Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where darkness falls at 4:55 but gloom springs eternal.
This is one of the three foster kittens that I have at home. He's slightly older now than in the photo. In fact, he and his siblings are ready to go to the shelter.
Here in Chateau Johnson they've been cossetted and spoiled. They're allowed the run of the house (because they've learned where their box is). They fight and play, eat, curl up and sleep, wake up, run around, fight and play, eat, curl up and sleep. In the evening they crawl up on me and Mr. Johnson and fall asleep in our arms.
But they have to go to the shelter. If we kept foster kittens, this house would be overrun with cats ... and we'd be off the list as foster parents.
It's always hard to part with kittens that you've bottle-fed, or tamed, or just nurtured through an illness. But right now it's especially hard.
I read in the newspaper today that some people who have lost their jobs or their homes, or both, have been forced to surrender their pets to animal shelters. This has made the over-crowded shelters more crowded than ever.
The shelter I work for is run by a lady who won't put a dog or cat down unless they're:
1. Very old.
2. Terminally ill, or ill with a communicable disease.
3. Wild without hopes of being tamed.
4. Proven to be dangerous.
And so, her shelter is becoming crowded with incoming litters of kittens (typical for this time of year) but also incoming household pets with nice dispositions. And in these hard times, people aren't adopting new pets.
Over the years I have seen several of my bottle babies go to a cat cage in the shelter and grow up there, cooped and wretched. They always get adopted in the end, but sometimes it's a long stay in the cell.
Two of the three kittens I have now are polydactyl, meaning they have six toes on their front paws. This will make them more adoptable because they look silly. But the other one, the little wretch pictured above, is just another run-of-the-mill gray tabby cat.
There are so many.
If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, maybe you might want to leave a big sack of dog or cat food on their doorstep. If you know someone with feral cats living (and breeding) under the porch, you might want to help that person trap and spay them. At least in New Jersey, you can get a coupon from any vet that will spay a feral cat for $40.
Sorry for the downer post, but I feel the weight of all these unwanted pets on my shoulders. May the bored gods of Ancient Egypt help my foster kittens ... and all shelter cats ... find happy homes.