Monday, January 23, 2017

Mother's Cats and a rant

Probably about three decades ago on the corner of Mother's street was a small petrol station. It closed, as did the many small service stations once spread around Melbourne and country towns. It became a pinball parlour for a while and my two brothers in their teen years no doubt pumped their pocket money into the machines. It then became a pizza place and the owner used to put leftover pizza out for stray cats. Eventually flats were built on the site and Step Father felt sorry for the deserted cats and started to feed them. Their home changed to Mother's back yard. There were complaints by neighbours to the local council and a cat trapper arrived. The man actually caught a few, but Step Father felt so sorry for one who was pitifully wailing in a cage and he let it out. Some cats were removed, but not all. Cat catcher said, they are too wild to catch and soundly criticised Step Father as being uncooperative with the process because he set a cat free.

The cats never received medical treatment or veterinary attention but were well fed and if any ailed badly, Step Father might give them some eye ointment that was probably meant for his budgerigars or put them out of their misery.

Step Father died and Mother took over the responsibility for the cats, about six then. They received formula cat milk and the best of food but no still no veterinary care. They bred, perhaps inbred, and some have been killed on the road. Some have died from infections. One skeleton was found hanging from a hook in the garage. We assured Mother that happened post death, but we don't know. Mother likes watching them play in her backyard. While they run under the house if any person or other creature visits, they are comfortable with the presence of Mother. Some want to come inside and be pets, but Mother won't allow that.

Tradie Brother and a friend of Mother's have quickly and cleanly dealt with some of the kittens over the years, as did Step Father when he was still alive.

Finally, she is down to two non breeding mature cats. I am not quite sure why she was sure they were non breeding, but we took at her word.

Little Jo: Nanny, there are two kittens in your backyard.

Mother: No Skippy, I don't have kittens. (Joey=Skippy. Get it?)

Little Jo: Nanny, you do.

Mother: No Skippy, I don't have kittens.

Who do you believe? A mentally sharp as a tack 83 year old woman or her very smart 9 year old grandchild?

Yep, Little Jo was right. Mother does have now one new kitten. She did subsequently see two as Little Jo described, but now only sees one.

This must sound all very familiar to Strayer. Feed them but no responsibility.

I am going to offend someone deeply now, and I don't relish doing so, but before you take on a pet dog or cat or any creature, you must ensure that you have enough money to look after the pet's basic needs. That includes vaccinations, worming, teeth care and grooming if required. I don't expect people to stump up thousands for back operations for their pets, but pets do cost for their basic care and before you take on a pet, you must realise that it will cost money at times. Having seen out two dogs and three cats to old age and death, along with a couple of premature deaths of budgerigars, a cockatoo and a canary, never mind innumerable gold fish,  believe me, I know it costs.

19 comments:

  1. Andrew your mom is stubborn person who likes cats..And you inherit them..

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    1. Gosia, wrong. I am not inheriting any cats.

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  2. I always enjoy reading your post on mom.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Thanks Dora. Likewise.

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  3. A friend of mine, in Sydney, traps, neuters and releases strays such as these. It means they are no longer contributing to the over population problem.
    There's a hell of a lot of irresponsible pet owners out there, not to mention people who seemingly have no idea about back yard breeders. It makes me very cross.

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    1. Fen, exactly as Strayer does and with huge dedication and generosity. Back yard breeders are scum.

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  4. Yes. Having a pet is a big responsibility and sometimes a big expense. And also an obligation.

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    1. EC, indeed it comes with obligations.

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  5. My thinking is: if you are going to have a pet, look after it correctly. Many people spend more money on their pets than they do on themselves.

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    1. Margaret, I think spending absurd amounts on frippery for cats is nearly as bad as neglecting their health.

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  6. That's why you don't buy kittens and puppies from pet shops,only the refuges where they've been chipped and neutered. It does cost but not as much if it's done by a high pricing vet. I keep $1000 visa card in case I need a vet for the IceBear, vets like the money on the spot.

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    1. Correct, Jah Teh, and there must be no shortage of cats to adopt. You are of an age when our parents never paid upfront for anything. An account was always sent, even in my memory from doctors.

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  7. This is why I have only one cat and why I also pay pet insurance at the local vet, in case of accident where surgery may be required. It would depend on what was wrong though, for me to agree to surgery, also cost, outcome, post surgical care etc. I love my cat, but have a very limited income. And my Angel is neutered, unlike the bullyboy across the driveway who is currently wandering all over and marking his territory.

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    1. River, when we had pets I looked at pet insurance and it was poisonously expensive with not great benefits. It must have changed. There should be no such thing as un-neutered pet cats and dogs. The restriction on having breeding animals needs to be very tight and might stop some backyard breeders, which should be outlawed.

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  8. It's nice to feed stray cats, but even nicer is to spay them first ! We have vet students here who catch the stray cats, spay them and set them free again. That's nice. Often they are also adopted but sometimes they are just too wild. All my cats are spayed of course, the first thing I had done when they were 6 months old !

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    1. Gattina, that is a terrific idea. I wonder if it is done here. To not spay is irresponsible.

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  9. Why don't you get them fixed? It would have been done long long ago, I had lived anywhere near you. You're singing my song now, If you feed, fix them!

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    1. Strayer, it is part of not supporting mother. We wanted the cats removed altogether but she said no.

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  10. It's not always that easy Andrew. My two male stays were so different. One quite friendly the other wouldn't let you touch him. I didn't feel right separating them as they were so close. Anyway sadly they both disappeared when I had the kids over from Sydney, and I haven't seen them since.. I miss them 😑

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