When Cookie found our garden she was a skinny little thing. Compassion stirred in several hearts and was translated into cat biscuits and food sachets. Cookie blossomed, grew sleek. We began to think about monitoring her food intake. Emails were circulated asking people to tell her foster owners if and when they fed her so she did not grow too big. Not everyone was on the same page. Piles of biscuits would still be left in the garden; mounds of wet food that she had not eaten lying temptingly in MasterB’s path, distracting him from the benefits of his special diet to keep him crystal free, and the target weight he had in his sights.
But she seemed to suddenly get rounder. Chubby Chops, I called her the other day, then Little Butter Ball. Rebecca compared her to a sausage roll. It was a visitor who described her accurately; pregnant. The vet confirmed her condition this afternoon. Three or four kittens; probably conceived at Christmas time.
On my watch.
So it seems the black and white cat who haunted her was not another female. Rebecca and Edwin will make the decision whether to allow this unplanned pregnancy to proceed or to have it terminated on Friday. People are already offering the unborn kittens homes. It would be nice if similar offers were equally forthcoming for Cookie.
Part of me is horrified at another litter of kittens coming into the world where there are already too many unwanted cats. Part of me is horrified at the idea of the kittens being aborted. All of me is very cross with the original owners who did not get Cookie neutered; who did not acknowledge their responsibilities towards her; who took on a cat to deal with a mouse problem but neglected to look after her properly. If they had bothered to take her to the vet she would not be pregnant now.
Lucky Cookie to have found our garden. She is not bare-pawed and pregnant, as she could so easily have been. She has humans now who are taking her welfare seriously. She is fed, has a warm bed, her inoculations are up to date, she has been wormed, gets regular flea prevention treatment, is loved. No permanent home as yet, but we’ll keep working at it.