Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Furry Friends

In Puerto Rico there are plenty of disturbing things to talk about but instead of talking about how animals are thrown away like garbage I am going to talk about what we have done about it. When we bought our house (and it doesn't matter where your house is in PR it will be this way) it kind of "came" with animals. We brought one cat with us, Dakota, and all the others sort of appeared at our house hurt or hungry. What is an animal lover to do? When you drive up your driveway and find a cluster of kittens eating avocados that have fallen to the ground you have to do something.  I like to make a cat post when Jeff is traveling so he can see his little friends! Here are some old and new shots of our cluster of kitties! Blanco is like an angel. He is the son of Bepo. Bepo had a litter of kittens we didn't know about up on the hill. We didn't see milk, she was skinnier, she was hanging out at the house all day, and we thought she miscarried. We gave it a few weeks and took her in to get spayed and found out later (when I heard meowing with  my supersonic hearing and found Blanco stuck in a log) that she did indeed have a litter and they were without their momma while we kept her recuperating in the house for a few days. Talk about feeling guilty and awful. I had even asked the vet if she was nursing prior to having her spayed. We don't go to that vet any more. But he survived and is a real sweetie and the most gorgeous cat we have!

Little Rip showed up on the balcony, strutted right in and made himself at home. He is the cat with the most attitude and has grown to be quite long, sneaky and panther-like. He is pretty adorable.

Princess was the first cat we did something about. She was a kitten and was stretching on the cement one day when I saw a huge slice that went from her armpit down her side. We had a heck of a time catching her and Jeff almost broke her tail while I was throwing a blanket over her. She now sits close to me and rubs on me and is nice until you try to pick her up and she freaks out. She was spayed when we had her cut sewn up and we couldn't keep her in the bathroom - she was really really feral.
Bepo  is the mother of Blanco, Mars, Stripes, Junior (RIP) and who knows who else. Her sister Feo (who disappeared) we think was Mini's mom. Bepo was here when we moved in and we thought it was the previous owner's cat who he tried to move to his new place (1/2 mile down the road) but disappeared. We thought maybe she came back to the house she knew. Nope, wasn't his. Bepo got attacked by a dog or another cat and almost died.I found her in our porch area in a pool of green, totally smelly but alive. The vets at the Cabo Rojo animal hospital fixed her up and now she just hangs out in the house or close to it all day and night. She behaves like a normal cat.
Dakota is the cat I stole from neighbors in Washington who weren't feeding him. I sneak neutered him and he decided to stay where there was food (big surprise). He is the old guy of the group - must be 11 or 12 by now. Somehow I doubt any PR cats will live 1/2 that long.
Tuca was hand carried to me by my neighbor Amparo. What are you gonna do, have her just put it down on the ground to fend for itself? Look how little she was. No brothers, sisters, one to cuddle or keep warm with. Yeah - now I check Amparo's pockets before I let her come over!
Tuca likes to snuggle with her head tucked into her little cat bed. She is kind of normal and sleeps with us, stays around most of the time and follows me when I am harvesting or checking out things in the yard.
Mini is the most feral of the bunch and she is gonna have a tough time moving assuming we can even catch her. She is pretty smart but doesn't get along with the others real well.
Stripes is another one of Bepo's kids. He is skittish until it rains and he wants to sleep on the couch, or when he wants food. He will squirt just out of reach but when you can catch him he is limp in your arms and loves his stomach rubbed. He is a really nice cat but would be better without all the others around.

All of the cats except Mini will pig pile and snuggle. Here Blanco, Mars (orange one) and Stripes (brothers and sister) cuddle in a cat nest.
When Bepo's three kittens finally showed up they were eating avocados and were really feral. My how things have changed! Look how small they were! I even fed Mars milk replacement for a while.

We don't know where Pollo came from but she is turning out to be a nice cat. She doesn't like to be picked up but will rub and rub and rub on you, sit against you on the couch and is a nice little pumpkin head. We called her Pollo because she looked like Chicken kind of. My theory is that all cats have replacements or duplicates here. Same with chickens. You can see one of the them and think there is only one until you see both of them side by side!
Here's Blanco on the run one day when he was small. I couldn't touch him or go near him and he was fast like a rabbit!

Then there is Chicken who came to us with the real chickens. He is the best, most lovable, hang-around-me-all-the-tine cat! He is adorable!

We hate to see animals uncared for and basically thrown out. They litter the highways and roads in numbers greater than opossums and raccoons. These are domestic animals that are neglected and treated like wild animals. We have taken in this mob and spayed and neutered all of them, given them at least one round of shots (more if we can get them into a cat carrier) and regularly worm them. They give us great joy even though it is a large group. I don't know how they will transition to our next house but we hope they adjust well. Even if some of them don't we feel great knowing that these guys have had a healthy life so far and know that without us some of them would likely be dead. Even so, there were 3 others we neutered that disappeared (2 we found dead of unknown causes). While we are here we will continue to do what we can and feel good doing it! We love our furry friends!


Theresa said...

It's kind of bittersweet I know. We have three cats. Two are mine and they came from the ASPCA and other is my daughters that was a stray and he (MoMo)feels like he has a silk coat. I love seeing all the pictures. Thanks for sharing :)


Anonymous said...

Your entire kitty crew is beautiful and with big personalities. We have a feral, now domesticated because we were crammed into a studio apartment in NYC since we got him at 4 weeks for his first year! And we have a rescue from neighbors who didn't properly care for him. The neighbor couple is a minister and a social worker, go figure..Not so different here in NJ.


Coupon Frugality said...

Looks like you have some characters on your hands!!! Great pictures, definitely good for a laugh.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Cats - I can't fix the garbage problem (except my own production of it) but we have put a dent in the cat population: 11 x 4 litters a year x 4 surviving kittens per litter x 4 years = 176 kittens that won't starve, get mauled by dogs, consumed by worms and generally thrown away to show up at my house! Even "educated" people or as you said "people of god" just don't get it. Thank goodness for people who care!