Donna here with an update on my foster kittens. The two farm kittens, which were featured in the June 28th entry, have now been adopted together by some nice folks in Denver. Somehow it's ironic that two country kittens have ended up in the big city.
So, on the 8th of July, two days after I brought in Squeeker and Maude to be spayed, a nice couple arrived at the rescue with this little baby in hand. They had found her dumped along the side of a country road. No momma in sight, no other kittens around. She was up a tree meowing pathetically. We figured she was about 5 weeks old. Since I had a space open I offered to take her. We named her Aspen, and she has become the darling of the household.
At this point we have a serious decision to make about keeping her after her foster gig is up.
My enormous 2-year old male just adores her and they play very well together. However, she'd be cat number 5 and we really don't need 5 cats!
This Friday, after having my ankles attacked once again when Aspen wanted to play, I mentioned to Sarah that maybe it would be a good idea to have a kitten playmate for Aspen. So, Bella came home with us. Again, she had been found dirty, hungry and terrified along a road - highway 287 to be precise. A very kind lady found her and fostered her for a while. Since we have so many kittens at the rescue right now and since her foster home didn't have any other cats, she's going to spend the next couple weeks with us learning about living with other cats.
Once again my foster kittens are the lucky ones. Kitten and cat dumping is a serious problem, especially in rural areas. I grew up on a farm in upstate New York. We were about three miles out of town and about 30 miles from a large city, Syracuse. People would drive out to "the country", open their car doors and throw the cat out. Not to date myself, but this was 40 years ago! And things still aren't a bit better. Here are two kittens, both really too young to be taken from their mommas, dumped out on a country road. What the heck are they supposed to do? Hunt for themselves? Give me a break! They aren't even equiped with enough skills to find their way to some farm house and beg for food! It would be far kinder to take the kitten to the humane society where even if it was euthanized it wouldn't die a lingering, terrifying death from starvation or being hit by a car, or killed by a predator.
This is gruesome, but consider this - one of our volunteers said the last walk she had along a country road with a friend turned sour when they found a paper sack full of dead kittens along the side of the road.
The real solution to this problem is to have all pet cats spayed/neutered. If there's no unwanted kittens, there's no temptation to get rid of them by dumping.
We in the US have a real crisis of pet overpopulation. We look at pictures of Australia where the rabbits overran the place and laugh, saying that can't happen here. But it has already. Our native song bird populations are down severly partially due to heavy predation by feral cats. There isn't a part of the country now where you can't find a feral cat colony. Even our national parks and forests have feral cats. On Hawaii, feral cats are directly to blame for the near extinction of some bird species.
Why do we have so many feral cats? Partially because people drive out to the country with their pets, open the car doors and toss them out. The lucky ones find a way to survive and they not only eat but they reproduce too.
Please, if you know someone who has an unspayed/unneutered animal, ask them to have it fixed. We can do it for a very reasonable price - just check the spay/neuter clinic area. And please, if you know anyone who is struggling with what to do with a litter of kittens, direct them to the rescue. If for some reason we can't take them we can at least help them find a shelter who can. 40 years ago when i was a kid, shelters were few and far between. Today there is absoluetly no reason for dumping cats.
Aspen and Bella agree that being dumped is a very nasty thing that they hope no other kitten ever has to experience.
Brighty, Butter, Boogie, Cedric, Aspen and Bella