ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Pets and Animals»
  • Animal Rights & Welfare

It's kitten season - we are so cute!

Updated on June 15, 2012

A kitten's playground? Trying to beat the heat...

Mamacita and her two kittens try to beat the sweltering heat - I watered the ground so they could cool off.
Mamacita and her two kittens try to beat the sweltering heat - I watered the ground so they could cool off. | Source
Mamacita's two kittens play beneath the bougainvillea - a kitty Eden
Mamacita's two kittens play beneath the bougainvillea - a kitty Eden | Source
The fig tree opposite my apartment
The fig tree opposite my apartment | Source
Pomegranate tree beside the fig tree - promise of Eden?
Pomegranate tree beside the fig tree - promise of Eden? | Source

Garden of Eden – Survival of the Fittest

Outside my front door you will find both a Pomegranate tree and a fig tree. If you look some more, you will find residents of these apartments, which fight daily for their survival and often, merely eke out an existence.

This is Mamacita. I have written about her before. She has had a number of litters at these apartments. You may recall that about two years ago, she had a litter of five adorable black and white kittens which were taken from her and left in a box awaiting animal control, when I rescued the kittens which a friendly nearby veterinarian took in. Mama was left behind, searching for her kittens and calling plaintively for some weeks. She is a model Mama but was much wilder then and would not let me come near. When a tenant complains about the cats and kittens that do not have a home, management sends maintenance folk or calls animal control to catch and remove them.

If people would only adopt an animal, even if not taking it into their apartment, and give it love and food and get it fixed and let that animal get its shots, these lovely creatures would be given a better chance at survival, and in return, would keep pests away. Mamacita now has two of three kittens that survived this time. She has been pushed from pillar to post and has decided to camp outside my apartment as she has a steady supply of food and water for herself and kittens and it is a fairly quiet spot. Often she has found me and called me plaintively to find her kittens which are now at an adventurous stage and keep Mama busy looking out for them. She tries her hardest to get me to understand and has a long conversation which I do my best to respond to.

Kitten Eden

Struggle to Survive

One kitten for Precious - cutest little kitty
One kitten for Precious - cutest little kitty | Source
Mamacita guarding her three precious kittens - one didn't make it!
Mamacita guarding her three precious kittens - one didn't make it! | Source
Mamacita beseeching me
Mamacita beseeching me | Source
Mamacita and her two kittens enjoying the cooler night hours
Mamacita and her two kittens enjoying the cooler night hours | Source
Zorro used to be Mamacita's paramour - I haven't seen him for a long while. :(
Zorro used to be Mamacita's paramour - I haven't seen him for a long while. :( | Source
Tom-Tom with a broken tail
Tom-Tom with a broken tail | Source
Oscar - quite happy after a feeding
Oscar - quite happy after a feeding | Source

A Precious Nursery

Downstairs is a very young Mama which I called Precious. Barely out of kitten-hood herself, she was chased mercilessly by three of the Tom cats that reside in these grounds: Oscar, Peaches and Tom-Tom. Tom-Tom, the ginger male and oldest of the three, has been around for quite a long time. He has learned to be unobtrusive, quiet and reticent. His tail was broken by some of the children that lived here I was told. He used to bolt when he saw me, but at this point, he watches me warily as long as I keep my distance. He knows that I supply food for my feline friends and I try to remain unobtrusive and non-threatening.

Precious had a litter of kittens, but I have only seen one and I’m not sure whether she had others. This kitty is still quite young and is at the “aren’t I the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” stage. Precious is friendly to me as she knows me and sees that I am a friend and protector. Today, she allowed me to pet her precious bundle but still kept a close watch. Precious is lucky. One of the tenants in that part of these apartments looks out for her every day. She can’t take the cat in because of the pet deposit required. Neither can she get the animal fixed or take it for shots, as she can’t afford to (like so many of us!)

Over there, in the part of the complex which I call “the nursery,” there are swarms of mosquitoes and many ants which are attracted by food which is not consumed. I am not the only person who feeds the cats there, but I seem to be the only one picking up used bowls and empty cat food cans. I don’t mind, I feel as though in some small way, I am giving back. I feel so bad for these animals – they have to work so hard to survive and eke out an existence without the care of people that feed them. While I was overseas, attending my Dad’s funeral, a tenant got annoyed by something the cats had done (probably their mere existence) and complained. Animal control was summoned. I heard about their attempt at rounding up the animals and carting them off. The only cat that I have not seen around since my return is a shy, quiet black-and-white male I called Zorro. He used to be Mamacita’s constant paramour.

These cats generally never know who to trust or not. They have pretty much figured out that I am trustworthy, but are nevertheless still cautious. They allow me to come near and especially to their offspring, on their own terms. I don't blame them. They try so hard to survive and have to put up with so much difficulty. If anyone is able to help, please would you let me know?

Precious and her sweet little bundle

Peaches-n-Cream and her beautiful babies

Peaches-n-Cream with her delectable little kittens
Peaches-n-Cream with her delectable little kittens | Source
Kittens explore their environment
Kittens explore their environment | Source
Mommy and kittens curious about the photographer (yours truly)!
Mommy and kittens curious about the photographer (yours truly)! | Source

Peaches-n-Cream

Two years ago, a stray female slipped into my apartment one day. My own cat, Mr. Hobbes, had been abandoned by tenants about seven years ago. I took him in. He will not tolerate any other cats in his territory. I was busy preparing for my Physics registry and for final exams at the end of a long period of study. My Mom had fallen and broken her hip and was in hospital in South Africa. I was extremely distracted and worried. My Mom had hip surgery and did not survive it in the end. I could not go to her funeral as I was about to write my final exams. This was the point at which this female slipped in and made her way to my bedroom for sanctuary. She was quite skinny and I had planned to get her to a vet for shots, and was hoping to find her a home. Little did I know that she was ready to give birth – and she did. While I was on the phone, listening to the service of my Mom’s funeral, this cat, which I named Peaches-n-Cream on account of her pretty coloring, crawled under my bed and had a litter of 5 kittens: one male and four females.

I have no doors to rooms downstairs and basically I had to keep Peaches-n-Cream hidden away in a big cardboard box in my closet, yet give her access to food, water and the sand tray, without upsetting Mr. Hobbes. I was constantly keeping my bedroom door open, then closed, so that Mr. Hobbes did not attack Mama or her babies. When Mr. Hobbes would come into my room, I kept the closet door closed and the kittens remained quiet. Mr. Hobbes sniffed around and knew something was not right with his world. It was a continual juggling act. In between all the drama, I sat and passed my Physics registry, and completed my final exams, earning my Associate in Applied Science for Adult Echocardiography.

By the time some weeks had elapsed, the kittens were becoming adventurous and running rampant in my bedroom, getting up to all sorts of mischief. I appealed to Peewee’s no-kill animal shelter, and the owner there agreed to have the kittens spend a day on the weekend at Petsmart to see if they could be adopted. To cut a long story short, the kittens were exhausted upon their return, to a rather frantic Mom who called for them. The first kitten to be adopted was Leo, the only male. I was told that a young man had proudly carried Leo out on his shoulder. I found a home for the first kitten that was born, which I named for my mother. I had put notices downstairs and a tenant wanted the kitten for her sister. That kitten is now a happy adult cat with a loving home.

A cuddle of cats

I think my name is Smudge!  Does anyone want me??
I think my name is Smudge! Does anyone want me?? | Source
Majestic Mr. Hobbes
Majestic Mr. Hobbes | Source
Mr. Hobbes takes some night-time R&R outdoors.
Mr. Hobbes takes some night-time R&R outdoors. | Source

Appeal for help

I advertised the other kittens and Mom on Craig’s List. I was not happy doing so, as I worried about the people who would call. The last three kittens found homes on the same weekend. There were two ginger ones and a cream kitty. I was happy with two of the families that came, but the last one left me feeling a little disturbed and had driven off with the kitten before I could change my mind. Peaches-n-Cream called for her babies and looked for them for quite a while. It is always upsetting to me. I was advised to allow Peaches-n-Cream to settle down before I took her to a specified vet who spayed her and Peewee’s was kind enough to take her in. Eventually, all the scents and sounds of other cats in the apartment dissipated over time, and Mr. Hobbes was relieved to have the run of his home again.

Downstairs, in the “nursery” I have seen the precious little bundle stand his ground against some of the Tom cats that prowl around there. He does not back off and his fur stands on end. His Mama, Precious, is ready to defend her baby at the drop of a hat. A few days back, I went down to put food out and throw trash away, and saw little ears sticking up – a small kitty was hiding behind the dumpster. I tried to encourage it to come out and it would not, so I left some food there. This morning, I saw that kitten in the nursery, but it ran away when it saw me coming. It does not seem to have a Mama and I keep wondering what happened to that little family. At least there is a supply of food in the nursery, and I wonder whether Precious may be suckling the new little one. I will keep my eyes open.

What I’ve discovered in writing this is that cat families were sent to me to help me in overcoming the grief of losing my parents, partly by distraction and partly by taking care of other creatures, instead of curling into a ball of grief and not being able to get out of bed. It may also be the other way around, feeling grief-stricken and vulnerable, I sought out the animals to connect with and love. It makes me feel better. I hope that in the writing of this hub, I will find someone who is able to take these cats in. They need to be fixed, they need shots, and above all, they need loving homes. Is there anyone out there that can help?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Again Sue, awesome job, I love your writing, and the pictures are incredible! Voted up, awesome, and beautiful!

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Josh3418, you're a STAR! Thank you so much, my friend. I greatly appreciate it. I just received word that I have the go ahead for Canada... I may not be writing for a while, but I hope to revisit asap! :)))

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi there Suelynn...thank goodness you are helping these cats...kittens and Mamacita. It IS a shame that so many just toss animals out the door thinking they will be ok..but, as you have shown us; litters are born, some make it and some don't . And cats who are on their own, unaltered; will continue to breed...this is what happens in nature. We must all work towards spaying/neutering and giving homes to beautiful animals so that our lives are enriched and their lives are saved as well as better than on the streets. Thank you for a beautiful hub and really beautiful pictures of the kitties.

      PS...I wish I could take them all but, if you know anything about me and my friend Al....we have rescued and housed many many multiple dozens of cats and have two properties dedicated to making loving, safe and warm homes for these kitties...ALL spayed/neutered/vaccinated/tested...it is our life. Sadly, we are at our limit but/and....I am very happy to see that you are helping as you do and that others do, as well. I guess I could quote Hillary Clinton: "It takes a Village." UP Awesome Beautiful Useful and Interesting, too...

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Oh, Lucky Cats! You're wonderful and I applaud the job that you do in helping so many of God's creatures. Bless your heart (and your friend Al, too!) I am hoping that this will spark some interest and motivate someone to step in....

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and I so appreciate your votes! I hope to visit your hubs as soon as I can! Blessings to you and yours.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Sue, I am glad I came back, because I think I forgot to register my votes, shame on me! :) Sorry I am only week into hubbing, so I didn't even know about your trip to Canada, but have a great time! And you are welcome for the read, I really enjoyed it and will be visiting your hubs frequently from now on!

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Thanks for coming back, Josh3418. :) I hope I have time to read and write... gotta start preparing to pack....

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Ok sounds good Sue, have a great trip!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Great work. You are kind and generous. A great deed helping out those cats. Voted up.

    • pippap profile image

      pippap 5 years ago from Surrey, BC

      Lovely hub. Thanks for all the help you give those kitties.

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Awwww... thanks so much for saying so, Vellur. I love animals and have such a soft spot for cats... I feel so badly for them and wish they would find a home! I so appreciate your feedback and your vote! Thank you. :)

      Pippap, thank you so much for reading and giving feedback. It all helps. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Check with the local animal shelter and see if there is a low-cost or no cost spay/neuter clinic. There should be an organization around there somewhere that works with feral cats, a capture/spay/neuter and release program.

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What a great job you are doing! It's amazing! Awesome hub and your pictures are so cuddly sweet, meow! =)

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Aviannovice: There is such a program but the cats need to be trapped and brought in and paid for... I just trapped Precious and her kitten. There is an orphan kitten wandering around (just saw it a few days ago) and it is scared of me and bolts.

      Upstairs Mamacita and kittens are too wild to be caught and I'm afraid she will rip my hand off. Wish me luck!

      BeyondMax: Thanks so much, I need good luck! I appreciate your comments and just wish I could find solutions for the cats that reside here at the moment.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I love reading about your sweet kittens. I pray they will find a home soon. We have this same issue where we live. Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Voted up! We should all spare a thought for kittens and other animals...makes me think of an elderly lady I met who devotes her entire time to helping these little ones.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Wonderfully put together with all these beautiful photos. Your love for these lovely kittens shines through Susan. Your writing is warm and highly readable. Good luck with Canada!

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Kelleyward: Thank you so much for peeking in. It seems to be a common problem and part of the solution is TNR (trap, neuter, release). Now that I had Precious fixed, she is more desirable to adopt as she has had all her shots and will no longer breed. Even if she stays where she is, she will stabilize the population... I wish I felt more confident about getting the males into a carrier... they need fixing too! I have videos to post soon! :)

      Midget38: Thank you so much for your vote! I know many people who do help cats and The Cattery does a wonderful job taking them in and fixing them up and finding homes for them. You can find them on Facebook. All the shelters here are overflowing.

      Docmo: Thank you so much for stopping by and I appreciate your lovely comments. I am beginning to wonder how I will cope with REAL winter. I am enjoying my last summer here immensely. Videos to post soon. :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I love cats.. You ought to read about my black cat.. Muffin.. she died I wrote about her two hubs in fact I got a new cat.. George... I will write about him soon.

      Great hub

      Debbie

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Thank you so much, Debbie... I look forward to reading about Muffin ? and when you write about George- him too. :)

      Hugs your way,

      Sue-Lynn

    Click to Rate This Article