The Story of Our Outdoor Cats
Our Lissette to the Right->
My wife and I were in our back yard, when we noticed a Gray striped cat laying on the far end of our yard, just watching us. Beautiful cat, but a stray, and at first we thought, a feral cat. Would not let us get near her. I still believe this cat was domestic cat at one time, but was probably abandoned and put outdoor
to run wild. The cat would appear on a daily basis. Being the soft hearted people we are, started feeding her.
Around the end of May, she appeared with two of the cutest kittens, one gray striped like her and the other a mix of brown, black and gray. Momma Cat, as we named her, stayed with her kittens around an oak tree in our backyard until mid June.
One morning I looked out and saw the kittens in the patio chairs. I looked and looked again at the gray kitten. My heart again sank at what I saw. The kittens left eye was completely swelled shut. Decision time. Do I let the kitten remain as he is or do I catch him and take him to the vet. I decided, he will suffer horribly if not treated.
I decided to catch him and take him to the vet. Deep down I knew what the final outcome would be. But I hoped the vet had some magical cure for the kitten. I chased him around the backyard for quite a while. I finally caught him with a towel and placed him and the towel in our cat carrier. In the process, he bite me in the finger.
Away to the vet we go. I had my finger wrapped to keep it from bleeding. The wondeful lady vet looked at the kitten and by her expression I knew it was not good.
She told me the eye would have to be removed. She said she would do an exam on the kitten. I said go ahead, but I had to go to the emergency room to get a Tetanus shot.
After I got a shot and my finger treated, I returned to the vet for her opinion. Not good. She said the kitten might be alright, but the quality of life would be not good. My decision. As much as I disliked what I had to do, I consented to have him put down.
I had a difficult time making that decision. To consent to have an animal put to sleep really bothers me. So the vet took the kitten and I went home, feeling like I had failed to help this kitten.
Momma Cat and the remaining kitten remained in the backyard until late August. By now the kitten was growing into a beautiful cat. I named this kitten Zipper, as it was always racing from here to anywhere at a fast speed.
I noticed Momma was getting rather heavy around the middle. Then one day she appeared and was the thin Momma cat again. We thought she must have had kittens, but not in our yard. Around the first of September I looked out by the same oak tree and behold, kittens!
At first glance I counted 3. After a second and third, the count went to five. Five of the most adorable, pretty kittens I have seen. One was black with white feet. Three had shorter hair, like Momma and gray stripes like her.
The fifth had similiar markings but had long hair growing out of its ears. Long whiskers and eyebrows. And long silky fur all over. The tail was bushy. I think the father was a Maine Coon cat. I said to myself, I want to keep this outdoor cat for our housecat.
We noticed Momma was spending less and less time with the five kittens. She would leave for long periods of time and let Zipper baby sit the kittens. Then one day in late September, she disappeared. We have not seen her again. It is as though she decided the five kittens would be taken care of with us, and she just left. Maybe she could not handle motherhood anymore.
The kittens were living under the covered grill on the patio. When they slept, they all cuddled up together in a circle. It was so beautiful to behold. We decided the kittens had to be taken care of.
Our daughter and I caught all five one morning and she took them to an animal shelter, thinking she could drop them off and they would handle adopting them out. Not so! The kittens had to be 2 pounds and had to be socialized.
Kittens born as outside cats are not socialized. Our daughter took them home and put them into her office. She and her friend spent the next month calming the
kittens down to a point where she could pick them up and pet them. They loved it. Purred and cuddled up in her arms and climbed around her neck. The outdoor cats where now ready to be inside kittys.
She then took them back to the shelter for adoption. A lady from our town did take the Black one and one Gray one. Back to three. The emaining three were named Gigi, Gabby and Gisele. Gisele being the one with long hair.
Then they got very sick. Gisele being the worst. Our daughter and her friend nursed them back to full health. Gave them medication and loads of Love.
Thankgiving was the return of the three remaining kittens, Gigi, Gabby and Gisele. We had all three for about two weeks. With three very active kittens, the house was in constant disarray. We called our daughter and asked if her friend was still interested in two of the kittens.
Much to her and our delight, her friend wanted the two kittens. She picked them up and delivered them to her friend. She told us the kittens now sleep on her friends bed with he and his wife.
We adopted our beautiful baby, Gisele. Our hearts went immediately to this precious cat. For me, it was the most cherished gift for Christmas I have received in a long time. She has helped fill the void in my heart when I had to put Bachy, our Morris type cat, to sleep.
And the Zipper cat and I became very close. She stayed close to the house and was still outside. Everyday I would pet Zipper and she gave me little kisses on my fingers and nose. She also has a part of my heart. I was able to catch her and took her to the vet to be sure her health was alright.
By spending day after day, talking to her and her allowing me to pet her and show her I truly loved her, she become a very devoted house cat.
We renamed her Lissete, as she is a beautiful, delicate cat, much like her mother.
We had both cats spayed and all the required shots. They have no desire to go outside again.
With time and patience we were able to socialize 6 Outside cats (kittens)
and place them in homes where the pet lovers care for and love them.
Through the gift of the two cats, I am dealing with the deep sense of loss I had of Bach, our housecat of 14 years. He was another of several outdoor cats and dogs we have brought inside over the years.
I have such a feeling of responsiblity of caring for this animals and want nothing harm them. It is difficult to explain to anyone. I pray I am doing what is best for these cats. I take it a day at a time.
Alan Grundemeier -
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