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I really don't want or need six catsPosted Monday, April 30, 2012, at 2:37 PM
For the first 57 1/2 years of my life, I was not particularly a cat-lover.
But things change and on this day we do have cats -- six of them to be precise.
Our first feline friend showed up on our small little Cass Township farmstead we call home about 1 1/2 years ago.
Somebody probably dumped her off or she was the offspring of some kind of nighttime romantic rendezvous between some of the neighborhood kitties.
Nonetheless, she came, we fed her and she's still here.
My personal "friending up" with our new adopted feline daughter was a slow process for both the kitty and myself.
The female cat didn't particularly like me or trust me and the feeling from where I stood was pretty much mutual.
As a kid, I never owned a cat. We had plenty of dogs, but cats were not something I was familiar with at all.
But my new found cat buddy soon became just that, my buddy, following me outdoors, brushing up on my leg when her food bowl is filled and giving me an occasional glance and a twirl of the tail.
Then, as I'm finding out that cats often do, she became a mother to three kittens.
We kept one, one died and we gave one away that was soon shot by a nasty neighbor in Owen County.
We called our new kitty a female for about six months and one of our grandkids named it Jasmine before a cat-savvy friend broke the news to us that our perceived female kitten was actually a male.
In looks, it was a spitting image of its calico marked mother -- minus the one dark-colored front leg -- so we just assumed she was a female.
The cat's name was soon changed to Jazz.
The third kitty in the first litter -- my favorite -- died and now rests in a cardboard box buried on the edge of an old garden spot behind the barn.
Cats are rather quirky and unlike a dog when you whistle or yell for a cat, the headstrong little critter may or may not respond and come running to you. It just depends on their mood.
A dog, on the other hand, will likely come running with its tail wagging at the slightest invitation.
Well, our cat family recently grew by four kittens. The birth came while we were on vacation and wouldn't you know, the place where the Momma cat decided to deliver her offspring was probably not the spot that I would have selected.
We have several outbuildings that are readily accessible, which would have provided perfect cover for the mother cat to bring her litter into the world.
Do you think that is where our cat delivered her second batch of babies?
Not a chance.
She gave birth on the bare ground, on the east side of our house in the back part of my wife's flower garden -- close to the house.
You have to give this mother credit. She situated her makeshift delivery room right under the dryer vent - which is providing the new litter of four kittens with plenty of warmth while they adjust to this brave new world.
The mother is also doing a good job of protecting her young from the weather elements. I've noticed that she spends most of her time hovered over the kittens readily available to nurse them when necessary.
She's also on guard to approaching predators and curious humans and has given out a few hisses when I've gotten closer than she's comfortable with.
That's a good thing. There are plenty of coyotes in our neighborhood that would make a tasty meal out of this young group of kittens if afforded the opportunity.
A twist to this cat story is the only surviving member of the first litter has now taken up residence at our neighbor's house.
Who could blame him? There are a couple of unneutered female cats there and a food bowl.
That's a pretty happy young male cat in my opinion.
Nonetheless, we may try to bring the young Tom cat back home in the next couple of days, but I'm betting the chances of this curious cat staying home is pretty slim.
Well, I've said all of this because my wife has already selected her "pick of the new litter," meaning we have three cats that are up for free adoption.
So anyone wanting a cute little kitty or two or three, contact me.
I really don't want six cats.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be contacted by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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