Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Too Many Cats!

We had one part-time cat at our place in Banámichi, known as "Mama." She is an orange and gray feral cat that is given to raiding garbage cans in the neighborhood,  dragging stuff out of the cans and generally making a mess. She is also the culprit that keeps having her yearly clutch of kittens in our yard.

Our friends Dan and Tracy started out giving her the leftovers from their two pampered pets because she was so skinny. She seems to get by just fine when we are not there, but she did appreciate the handouts. Then she began hounding me for goodies with her pathetic yowl whenever I was out in the yard. It made me crazy. It broke my heart. I can't stand to see an animal so hungry and desperate.  I felt so sorry for her that I actually went to San Antonio's grocery store in Aconchi and bought her some cat food.

When I told my daughter  I was feeding a feral cat in Mexico, she said:  "No, you mean you ADOPTED a cat!" Well, ahem, I guess that is true. But we are only there for a week or so a month! She really is only a part time cat.

Now, when we arrive at the house, she somehow knows we are there, and hops the wall to start begging within half an hour of our arrival. It is uncanny how quickly she arrives. Maybe she has figured out that our truck near her favorite garbage can means food!

As she has become more comfortable with us, she has started to bring her whole clan over the wall with her. Near as we can tell, she brings at least two litters of kittens with her now. There are some little bitty ones, some medium sized ones, and herself. Three generations of cats! And then there is the back and white adult cat that seems to come with them...no telling where that one fits into the familial mix. At one point I counted 8 cats around the food bowl!

The little pouches of Whiskas cat food that I got in Aconchi aren't nearly enough now. The littlest ones crowd in and literally snap the food out of the pouch before it hits the paper plate. I have to guard my fingers! Mama hangs back and lets her children eat first. A noble creature! I have started bringing dry cat crunchies in larger bags from Tucson.

Two little darlings
The two littlest ones are obviously from the same litter. One is a perfect little Siamese, with pretty blue eyes...probably a descendant of the infamous No-No, who was Vicky and Beto's cat before it ran away. The other  little one is orange colored and also very cute, climbing trees and stretching its body like a dog. One of the adolescent kittens is an orange one with a fluffy coat. It looks like it got its tail caught in a fan...it is only 2/3 the length it should be and has a right angle in what remains. Another medium sized one  is an orange short-hair with large blotchy markings, and beautiful big green eyes. Each one has some particular charming quality. We haven't named them yet, but I suppose that is coming.

A chaos of cats

The whole fam-damily now sits by our back door and waits for me to set foot outside in the morning before swirling and meowing around my feet. It is a chaotic sea of cats! Some of the bolder ones actually come and sit on our kitchen windowsill, peering in, curious about what we are doing inside. And with all of this, they are still very twitchy and run away if I step too close to them. They won't let me touch them yet.

Beautiful green eyes
Dan and Tracy occasionally let their two cats out in the yard on a leash. This last time, Bodhi, the gray cat was out when Mama and one of the small kittens came into the yard. I anticipated hissing and spitting, followed by a vicious brawl as cats are wont to do. But it was quite remarkable...Bodhi and Mama came face to face, sniffed each other's noses and then more or less ignored each other with one solitary growl passing between them. What was that about? So unusual!

One of the adolescent kittens got into my chicken wire garden enclosure in spite of my careful attempts to make it cat proof. I ran over to it clapping my hands and yelling: "Get outta there!" The poor thing freaked out, and could not find its way out. It ran back and forth from the wall to the chicken wire fence, literally launching itself at the obstacles. I was afraid it was going to knock itself out or get hurt. Finally, it managed to climb the cement wall and find its way out under the chicken wire.

We probably never should have started feeding them, but they were so cute and pathetic. And Mama will probably continue to pump out litters as time goes on. How many cats can we feed, even if it is just part time? If there were a competent, compassionate veterinarian in the area, I would gladly pay to get Mama spayed, but from what I hear that is not the case. I am not taking a cat all the way to Hermosillo to get it fixed. For now, the situation is interesting and fun to watch, but I don't know what is will happen as time goes on. Cats and more cats!


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  2. Levonne Gaddy said...
    Trap them all and take them to Hermosillo to get fixed. Or invite a vet one day to come and do this as you organize a group of people to trap them to get them fixed. San Carlos has a group here that does this.