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05 August 2012

First a rabbit, now kittens. When will mom learn?

RavenMy mom loves animals. Her love of animals means she wants to add another furry to our family, but she can't figure out what would be best for all of us. A couple years ago she got a chinchilla. I thought it was dinner! Don't worry, it wasn't harmed, but it had to go back to the store. About a year ago she tried to add another adult cat, but I was terrified of him. Realizing another adult cat wasn't an option, a couple months ago, mom decided it would be nice to get a rabbit. I met the rabbit and was ok with it, but they didn't adopt it because dad is seriously allergic to the hay that rabbits eat every day. And since rabbits need lots of time out of their cage, mom didn't think we could give a rabbit a happy life.

Ok, no chinchilla, no adult cat, and no rabbit. We're not ready for a new dog so mom and dad think a kitten would be an option. They talked to my vet, who said a kitten would be non-threatening and I'd get used to it.

Through a neighbor, mom contacted a man who had some kittens. Turns out he's a cattle rancher whose cat had kittens. After a couple short chats on the phone, he came over with three kittens. As soon as she arrived, mom & dad had a bad feeling. He thought we'd come to his truck and choose a kitten from the carrier. Mom said no, please bring them in. He brought the kittens in, but left his dog out in the truck with the windows down a few inches, insisting adamantly that the dog would be ok. Mom said we could put the dog in the laundry room, but he refused. Mom knew she wanted to keep this visit short - because she wasn't getting a good feeling about the situation and was concerned about the dog.

While mom & dad checked out the kittens, I looked and hissed. Then I went into a different room, came back to see if the fluffy little nightmares were still there, saw them and hissed again. I wasn't mean to them and I wasn't afraid of them, but I didn't want any of them in my house.

Mom and dad decided the kittens were too young and had not been properly socialized. The man was what mom calls "old school cattle rancher".  During the interactions with this man she never got a feeling that the kittens were important to him. Putting all the information together she realized his cattle are his main concern. He said his female cat got pregnant and after allowing her to raise the kittens for 6-8 weeks in a spare bedroom, the kittens had to go. Some kittens were given away two weeks ago, and mom knows that's too young to take kittens from their mom & littermates. They should stay together for at least 8 weeks, and 12 weeks is even better. He had 3 kittens left and as far as he was concerned, they were weaned and had overstayed their welcome in his house.

Mom thanked him for bringing the kittens over but said she didn't want to take any of them. The man was a bit surprised and tried to convince her to take one. They were ready to go! He told her it could be left in the bathroom all day with food, water, a litter box and it would be fine. Mom has a different idea about how kittens should be raised and kept saying no, these kittens wouldn't work for our family. On his way back to his truck she said she'd call him if she knew any friends who wanted a kitten, but the man said no, "they're going to the shelter today." Mom knows unsocialized kittens don't have a good chance in the shelter, but there wasn't anything she could do about that. She didn't even suggest to him that he get his female cat spayed because she knew it would fall on deaf ears. After all, his vet comes only when one of the cows needs serious care, so why would he bother spaying his cat?!  ARGH!!!!

This 15-minute nightmare of invading kittens cane to an end, and I escaped another attempt to add to our furry family. I love that mom has a big heart for animals and wants to give another furry a loving home. I also appreciate that she won't add anyone to the family who will upset me or be a bad match for our family. But I hope I'm finally able to convince her that I'm the only furry she needs (the hamsters don't count) and I'd be happy to be the most indulged cat ever!

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