I need to let off steam and ask “why?”

It’s been a month since Willow disappeared.  Despite my various searches, and heading out every evening shaking my tupperware of dried food – not a whisker.  I think I need to accept the fact that she’s either dead or has been taken in by someone else. Someone who obviously isn’t going to take her to the vet’s (which would be the only way of knowing she has a microchip).  A trip to vet’s should be the first thing any responsible person does, on finding a “stray”. Not only to make sure that the stray is really a stray, but also to have a quick health check done.  A seemingly healthy animal can still be a carrier of something (even if it’s just fleas, ticks or intestinal worms).

But I’m obviously living in a little dream world – what seems the logical, responsible thing to me, doesn’t seem to be the logical, responsible thing to others. 

Anyway, the reason I need to let off steam . . . not only have I been pounding the street calling “Willow” but I’ve also been checking out lost/found sites, in the hopes that someone found her and posted photo there.  Instead of finding Willow, I have learned that there is a whole batch of strays living only a few minutes walk away.  

One (very responsible) citizen posted an advert about one particular cat (and her kittens) in the hopes of finding a local cat rescue home that would come out and catch them.  Unfortunately, she was told, by those she contacted, that they are either too far away, or too full, and don’t have time to come and catch strays.  They are already snowed under with the unwanted litters of this summer . . . they have neither the manpower nor the funding (or space) to take in more. 

I understand that.  Rescue homes rely on donations and volunteer staff.  They do an excellent job with the means they have, but they can only save so many. There comes a time when there is simply no room at the inn.  Which leads to my question of “Why?”   Why are there always so many unwanted kittens???  Why don’t people have their pet cats neutered???? 

My mother-in-law actually lives in the residence where the stray cats were spotted. So me, being me, I couldn’t help going along to assess the situation myself. Wondering IF I managed to catch the cats myself and take them to a rescue home (saving them the time and trouble) would they have the heart to turn them away?

My curiosity and wondering soon turned into frustration and anger.  There are just too many!   I thought I was looking for one female and 2 kittens . . .  I counted 3 adults and 4 kittens living behind the wheelie bins – there are possibly more.

cats adult 3 babies

Here you can see four pairs of eyes – I assumed it was a mother and her 3 babies . . . who soon left their nest and stayed at a very safe distance while I took photos

cats adult 1

cats baby1

cats baby 2

cats baby 3

(yes, I also had my tupperware of dried food with me).

Seeing the kittens eating so well, I reckon they must be at least 10-12 weeks already.  Problem is, they were obviously born “in the wild” and while they may look cute and cuddly, I was not tempted to try and get too close.  I know, from experience, what happens if you get bitten or scratched by a stray kitten!

Then there was another adult female and (I think) a male

cats adults 2 and 3

As you can see, the female, with only one eye, came up very close and seemed relatively tame (compared to the others who greeted me with hisses).  She actually followed me a little, and I got to see a fourth kitten (he/she is definitely hers) and looks like a miniature version of the grey cat (which is why I’m assuming grey cat is male)

cats adult 2 and baby 4

The mad-cat lady part of me just wanted to try and catch everyone and bring them home!  The more sensible animal-owner part of me knows I can’t.  I have my own animals’ health to think of.  I am living in a very small flat at the moment, with barely enough room for us . . . and with Blackjack, and 3 cats, I can’t just bring stray cats or kittens home without it setting off a whirlwind.

Saying that . . .


I haven’t- been able to get this face out of my mind.  If I could, I would at least take her to a vet’s to get that right eye & her good left eye checked out . . . and have her neutered so that she doesn’t have any more kittens out in the wild.


17 thoughts on “I need to let off steam and ask “why?”

  1. I feel your frustration. I really think that pet owning should be regulated in some way as there are so many people who get pets without thinking or caring about the time and money you need to invest in them. It’s irresponsible.
    I’m so sorry that Willow hasn’t come home yet. I hope she does soon.

  2. oh dear, I was wondering about Willow. So hard not knowing. Our neighbor up the road told us today that they also lost their cat recently – something not good in the neighborhood, clearly. Our other two cats are resigned to being inside cats all the time, no matter what.

    It is a shame about those strays – you are right not to get too close, It would be nice to capture Mom and the kittens and get them spayed, but that would certainly be a huge investment. We have a feral cat organization here that helps out with that expense, is there anything like that near you?

    • nothing for feral cats here, just normal cat shelters that take in strays and unwanted kittens. They’re already full from the Spring/Summer intake.

      • lol once we move into our house (end November) I’ll probably ask around and if there is a local cat shelter not too far away, I may well volunteer my services.
        I did minor rescue missions for my local vet in our previous location (bottle feeding motherless kittens etc) but it’s not really practical to invite strays into my own home because of my 3 cats and dog.

      • lol – I feel sure you will find a way to help! I don’t think I could foster the babies like that, I would want to keep them all! But I have thought about working with the feral group – they catch the cats, spay or neuter them, and after a couple of days, release them. As you already know, strays and ferals aren’t the best cats to have as indoor pets – so this group just does what it can to keep them from breeding, as you say, like cats. 🙂 I think I could do that. But not while we have our two sweeties (our indoor girls) who do not like interlopers. But someday.

  3. The problem is everywhere I am afraid. The kids came in and said they saw kittens in the backyard. I went and looked and sure enough, there were the momma cat and I only saw one kitten and it wasn’t a young kitten, soon as she saw me , they both ran away.
    I used to take in strays to the point my son was outside and I asked him, what are you doing? He said I am looking for the sign. I said, what sign? He said , the one that says all strays apply here.
    It is a unending problem. You save one and there is a lot more others waiting.
    Hugs to you Claire for your gentle heart.

  4. Locally here in the States, the Humane Society has a program called “Trap-Neuter-Release” where they neuter, vaccinate and ear-clip (for identification) feral cats, for a small fee of $30. I wonder if there are any similar programs where you live. I
    ‘m so sorry to hear of your missing Willow. I hope you find her soon. There are so many stories of cats finding their way home from incredible distances.

    • I don’t think we have any groups that do that here Elizabeth. There are animal shelters but they all rely on private donations and funding. Big problem is that we’re in autumn already and shelters are already full of cats and kittens from the unwanted litters born this Spring/summer

  5. I´m sorry to hear about Willow. It´s so hard not knowing what happened to the cat. I´ve also have cats gone missing and it´s a no good feeling. I love cats and would gladly have more of them, but the two cats that are living in my house says NO 🙂
    Don´t give up on Willow yet. I once had a cat who was gone the whole summer and returned when the weather was getting chillier.
    Gun, Sweden

    • yes I have the same dilemma with my cats and dog. Difficult to introduce even a healthy animal into our home so I’m not sure if it’s going to be possible to adopt a stray

  6. I’m so sorry to hear you lost Willow. it’s the same with bunnies though – people buy little baby bunnies thinking they’ll be a nice easy pet for a child for a couple of years. then the child gets bored of them and bunnies live for 10-12 years so they are abandonned. Also, people buy a pair of bunnies and they breed and breed and breed and all the babies don’t have a home to go to. It’s sad and very irresponsible.

    • yep, some pet bunnies meet the same fate unfortunately. Where we used to live, people actually used to dump their bunnies outside when they got fed up with them!

  7. Oh Claire I am so sorry to hear about Willow . Hugs to you…it is sad that every where you go there are irresponsible pet owners..shelters here are full this time of year. I had a cat that was gone for months, and she was found 10 miles away in town at a small grocery store. we knew the man who delivered bread and he recognized her..there is always hope 🙂

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