The kitties are growing up. It's a beautiful day, maybe 72 degrees and bright sunshine, so I strolled out back to see what they were up to. Snickerdoodle was lying in the grass napping. Mr. Gray peeked out from under the porch when he (possibly she) heard my voice. Mama was under the deck where I could see only her green eyes. Sugarplum emerged after a few minutes to get a drink from the bowl of water we keep filled.
Late July or early August last year Mama kitty - a sleek black female - gave birth to a litter of six out behind the church - two blacks, two Siamese, one gray and one striped. I've been feeding them ever since, although we lost the striped one about four months ago. My plan was to tame the kittens, bring them inside, and give them away to good homes. Then I was gonna' have "Mama" fixed and let her, only, live out back. You know what they say about the best laid plans...
I can finally pet three of them and have even, briefly, picked up Sugarplum (one of the Siamese) and Ebony (a black one). But they only get close enough for me to pet them when I'm bringing them food. Mama kitty is pregnant again and will give birth any day now. Which means I really have to do something with this first litter or we'll be overrun with cats (we almost are already).
I plan to capture Ebony and Sugarplum this week. But then what? They're still mostly wild and have never been inside before. I will probably take them to a local cat shelter, but it's hard to think of letting someone else assume responsibility for them. What if the shelter can't find them homes? What if the homes they go to are not so great? Slowly these kitties have come to trust me - to an extent. And I can't bear the thought that I might be breaking that trust by catching them and giving them away. Argh!
For the kitties who remain -- Mr. Gray, Snickerdoodle, and Max -- there are a couple options. Either tame them and give them away as well, or stop feeding them and let them figure out how to truly become wild cats. That later option would be even harder to do. They have never had to find their own food. My guess is they would figure it out, but my heart aches to consider how they might struggle to adjust. But there are already too many cats in our yard and more are on the way.
Does God worry about us like this? about us and all living things? - "How will they make it? Do they have food and shelter? Can they learn how to survive, to build good lives? Will someone help them when they're in need?" Whether or not God worries in the same way, scripture makes it clear that we are expected to help one another in times of need. It doesn't say anything about wild kitties... other than that God gives food to all in due season. And that's reassuring.
So if you're in the market for some kitties (they're very sweet) give us a call here at Shepherd King. I expect we'll have two, perhaps three, to give away at the end of the week. If I can bear it.
Praising the God of all the living,