My Mother rescued Angie the Cat and Her Five Kittens
My Mother rescued Angie the cat and this waif of a cat was unnamed and obviously unwanted at first. Here is how this true story began in Houston, Texas.
Horseback riding lessons were being given to my niece and while my Mother was sitting at the stables one day waiting for the lesson to end, this big eyed little cat approached her and walked right up to my Mother with pleading eyes.
Other young adults were there visiting and awaiting the time for the horseback riding lessons to end so that they could take their children and return home. This cat did not approach them. It seemingly knew which person might be willing to help.
Its belly seemed bloated and yet the young cat seemed thin in other areas. It was obviously pregnant and in need of help.
My Mother was haunted by those pleading eyes and could not sleep well that night. She made up her mind that if the cat was there the next day, she would do something about it.
Upon returning to the stables she was told that many kittens and cats are indeed dumped there and that this was just one of the latest arrivals.
The pregnant cat presented herself to my Mother again that day and the furry creature's life was about to take a dramatic change for the better within the next few hours.
My mother was prepared and had brought an animal carrying case with her. When my niece's lesson was finished, they put the pregnant cat in the case and stopped at the veterinarian's office on the way home. Upon examination they were informed that the cat was only about seven months old and that birth was probably imminent.
Oh yes! That latter diagnosis was indeed correct!
In the car on the way home the first births began taking place!
I was summoned to come and help (after all, I was a Registered Nurse) and although my field of expertise never included deliveries I did know enough to help with the births of that young and inexperienced cat's five new little kittens.
While no one was quite prepared for this instant motherhood and all that it entailed, everyone did their best.
This included the half-grown kitten (now a new mother cat) and my Mother's household which included another cat named Taffy, a dog named Missy and my niece who was the recipient of the horseback riding lessons.
We quickly assembled a box and padded it with an old rug and some newspapers. I took a large dog crate that we were no longer using in our home and set it up in my mother's home. We put the padded box inside the crate to help contain the new young lives that had so unexpectedly come upon the scene.
My mother had to come up with a name for this little half grown kitten. She was doing her job so well that she deserved a good name.
Angel came to mind and the compromise chosen by my Mother was the name of Angie.
Taffy the older cat that was already a part of the household seemed totally unimpressed by all of this action. She pretty much ignored all of the hubbub and commotion and went about her usual activities of eating, sleeping and expecting to be petted and brushed.
Missy the dog was more interested! She was sweet and once she sniffed the new furry critters, she assumed a watchful and protective mode.
A kitten ideally needs the nourishment from its mother's milk for a minimum of 6 weeks or longer to get all the health benefits associated before being given away to other homes.
Imprinting of other cat-like behavior takes place in these first few weeks to months of kitten's lives that will carry on through the rest of their lives and possibly into other generations. Thus my Mother knew that she had accepted being the host to much added commotion to the normal routines of operating her home. It was also fun!
Kittens and all of their playful antics provide much entertainment and many smiles throughout the day. Babies of all kinds for that matter are cute.
It is amazing to watch kittens as their natural curiosity leads them to exploring further afield from their mother's warm and comforting embrace.
Angie while she might look big in these pictures compared to her 5 kittens was not only very young but was a diminutive sized cat and remained so throughout her life.
My Mother was hoping to find good homes for not only the kittens but Angie as well. This was not to be.
While all of the kittens were eventually adopted into good homes (our vet actually adopting 2 of them) no one wanted the half grown cat.
By the time all of this had transpired, my Mother could not think of abandoning Angie to a shelter in hopes that she would be adopted. So Angie became a permanent part of the family!
These empty moccasins that were acquired while my mother, niece and I had vacationed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming one summer became the perfect little "house" for curious kittens! Moccasins and everything else that was on the floor became something to explore and became a possible toy or obstacle course.
Keep in mind Angie while not nursing or otherwise attending her kittens was also exploring the house. Everything in it including the people were all new to her as well.
In order to keep the growing kittens amused my Mother provided all kinds of toys. Of course almost anything becomes a toy to a curious kitten.
Knowing that they like to climb and exercise their claws, a kitten-sized cat tower was built by a friendly neighbor man who had the tools necessary with which to construct it.
This became a less expensive option than purchasing one at a pet store and the kittens made good use of it while they lived at that address.
The cat tower was finally donated to an animal shelter thrift shop after homes were found for the kittens as Angie and my mother's other cat Taffy had no interest in playing with it.
Preparing the Kittens for New Homes
As the weeks progressed knowing that the kittens would have to soon learn to eat on their own milk and solid food was introduced to them at the kitchen table by my patient Mother.
It may have been a bit messy at first, but it did not take long for the kittens to welcome that new and tasty source of nourishment.
My mother helps Angie feed her kittens.Click thumbnail to view full-size
The first tortoise shelled kitten was adopted by an acquaintance of mine.
The blond and calico kittens, adopted by our veterinarian, were the next ones to find a good home.
The last 2 kittens were placed with a vet's office in which the owners were reputed to be very fond of cats and pledged to place them only into good environments.
Spaying and Neutering
As soon as possible after all of the kittens had been placed, Angie was spayed.
Far too many animals are brought into this world than there are good homes to provide for them. What this ultimately means is that they endure starvation and suffering on the streets with most often untimely deaths.
Those that make it into the many animal shelters are at least cared for while there. They are examined by vets, tended to as necessary and are provided food and water along with a safe environment. While this is much better than trying to survive on the streets, and many find loving homes, way too many others are humanely euthanized.
Each and every one of us can do our part to prevent this outcome. Become informed! Help to spread the word that spaying and neutering one's pets not only makes for a healthier pet, but can prevent the needless suffering and killing of so many other animals.
What would have happened to Angie and her kittens had my Mother not come along to rescue her? She could have been trampled underfoot by one of the many horses at the stables. She was starving and could hardly have provided enough good nourishment for her kittens that were about to be born. Fleas and other insects not to mention other predators would have made their lives miserable if not ending them in a short and probable painful manner.
If you are a pet owner, do the responsible thing and have your pets spayed and / or neutered. For people with little money, there are charitable organizations who offer such services at little or no expense.
Bob Barker and others support Spaying and Neutering
This post is not only about how Angie came to live with my Mother gracing her home for many years with her loving ways, but it is also a tribute to my sweet and kind Mother who cared for many animals throughout her life.
Some of them were her own pets and others were simply animals that she found injured or lost.
In many instances she paid for veterinary bills for those other animals. Some were so injured or ill that they had to be euthanized. I accompanied her on several of those visits and shed tears for those hapless creatures whose names were unknown to us and had no forms of identification on them.
If there was indeed an owner out there...their dog or cat had some people who truly cared for them as best they could at the end of that animal's life. And if they had been abandoned, at least they got some loving if ever so briefly before they died.
In other cases my Mother sheltered animals that were found until the real owners could be found or until alternate homes could be located.
Pet owners PLEASE put identification on your animals so that IF they get lost there is some means to be able to return them into your loving arms.
Hopefully you found this post to your liking. Any and all animals that made their way into my parent's homes were fortunate indeed!
Are you a responsible pet owner?
© 2010 Peggy Woods