I initially never wanted three cats. One was plenty. I got my eldest cat Scratch from the Odessa, TX animal shelter in September, 2005. She was three months old, completely adorable, and turned out to be the perfect pet.
I named her Scratch because - like all cats- she enjoyed scratching the hell out of everything. My Mom called her Kitzee - which is actually more appropriate, and that's the name she answers to.
Scratch (Kitzee) about 4 months old (above) and in later years (right). She is now eleven years old.
Let's condense the story and Fast-Forward to about six years later.
I'm living in a tiny West Texas town in the middle of nowhere (far from Odessa). One of my neighbors is a sweet little old lady in her 80's who loves cats. She has at least twelve of them. Her cats never bothered me and I seldom paid attention to them.
One day the old lady decided to move away. It was a completely unexpected maneuver. Her son lived in another Texas town and she wanted to be near him. I was actually sorry to see her go.
I waved bye-bye to her and her cats (I presumed) as the moving van pulled away.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that she had abandoned all of her cats!
Imagine my SHOCK when the twelve hungry feline orphans migrated to my yard. I started feeding them out of pity...and that's when the nightmare began.
All the cats permanently moved into my back yard....and began rapidly multiplying. I eventually had over twenty cats and numerous litters.
The Feline Ordeal (capitalized for emphasis) couldn't have come at a worse time in my life. My mother had recently died - which has caused me to spiral into a profoundly deep depression. I was trying to sell my house, with the aid of a worthless, incompetent realtor. Several of my neighbors were drug dealers. I was in a financial crises and under enormous stress.
I was trapped in a remote Texas town - smothered under an avalanche of problems - - and unwittingly became the caretaker of an army of cats. The nearest legitimate animal shelter was over fifty miles away.
The local so-called "animal control" facility had recently been cited for animal cruelty and gross violation of laws. The man in charge informed me that any cats turned over to them would immediately be killed.
There was no way in hell I would ever let a cat be killed. This story is so long and intricate that it's impossible to tell all of it here. I will say that I built shelters for the cats so they wouldn't freeze in the winter. I tended sick and injured cats. I weaned kittens and kept the weakest indoors until I could nurse them back to health. I dealt with the horror of having several cats attacked and killed by wild animals.
I spent an enormous amount of money on cat food and medications - and there were numerous times when I skipped meals myself in order to feed the cats.
It took an incredible amount of time and effort for me to find suitable homes for some of the adult cats. Fortunately, I managed to find good homes for nearly all of the kittens. And when I FINALLY moved (several years later), the lady who bought my house took a few of the remaining cats.
I presently have three cats - Scratch, Bosco, and Scruffy.
Bosco and Scruffy were from two of the Texas litters. They had the same father but different mothers. And they were both born in the spring of 2014.
They were also both extremely sick kittens and I didn't expect either of them to live. I brought them into the house and nursed them back to reasonable health. I also fell in love with them and decided to keep them.
I actually rescued Bosco from a flood. There was a torrential downpour one night and my yard was completely flooded. I went outside at midnight to check on the cats and discovered that three kittens had been swept away. I rescued them and Bosco was nearly dead. It took weeks for him to recover.
These are the three kittens, just minutes after I rescued them from the flood. Bosco is in the middle.
Bosco was scrawny and very sick for a long time.
Bosco, now two and a half years old, is huge and heavy. He still has some health issues but is doing okay. He sleeps on my bed every night.
Scruffy was the runt of another litter and very weak. Much like Bosco, I didn't expect her to live. I brought them both into the house and nursed them together.
Scruffy is the smallest kitten on the far right. The calico Mama is looking at her brood.
Scruffy is still quite small but healthy. She purrs constantly - I've never heard a cat purr as much as she does.
BTW - I named her Scruffy because she looked kinda scruffy and I initially thought she was a male.
My cat Scratch was never exactly pleased that Bosco and Scruffy joined our household, but she politely tolerates them - - and occasionally lets them know that she's the boss.
Scratch is Texas tough
Note - I wrote this post very quickly and it's rather haphazard. Two more thoughts:
1. Anyone who abandons animals should be shot, even sweet little old ladies.
2. SPAY and NEUTER!!