Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My feral kitten dilema


I took these kittens in, to save them from growing past the point of taming and then being caught and killed. I took the responsibility to have them spayed and to find them a good loving home. Which turned out to be the same home I live in. Strange. They're still feral, unless the human in question is me, and then they're tame as... kittens. Wait. I mean, they're so loving and sweet and cuddly, but only with me. They even come when I call (this has NOTHING to do with treats, I SWEAR). Actually, CommonLaw bought some very special treats to make friends with them, but they still think I'm the next best thing to ol' Mommydad Clarence. I digress with my cat pleasin' ego.

Now that Maggie is on probation and not fully grounded, both kittens are really learning to handle the wide world. Which means it's time to get them spayed, and vaccinated, so as not to perpetuate the cycle. There are organizations, like Project Purr, which will do these neccessary medical procedures for minimal fees, and some, like Adobe, don't even take the cats overnight, or expect you to keep a feral, caged, pissed off cat in your home while it recuperates. Not that that would be a problem in my case. My coworker, however, took in some of the ferals behind our office and then had to house them for a while. These were not loving and cuddly like mine, they were wild adults.

Anyway, here's the problem. I can take Maggie and Sebastian to Adobe, and for a measly 25 dollars each they will get spayed AND shots. It would be 400 dollars each if I took them to a regular vet. But Adobe, and Project Purr, mark the cats that they've treated, to prevent recapture and unecessary handling. By cutting off the tip of one ear.

It's noticeable, it has to be. Now, I know that after the initial trauma and pain, Maggie and Sebastian will recover just fine. They won't suffer ostracism by their perfectly-formed-ear peers. And I am a die hard believer in inner beauty... but... that doesn't mean I have anything against external beauty. It brings tears to my eyes imagining them disfigured for life. I could afford to have them spayed, 40 dollars each at the vet, for starters. But it could take up to a year to afford all their shots, during which time they would be vulnerable to awful things like lukemia and rabies and who knows what else. I have a little time, because they need to be 4 pounds, and while Sebastian, the little porker, might be that weight, I think poor Maggie was stunted or something by her two outdoor adventures. She's all tiny and delicate, but still, it's not something I can put off. I just don't want them marred like that. :*(

What would you do?

7 comments:

Her Grace said...

Wow. That is a dilemma. Could you talk Adobe into not marking them since they're your pets? Tough call.

Anonymous said...

spay em at the vet and when you get here the shots will be much less expensive or like her grace says explain the sitch to Adobe, i don't cotton to the idea of cutting their ears ifn they are staying with you.... dint realize they were so tiny, bet they won't get very big as adults either.... aunt linda might be able to help with shot cost plus pet smart has clinics that are relatively cheap, i took milo there....

love n hugs.... mum

Kev said...

I reckon you've answered your own question actually. Like you say, the disadvantages of not having them spayed and inoculated far out-weighs the temporary disadvantage of a little discomfort.

Perhaps you could spend a bit of the you saved in the process making it up to them with fancy foods etc :-P.

If I was in your position I'd go to Adobe and get them done. Cats often get holes in their ears from fights in any case, ours do, and they don't seem too worried about it.

Kev

Teryn said...

I'm with your mom and Her Grace -- surely you can avoid the ear snipping if they're staying with you. Around here we also occasionally have good deals on shots and stuff through the ASPCA or some of the shelters -- do you have access to anything like that? I know it's superficial -- but those are some darn cute little ears (and kitties to go with them).

jill said...

Well, I'm a freak but I think, if the procedure wasn't painful (is that possible?), that I'd take 'em in for the 40 bucks each and get it done, including the ear clip. Looks-wise, I would find the asymetrical look cute. And it is important to get the shots.

Two Kids and a Husband said...

Oh...gosh I don't like that they cut their ear that isn't very nice at all...I would take them to the vet.

animal lover said...

Hi there..actually the cats in Rome have eartips! It is the worldwide easily seen from a distance LIFE-SAVING permanent ID. Project Purr keeps a database and if your kitties should be trapped and surrendered to Animal Control, they would be euthanized in 3 days...because they have eartips, PP can find you and since they are in compliance with all existing ordinances, they can be rescued and returned safely home. Those eartips save LIVES! And isn't that the bottom line? (Perhaps someone can write for a grant and get microchips for their all volunteer paid for with Yard Sales program) Also, if you are low income and a Santa Cruz resident, FOSCCA, at 454-7303 has a free program for domestic cats...they do NOT offer free spay/neuter for ferals. Actually Santa Cruz county is lucky to have Project Purr, Monterey County and San Benito county have NO financial aid or offer any low cost spay neuter for ferals.