I didn't ask for cats here. I did not bring my own cats when we moved here, although I had two, one of whom is now my dad's housemate. But they appeared from the farm across the road, one cat had a litter here and that was it. I started feeding them just so they wouldn't steal food from our old Brittany. Then, one by one, I adopted a few. I have one indoor cat, Puffball, and two semi-indoor male cats, plus a couple others who were indoors at one time but were moved out when they became pregnant. Hey, I couldn't afford to spay/neuter all of them, and I couldn't just kill them either.
But now it's kitten season, and I've decided most of these cats do not have any inborn mothering ability, either that or they are responding to some unseen population check. Two litters earlier this year have died within a day after birth. And two days ago, I witnessed what was perhaps the most casual birth I'd ever seen; a small calico was walking along the path, and when the kitten, placenta and all, dropped from it it didn't even stop walking. I picked up the kitten and put it in a somewhat protected area. Later I found the other kitten, abandoned in the woodpile. I put it with the other, thinking maybe the mother would have a change of heart and start caring for them. Wishful thinking.
And a lot of mixed emotions ensued. I could try to care for the abandoned kittens, feeding them milk every hour or so. But we have so many cats here, and there is so much else I need to focus my attention upon. Or I could kill them instantly, drowning them in a bucket. But what if...just what if the mother decided to come back? And I didn't have the heart to do it either. I'm not God, and I don't pretend to be. So I had to listen to their pitiful meowing yesterday and today, struggling, clinging on to life, while their mother casually lounged around, oblivious. I didn't imagine they would last long. I think the first one is finally dead, the second soon to follow.
So why do I feel all messed up emotionally about this? I was hoping they would die, so we would not have any more cats to deal with. And I was hoping they would live, because...well, just because. And in the end I decided I would not be the one to decide.
On the other hand, there is a litter of four kittens in the canvas garage, two weeks old and perfectly healthy. I'm prejudiced; I'm pulling for them because their mother is a Siamese mix, with blue eyes, and I'm convinced Puffball was their father, before I took him to the vet. Puffball is also a Siamese mix, blue eyed and grey pointed. The kittens are all snow white, which suggests they will develop colored Siamese points as they mature. I'm an absolute fool for Siamese cats. I have already decided I will keep one, or more, I'll see.