7-8 Cats too Many??

By

Myra

 

I'm afraid I don't have any pictures, but I currently have 10 housecats --which, income wise, is about 7-8 cats too many, but I love each one. I started about 3 or 4 years ago with a neighbor's cat that refused to go with them when they moved out of state. "Angel" was a solid white tailless Manx, who was an outdoor cat. I taught her how to use a litter box, but could never curb her wanderlust. I felt extremely proud when she asked me to be her midwife. I helped her deliver four sets of kittens. Although I knew nothing about midwifery, she made it perfectly clear when she wanted me to gently stroke her belly, and she would push my hand away with her paw when she wanted me to stop. She always preferred delivering her kittens on my bed next to me. During one pregnancy, she never said a word. (She was not very vocal during labor, anyway.) I never knew she was in labor until I heard the babies cry. So during her next pregnancy, I told her to be sure and tell me when she was starting labor. She had been in a very nasty mood for a long time because we had so many cats by then, but believe it or not, the morning she started going into labor, she woke me up around 5-6 a.m. by snuggling close to me. Unfortunately, I had to work that morning, so I couldn't stay and help her. She gave me the strangest look as I was getting dressed, as if to say, "How can you leave me like this, when I need you?" I had to eventually find homes for most of her offspring, but I did keep two: "Mikey," a solid white, tailless Manx tom with blue eyes and red "marbles" in his eyes; and "Squeaky," a very oddly-colored tortoiseshell/tri-color female with a white chest and several orange tabby "patches" on her legs and under her right eye, as well as the most beautiful golden eyes you've ever seen! Mikey was born with only three toes on one foot, and Squeaky was a breech-birth, the last of a litter of six, and the only kitten I ever had to actually assist delivery of, since she was somewhat stuck in the birth canal (or Angel was just too tired to push anymore).

For his first year, Mikey had to follow me everywhere. He couldn't stand to not be near me. And when I go to bed at night, Squeaky is the first to curl up on my stomach to sleep.

By the time we moved, Angel had been missing several days. I assumed she had found a new home. By the time we moved, "Fang-Li" had joined our family as a kitten-rescue from a neighborhood boy who had already killed one kitten. We had four cats when we moved --2 males and 2 females. Then Fang-Li got pregnant, and the father got outside and disappeared.

Fang-Li's first pregnancy gave us 3 females: "Shania", "Shade", and "Shadow." Fang-Li looks tonkinese in color and markings, although I doubt she's purebred. The father was a black & white long-hair. Shadow is short-hair, straight tortoiseshell. Shade appears to be a dark-grey long-haired tabby. Shania is long-haired, grey & white tabby.

Fang-Li's next two pregnancies were caused by Mikey. The first one produced "Benji," who looks exactly like Mikey (solid white, blue eyes, no tail), but he's a bit more wild. The second one produced "Bobby" (who also looks just like Mikey), and "Blondy," who also has blue eyes, but has a long, slender, white body with "light blond" ears and tail. Bobby seems to have his father's disposition and doesn't mind being held, while Blondy is a little more skittish like his older brother, Benji.

With the exception of Fang-Li, all of my cats have been born and raised indoors, and have never been outside. Of course, I tried to put Shadow, Shade, and Shania outside once, but they all froze in place, terrified. Shadow wouldn't stop crying until I let her back in. Shania ran under a bush and wouldn't stop crying until I retrieved her and took her back inside. None of the cats have been outside since.