Last Friday my oldest cat Allie died and a few hours later Richard discovered three kittens in the woodshed on my back porch. I had been expecting the death of my cat for quite some time; she was very old. But I was totally surprised by the discovery of the three kittens. Richard, being a Born Again Christian, saw it as a sign/gift from God. I wasn't sure how to see it. The kittens appeared to be quite healthy. Obviously, the mother cat was around somewhere, but nowhere in sight. I kept a look out for her for several days and didn't see her. I worried about the kittens safety and health, so I got some half and half milk/cream to give them. I worried also because soon there will be some major work done outside the house near to where the kittens were living. And so I brought them into my house. After I did that I very briefly saw a black cat outside. I called to her, but then she (or he) disappeared.
For now, I'm keeping the kittens in the bathtub because the tub has a sliding door, so that they can come out of the carrying case where they sleep on a towel and drink from the plate of milk/cream or use the kitty litter tray, which I'm happy to say they have been using. I feed them about three times a day and let them run around the rest of the bathroom several times a day. They are sweet, loving and beautiful and, of course, I'm thinking about keeping them. Not a wise idea probably, but I am smitten. The only way I can keep my adult cats and the kittens is if I am willing to let them run free outside. This means I have to run the risk of them being hit by a car or possibly infected with some incurable disease or attacked by some wild animal. The kittens won't be ready to be released for several months, but my other two cats must be castrated and given their shots very soon. I also need to have a cat door installed so the cats can come in and out freely.
Most people living in the country don't think twice about letting their cats run free, but I've been overprotective for years and I just can't do that anymore, my house can't take it. As much as I resist it, life is about taking risks and trying to live to the fullest if possible. When I was growing up I would go live at the beach during the summer with my family and we would bring the cats down with us and then let them run free. They loved it so much. Animals in nature is a magic fit despite the risks taken. I will still worry. I know I will.
I'm not sure if I'm making the right choice. I could bring the kittens to the Humane Society. I just don't have it in me to do that right now. Maybe it's my maternal instincts coming out because I know I will never have a child of my own. Maybe I'm taking Richard's idea that it's a sign from God and that I should look at it as a blessing and not a burden. I really don't know. In any case, I'm going to sit with it for another week and wait to decide and in the meantime I will make an appointment to bring the two cats and three kittens in to see the vet.
Tomorrow I go to my first NAMI meeting. I'm nervous about going, but I know I have to go. I can't cop out of this. I'll let you know what happens. Also a big Thank You to everyone who responded to my last post!