20 October 2010

Never a dull moment at the shelter

Spay your petsAfter spending 6 hours getting cats out of their cages and cleaning, I had time to get just one more cat out before the shelter closed. A first-time volunteer said one of the cats was a bit sassy so she petted her a just a few minutes at the cage. I decided to see if the cat would also be testy with me or if it just had a bad moment. The cat was at the front of the cage and enjoyed my petting it through the cage door, so I opened the door and set my hand inside the cage. She rubbed my hand and enjoyed more petting and was trying to get out of the cage, so I took her out. She had a little gray tabby head on a big, solid belly, and an amputated tail. My first impression was what an odd looking cat. The more I looked at her, the more I thought she was too big around the middle without having any extra weight on any other part of her body. Running my hand around her firm belly I could feel large nipples and thought, oh no, she's pregnant! I called in one of the most experienced volunteers to ask if one of the adoptable cats could be pregnant, and she said it shouldn't be. The vet was still here so I could take the cat to him and ask him to double-check. 

The vet felt her belly and immediately turned on the ultrasound. Sure enough, she was gestating several kittens. We re-housed her in the medical room and she will undergo surgery tomorrow. It may seem sad, but her kittens will be aborted and she will be spayed. The shelter is full to capacity with 200+ cats & kittens and that doesn't include the ones being held at foster homes until space becomes available in the shelter. There just "isn't any room at the inn" so the kittens will not be born. But she will be well cared for and will become adoptable again after she heals from surgery.

It's not surprising she had a sassy moment. She was pregnant, probably not too comfortable, and didn't feel like being bothered. But she was a very sweet girl with me and the vet staff and I'll make sure to check on her in a few days and give her some extra attention to make up for some of the turmoil she's going through.

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