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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Show and Tell: Spay, But Don't Pay

As you may recall...many show and tell's ago, I spoke fondly of our cat, Sally, and her quiet labor bringing five new kittens into the world.

That was twelve weeks ago. They are BIG now. They are ACTIVE now. They are HUNGRY now.

One - found a good home... four have not.

Eight weeks ago, visions of me as the 'old cat lady' were amusing. Today - not so much.

Oh, forgive me - formal introductions:

You remember Butterscotch

Frisky, cuddly, relatively calm, and quick to purr - very - loudly!

This is Fluffy:
She's moody and not one to love human touch. Eager to eat...all.the.time! (Let it be said that I voted for "Peanut Butter and Fluff" as their names, but was vetoed)

Meet, Thing One

And, Thing Two

Formerly known as 'the twins' until their markings came in. Then, tentatively named after Dr. Seuss characters for reference purposes only, as we intended them to find homes and be re-named when they did. They are sweet, small, and quiet compared to their siblings.

So, this weekend I'm reading the paper. The words low cost spay / neuter clinic catch my eye, for a variety of obvious reasons.

I call. "You have two options" I'm told.

OPTION 1: $35 / boy and $40/ girl. We have 3 boys and 2 girls. I didn't do the math. It scared me a little.

OPTION 2: The "Spay the Mom" program. "It's free" she said. Um...tell me more

Apparantly, a good nascar driving samaritan with a love for all things feline made a grant to the humane society. If a cat has kittens that are unwanted or 'too much for one family to handle' they can bring in everyone. They spay, neuter, de-worm, give shots and a bunch of other things I didn't understand - FOR F.R.E.E!

That 's the upside. The down? Mom comes home with you. Kittens stay. O.K - I can deal...maybe

But we really wanted to keep Butterscotch. Both because he has bonded with us in cuddly ways and because he pulls my 10-year-old heartstring memories - we reallllllly - wanted to keep him.

So, I asked with my father's lifetime mantras playing through my head (no question is a stupid question - the worse they can do is say no) And, they said - ok!

Bottom line - for that is what it always boils down to, right - On Tuesday morning I will walk into the humane society with five cats and leave with two.

The kids don't know yet. *sigh* How do you explain such monetary based decisions to littles who make all their choices with emotion?

I guess I know why they couldn't be peanut butter and fluff. You can't really have one without the other...


Lollipop Goldstein said...

Oh, that's a hard one to explain. I'm not even sure how you twist that one so it doesn't lead to the "but would you get rid of me?" question (we get those leaps...a lot).

Kristin said...

Simply explain to them that there are other family who would love the opportunity to have a kitty to snuggle and love and you wouldn't want to deprive them of it.

The kitties are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

so cute. that's great you found out about this progrma

JuliaS said...

Oh I am so glad when people post kitty pictures! I just found I am allergic to them and so my dreams of kitties need to remain dreams only!

My second cat growing up (I grew up with cats and had no issues - dumb aging!) was named Fluffy. She "adopted" us as a pregnant stray when I was 11. She passed away after I was married some 15, maybe 17 years later. She was old! I still miss her.

Cute kitty babies - I would so take one if I could, truly.

k@lakly said...

Just make SURE they are a NO KILL humane society. There are many private rescue folks who will take the kittens and foster them out until a home can be found. I have had the old cat lady experience too, having 15 strays (moms and kittens) pass through here in the last two years but I found a great rescuer who as it turns out rescued me too(from becoming the old cat lady). Check your internet for local rescuers if you aren't positive the humane isn't no kill.
Good Luck! said...

Oh, the kittens are pretty! Butterscotch is really cute looking..

I think you should tell the kids the truth, the palatable way! Tell them that just like these kids, there are people who want to have sweet just like having Butterscotch here, the rest of the kitties will also go and make somebody's family complete.

I really do not know how practical my approach is though.

We have Angel Wings said...

If I lived near by, I'd take a kitten off your hands.

They are so adorable and I'd be there in a heartbeat.

Emmy said...

Awww.... what cute kitties!

I don't know what to say with regards to telling the kids. Good luck with that!

Dora said...

No advice on what to tell the kids, but I know you'll figure it out.

As for kill or no kill shelters, no need to worry about cute kittens. They will be adopted. Personally, I have issues with no kill shelters. Particularly in areas where they are the only option. Problem is, they will turn away unadoptable animals. Then those animals are often abandoned. Left out to starve, get hit by cars, or hurt or killed by other animals. Or, "best case scenario," breed more unwanted animals. Not necessarily the "politically correct" opinion, but sometimes euthanizing is the kindest thing. This documentary which aired on HBO did an excellent job of explaining this issue. (Sorry for the rant.)

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...


I think the girls can understand that in order for everyone to get the care and love they deserve, there are limits on how many beings each family can care for. When there are other families out there with not enough pets and too much love, sharing your bounty means that everyone benefits, esp. the kittens.

Anonymous said...

Oh, kitties, my first furry love. I'm kinda with Kristin and Wiseguy with the assvise for your kids...but I really would be unsure, as well. They are all so precious. We had tons of kitties at one point when I was growing up. I guess we were the crazy cat family. Now I just have Miss Doggy, who would probably love a kitty just a little TOO much, if you know what I mean, so I have to love them from afar. Sigh. Good luck.

Brenna said...

I'm sure with your way with words you'll come up with the just the right way to break the news. And hopefully little butterscotch cutie will help soften the blow! I'm so glad you found a spay & neuter option that's affordable and makes sense.

Beautiful Mess said...

That's a really great "deal". Plus those kittens are just SO cute! Made my heart all melty and googey! You have a way with words that is amazing, so I have NO doubt in my mind that you will do a fine job!

AnotherDreamer said...


I haven't taken my kittens to the Humane Society... ours puts most of their animals down at a fairly quick rate, they're always too packed :( So I am just getting the girls fixed and keeping all of them for now.

Cara said...

Wow! Thanks for all your great comments and ideas...I'm sure the right words will come.

Re: The no kill policy

They DEFINATELY will not put these kittens down because of the specs written into the grant they received. They will find good homes for them or keep them.

That said: K@lakly raised a good point and I will do a little research to find the policy of the society - in general - when the grant money is gone.

Liv said...

Oh, so cute are those kitties! Butterscotch looks adorable. I'd have a hard time saying goodbye to that one too.

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