in the driveway and on my landing were an additional 5 kittens! Somehow, perhaps because she knew I had one of her babies, she always placed her trust in me. She knew she was unable to feed them all.
Princess, was a good little mother, knowing kittens need food and she knew I couldn't resist those tiny,helpless,little creatures.
There they were clustered around and behind my flowerpots; a dead robin had been left there by Princess for food. The message was clear.
I fashioned a shelter and play area in a contained area like I always did. Then I helped the the kittens learn to eat kitten food and provided a litter pan to teach the little ones to use litter and get them ready to be adopted. The kittens also needed human touch since they were fairly wild.
The adoption process was left to my good-hearted neighbors, who chipped in their time to find the little ones good homes.
Princess knew how to work her resources.
That year local animal shelters did not accept adult stray cats in Toronto. They were filled to capacity. I cannot emphasize enough...you need to get your pet cat fixed, there are way too many unwanted cats in the cities!
Some of Princess' beautiful kittens:Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Princess Retires
When I originally wrote this story my neighbors were finding homes for Princess' kittens and I was feeding her and sheltering her kittens. While not ideal, it was better than most strays get.
Sometimes, a little bit of luck happens.
This didn't seem to be the case when the neighbors abruptly decided they had had enough and were not that interested in that latest litter. It didn't help to know I was moving away within weeks and I wasn't so sure from their attitude if they would feed Princess either. They fed her scraps but I knew from the amount she ate from my feedings that was not going to be enough. I was baffled by this turn of events and worried she would not survive another winter. I decided to mobilize a plan.
I could not take Princess along even though I gave it serious thought. I had already adopted her son and another cat before him from the strays. I wasn't prepared to take on another cat....I was downsizing. Something had to be done.
I called a few groups and shelters and wasn't able to get much response. The move date loomed. I just could not leave the mom and kittens and I didn't want them to go to a shelter where they might be killed if enough space wasn't available. I was getting desperate for them.
They say necessity is the mother of invention.
One night I lay in bed pondering my dilema. I got up and went through a list of rescue groups I had found and emailed individual pictures and an appeal that homes were desperately needed and the reasons for my concern. It took most of that night.
I was surprised and delighted to get a number of responses from concerned groups. Not only did they get Princess spayed and fostered with the hope of finding her a forever home, they also had her kittens de-wormed and vaccinated.
How do i know that? I brought Princess to the vet myself... as well as the kittens for their shots.I donated $175 to sponsor Princess' spay...a sum far below the cost of doing it on my own. They rapidly screened and found homes for most of the little family before I moved!
My heart is at ease knowing Princess is in capable and caring hands. Being an older cat she may have problems being adopted, but I know she will never be released back outside because she loves being in her foster home and they love her! At last it all came together.
Please get your cats fixed!