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“Infinite Cats”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Friday, July 6, 2001 10:33:51 AM Replies: 1
   
Enclosures: None.

Regular readers know that Corinne and I are Birman breeders. (For you irregular readers: Birmans are a type of cat.)

For the last few months, Corinne has also been involved with the Animal Rescue Fund, a group that helps fund the care (and spaying/neutering) of abandoned, unwanted, mistreated, and occasionally wild animals. Members do anything from helping out with bake sales to staffing "adoptathons" to providing foster (temporary) homes for animals between adoptathons.

It seems that 99% of the animals that come under ARF's care are cats. That's not an official number, as I'm not an ARF official. It's just my impression, based on experience.

A couple weeks ago, Corinne asked me if we could house three cats for ARF. Our basement is finished, and has been off-limits to our breeding cats all along, so we have a place to put them. I agreed, so we were given two Maine Coon-like cats (not purebred) and one spotted and striped gray and black short hair. We were told the third was probably pregnant, she was found wandering around the housing for the military base in Groton.

Then a few days later, word went out among the Birman breeders in the North East that one of the breeders in New Jersey was having major depression-related problems after one of her cats died. In fact, she was in the hospital, and all of her cats had been taken to a local shelter. Breeders from all over the place - including Corinne - converged on the shelter and took all of the Birmans home with them.

While I would say we definitely didn't have room for these four girls, it was an emergency and we could certainly make room for them. Temporarily.

Again, we were told that one of these girls might be pregnant. (We don't even know their names, except for the beautiful Wintersong, and she's not the pregnant one.) The girls had all been given shots at the shelter, and these shots will frequently cause kittens to be aborted. That's not good, but considering their situation we weren't going to complain too loudly: certainly, the shelter didn't want kittens born there, and we had enough here already. We'd never cause the abortion intentionally (without serious risks to the queen), but we could accept this.

Then late last week the gray and black short haired cat - whom Shane has adopted as his cat and who lives in his room - gave birth to three adorable kittens. We didn't actually know about it right away, because they were quiet! Shane found them one night - probably the day they were born - and showed them to us. Surprise! Add three more cats to the list.

But wait, that's not all!

We keep the four rescued Birmans isolated in a room by themselves, until we're sure they're healthy. Today, we were visiting them, and heard a squeak... and found two kittens! So much for that unintentional abortion: it never happened. We honestly didn't even think she was pregnant, because she was still quite slender. Last night I'd noticed that she had what felt like full teats, but we just didn't put it together. The kittens must have been born yesterday.

But wait, that's still not all!

Xweet Xionda, one of our own cats, is pregnant too, and she could drop her litter any time now. She's so fat I've taken to calling her the "Meow Cow". I'm guessing that she has four in there, but I've been wrong every other time so let's just keep that between us, OK?

So, how many cats do we have here? Frankly, Corinne and I are both embarrassed about this, but most of this pile is a result of our rescues, and they're temporary. Our breeder cats and two pets, plus the four rescued Birmans, plus the two birmans kittens, plus the two Maine Coon-like girls (April and May), plus the gray and black and her three kittens.

Plus however many Xionda has this weekend.

Let's just round that off to infinity, shall we? Like the water fountain of lore, cats seem to multiply until they fill all available space. (Actually, they're more like tribbles than a magic water fountain.)

Would you like to provide a foster home for a stray programmer? He's house trained, and can do tricks!


Discussion Thread:
  • RE: Infinite Cats (by Philippe Martin at 7/6/2001)

    Wow! How many cats does that make? About 20, right? I hope they won't start mating like rabbits! :-)

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