Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our Fur Covered Skeleton

I thought I had hardened my heart to the local stray cats. We already took in a mother and kitten who are now happily installed in the garden and looking much healthier than when they arrived.

This morning the kids and I collected the baby from nursery and a stray kitten attached herself to us. She is a scruff of a kitten, only a few weeks old and looks like a fur covered skeleton. She has hungry eyes and a desperate cry. My son picked her up, carried her home and gave her some cat food.

My husband took one look at the scrawny bundle and said, ‘No way, two is enough already’. So now we have a meowing cat, expectant of more love and food, hanging about outside the house and crying whenever she hears someone close by. We are worried that our other two cats will fight with her, as cats are territorial and our original two must know that they really fell on their feet when they found us.

In Israel cats are the equivalent of mice in other countries; there are so many hanging around the public litter bins and each year more and more arrive on the scene. They are a nuisance really and spread disease. Many people I know adopted beautiful, tiny kittens. We seem to have picked out cats that are a little less attractive and have an air of desperation about them. They look pitiful and in need of a little love and attention.

So the battle in our house today is whether to keep the new kitten. She is just so small and helpless. Perhaps we can encourage the mother cat to adopt her although I guess it is more likely she will see her as a threat.

Tonight I installed the kitten into the shed. I gave her a box to sleep in, some water and some food. I hope she stays in there. Most nights we hear cat fights outside and this one, all bones and as light as a feather, would surely not survive.

All I know is that now there is a consequence for taking this cat home and alongside that, a feeling of responsibility.

Sharona B