Cat B & E
I live in a neighborhood with lots of rental houses. Renters sometimes get cute little kittens for their children to play with. Eventually, the kitten grows up, is not so cute anymore, gets boring, and then begins reproducing. Of course there are a lot of responsible pet owners that do the right thing, spaying, neutering, vaccinating, etc. My anger is directed to the irresponsible ones that let their female cat have litter after litter of kittens, outside, in the elements. Then the renters move away and leave behind their mess of kittens that reproduce like rabbits!
I love cats. I hate to see cats suffer, freezing and starving every winter in my neighborhood. I am quickly becoming the cliche’ crazy cat lady. This past winter, I fed and sheltered a total of 9 cats. I have thrown together a mish-mash of a cat house on my deck, made out of saw horses, poles and a rubber truck bed liner for a roof. I had no intention of sheltering any cats when winter started but when the snow came, they started showing up. I fed one and he told another. And another shows up, with his two sisters. In no time at all, there were 10 cats. I found homes for two, spayed 3, one died, one was injured and the Humane Society picked him up. The rest are all boys and they are still hanging around. There are already 6 pet cats in my house, aged 15 years down to 10 months. I do not need anymore cats!
The cat that does the
breaking and entering
is a tortie I call Spooky. I thought she was feral so I caught her in a “have a heart” cage and took her in to be spayed. She was busy mating with those boys the week before so she was already pregnant. I felt kinda bad paying for a kitty abortion, but I can’t even find homes for the cats that already exist! I considered keeping Spooky but she does not get along with my pets. She doesn’t understand why I put her back outside after she healed from the surgery. She keeps breaking into my basement. We live in a 118 year old house. There are single pane windows halfway below ground level with concrete window wells. We plan on eventually putting in glass block, we just haven’t gotten to it yet. Anyway, two panes were broken out and critters could get in and out of my house. As a temporary solution, I made a sun room over the window with a storm window and thin Plexiglas sides. Now the cats could go out and sit in the window well and have 180 degree view without getting wet or cold. My kitties loved it because they could see people walking on the sidewalk, see other animals in the driveway, see the birds above their head, etc.
So back to Spooky… After her surgery, I let her out of the cage in the basement and she proceeded to show me she was not a feral animal, just a shy house pet that someone threw out. I kept her locked in the basement away from my pets. The weather got nice for a while so I started putting her outside. She wouldn’t stay outside; she dug at the Plexiglas until it separated from the glass window and she broke into my house. I woke in the middle of the night to a screaming cat fight downstairs! I ran down, found her under the furnace with my Simon staring at her, daring her to come out. I shooed him away, scooped her up and foggily searched my brain, wondering if I forgot she was in the basement before I went to bed. I set her outside, locked up, and went back to bed. 20 minutes later, there was cat screaming again and I realized she had broken into my house. This time I coaxed Simon out of the basement and shut her down there alone. The next morning,
I went to work outside on the window, using packing tape because it was too cold to use the silicone rubber I had used previously. Later that day, Spooky moseyed into my living room, pleased as punch, she had let herself in again. Out she went and back to work I went. This time I tried setting bricks around the sides of the glass, closing off all the Plexiglas. Then I found out that Spooky is uncommonly strong for a cat. Once again, she strolls into the room, during dinner, and freaking out the rest of my cats. It turned into a game. I would try to block the window and she would figure out how to get through. She even tunneled
the bricks one time, 10 minutes after I had just reset the concrete. I finally gave up. I had to block the window from the inside and so far she hasn’t gotten through. Just in case though, I get all my pets upstairs and shut the basement door before I go to bed at night!