>> Saturday, October 31, 2009
***this blog post has been sitting unpublished for several days now mostly waiting for pictures to be added. but also because i'm trying to anticipate the reaction this will get. my intention? just a cute little (or big) history of why i could very well end up as "the old lady with the cats". the situation we have right now is not ideal. and i hope that it is very much temporary! also this is in no way meant to offend large families. i am not the product of one, even though having siblings and a large family have been life long desires of mine. and we are not in the situation to have many more children, for several reasons. one? you will soon see!***
i'd never heard of the term "quiverfull" until the duggar family became popular. and even then i wasn't quite sure of the exact meaning so i glanced at wikipedia. according to the first little blurb it says that "children should be received eagerly as blessings from God". and i definitely do agree with that. but ok it's true we don't have a quiverfull of children. and although i really do want a "large" family, to me that means three or four children. not exactly very duggar-esque.
however, i also view animals as blessings from God too! sometimes i prefer them to humans as they never lie or cheat. pets just warm my heart and make me smile because they are true, pure and full of love. i definitely believe the studies that say pets are good for you. ever been comforted by puppy kisses or kitty purrs? now i won't say that my pets never get grumpy, they do! especially theo who often walks around the house complaining about this whole quiverfull mentality i seem to have. which i guess i should explain.
i've always been an animal lover. my dad says i've adopted strays my whole life (though he actually has included some people as strays too, but that's a whole other story), and i have rescued many, many strays in my lifetime. some i've kept as my own pets and some like a few litters of kittens i've rescued from the elements i've worked hard to find them good homes. this is no easy task. all in all, i've always had pets. and for a few years it was surprising because i had only one pet, ferris. he's my 16 year old best buddy, a manx cat that i adopted from animal control when he was only 5 weeks old. i say my best buddy because he is! he's been with me for my entire adult life, all the ups and downs, growing, maturing, college, working, boyfriends, marriage, kids, sickness, etc. not to mention all of the pets and strays that have come and gone. ferris has seen it all!
about four years ago or so theo joined us. a little kitten in the yard who was hungry and getting wet when it started to rain. of course we brought him in. he quickly bonded with mr. h and became "his" cat named theo. (the bonding could explain the grumpies theo is prone to). for the next few years it was just the two cat guys.
kelley did have a puppy from the humane society for a little while, but no matter what we did bethany was terrified of him. and like lots of "mutts" he got pretty big which made bethany even more scared. fortunately he found another good home. we had a few hamsters who were quite sweet but they are now running on the big hamster wheel in the sky.
kelley still desperately wanted a puppy. she first asked when she was just 2. on her eighth birthday she got daisy, who we all adore and is the "pug princess". i have to brag about daisy...puppies to me are A LOT of work. i've had one who seriously was more of a challenge than a newborn! not daisy though. she was easy to housetrain. she went through a flip flop chewing phase but even that passed quickly. so i don't know if it's daisy or pugs in general. i just know that our princess is the best.dog.ever. the boys-ferris and theo didn't mind her at all. we then became a nice little family with not too many pets. nice and normal.
last december we acquired another cat. he belonged to a patient of mr. h's who had passed away. the family said that mr. h was the man's favorite nurse and asked if we would like to have the cat. (i have to mention that i was always interested in hemingway cats-the ones with extra digits that are often found in key west at ernest hemingway's estate. and it turns out that this cat had extra digits though i'm not sure if he is a hemingway cat-he actually has six digits on all but one paw and seven on the other! and a few other oddities...also a manx and has the strangest ears i've ever seen-they are curled. he's really a sight to see!). so vader came to home to stay. we didn't name him, i'm not sure if it's from darth vader or not. but according to ferris and theo it is short for IN-vader. yep, after all that ferris has tolerated he drew the line with vader. theo doesn't like him and the grumpies have gotten worse. the feeling is mutual, vader doesn't like them either. but to us and even daisy he is completely lovey-dovey.
ok so now we're getting a bit packed. our house is small-it was my "batchelorette pad". we don't have a farm and really i'm a pretty big believer that house cats belong in the house. but everybody claims "their" spot and it works out. sort of. but we're not at quiverfull yet, not anywhere close!
have you ever told your children something that has come back to get you? well, i sure have. kelley and bethany often mentioned that they would like a turtle. i love turtles as well. and i told the girls that if they ever found a turtle that was in trouble they could bring it home. after clarifying that the huge tortoises that they see from time to time were not included, i figured this would never happen. right? nope! not in my life. the girls rescued an itty bitty tortoise that was about to be eaten by a friend's dog. of course! so they brought the little thing home and true to my word, we kept it. we never did see any "missing" signs, so for now alex or speedy (nobody can stick with one name) resides with us.
it's here that i have to mention that i've always adored orange cats. never had one though. since i've brought this up, i'm sure you realize that is all about to change. oh dear has it changed! my parents noticed a very small orange cat hanging around their yard. she was probably still even a kitten, as much as she could be. and then her belly started to grow, and grow. oh no! she couldn't be pregnant could she? she was much too young. then her big belly was gone. we figured she miscarried the babies. my parent's neighbor had been trying to catch the cat to keep, but they were unsuccessful and ended up moving. some time later that's when we saw kittens, they had survived. five, adorable, tiny, orange kittens! and some time after that the neighbors came back and the mom cat was gone. we guessed that they finally got her, which was great! except for the babies left behind. i guess they didn't realize that she had babies.
this was no problem for me. my resume boasts several litters of kittens that i rescued and found homes for. so that's exactly what i was going to do. except wow, they weren't too friendly or brave. i had to go back and forth many times to catch them all. and i did get all of them except for one. meanwhile back at home we had four little guys (yep all boys) sequestered. they were not at all happy. first order of business was getting rid of fleas and other gross things that wild kittens get. yuck. but we got rid of those. then the challenge of eating, they were very young and i believe still nursing when their mom disappeared. got them eating. they took right to the litterbox. so it was then all about teaching them that we weren't going to eat them and that we were nice. this was a slow process. it was sad though, as we knew there was one kitten left and how scary for that kitten-lost mommy and brothers. i tried and tried to get that kitten. and i failed. my mom however (with my dad's advice) got her! yes she was the only girl. she was terrified, but reuniting with her brothers was so sweet!
now of course the plan was that after we got them socialized a bit that i was going to find homes for them. that would be easy, they are adorable! bethany did bond with one she named julian and since she didn't have her "own" pet like the rest of us, i figured what the heck-we'll let her keep her julian. the rest got names too. gabriel, eli, lexi and, and, well the last one we can't decide on a name for. he's the only one who isn't orange. he's a beautiful cream sort of color that i've never seen before, with dark rusty colored eyes. kelley named him cream puff. mr. h really likes the little guy and named him spooky. and though we call him all of those names, he's most often called pooky. lexi, the only girl and last to join us, is super shy. really shy. in fact after months she is just now comfortable and friendly. poor thing really had a hard time. she's super sweet now and very spoiled.
you may have noticed that i said "months" and that is no mistake. remember how i was easily going to find all of these kittens homes? well, it's not been easy. i have found not one home. not a one! we have mostly tried word of mouth. after it became clear that wasn't going to work i called the humane society. not what i wanted to do, but i had to do something. well that was a bust too. they didn't exactly say no they won't take the kittens. but they did tell me that they had so many kittens and cats that they were completely overloaded and not having any luck with adoptions. my heart sank. so i asked for suggestions and mentioned placing an ad in the paper. they told me not to do that because cruel people tend to answer ads for free kittens and do all sorts of awful things to them-using them as lab animals, satanic rituals or just all around horrible things. oh.my.gosh. by the time i hung up i was on the verge of tears. i just can't imagine these sweet babies being hurt. i refuse to call animal control as i've read too many articles in the paper about their adoption vs. put down ratios. i've called the vets in town. and i've even called animal rescue places out of town. so right now i'm stuck. we're stuck. if you get nothing else out of this long, rambling story of mine-please get this: spay and neuter your pets!
so now we are officially a quiverfull family. it's going ok. the girls think it's the coolest thing ever. daisy doesn't mind them at all. ferris has seen it all, nothing phases him. theo is grumpy and often heard saying all sorts of bad words in cat language-which is kind of cute. vader, poor vader. well he doesn't care for the grown cats at all but i do believe that he feels like he is in charge of the kittens. a surrogate mom maybe? he herds them around, bathes them, it's all very sweet. but i can tell that like any "mom" with five kids he is absolutely worn out. i try to tell him that he doesn't have to be in charge of them but he doesn't seem to understand that. mr. h grumbles about them half of the time and then spoils them the other half.
recently all of the kittens received their vaccinations and were spayed/neutered. wow! that whole thing cost a small fortune. ha-ha maybe i need to set up a "donate" button! but of course it was the necessary thing to do. my hope is that the kittens will be more appealing to people if all of the vet stuff is taken care of already. atleast i tell myself that. we are keeping the makers of kitten and cat chow and cat litter in business. and if only i got paid for my manual labor of litterbox duty...
sometimes there's a lot of work and it can sure be tough...
but the good news is that every once in awhile an unusual friendship is made.
and there's always a laugh to be had!
so there you have it, we are quiverfull!
would anyone like a kitten?