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Weighing the Options

Yesterday I posted a photo on Twitter of one of my foster kittens, Tweetie. He has an uncanny resemblance to The Famous Sockington, a cat so famous he has his own Army! Now, THAT is one cool cat.


Thousands of folks visited Tweetie's photo and visited my humble BLOG. Many were asking about adopting Tweetie, even though he's still a wild child and has a long way to go before he'll ever like people. It does my heart good to know about that support.

The sad reality for us, is that our rescue group is small and we don't have the luxury of time, to turn Tweetie, and those like him, into adoptable companions. This is why our group does TNR and we don't try to adopt out kittens who won't make good companions without months or years of work.

For those of you not yet familiar with TNR. TNR is "Trap, Neuter, Return" You can read this article on the ASPCA's web site

Sweetie Tweetie.jpg

Tweetie IS adorable, but he's already bitten two people, myself included. Since he's been here, I've seen him soften a bit and I know I could turn him around, IF we had plenty of foster families or the money to open a shelter, since that would take the burden off me to foster more kittens.

That forces us to weigh the options. If I kept Tweetie for six months, I couldn't take any more foster kittens. That would mean, at least 24 to up to 50 kittens could have passed through my doors, who won't even get a chance to be rescued AND at the end of six months, there is no guarantee that Tweetie would be adoptable by then.

As I write this, I know of two kittens living in a car at one of the nearby town's dump. A very nice man is looking after them, but he knows if they don't get into a home for socializing soon, it will be too late for them, too. We can't help him because adoptions are down to nothing with the bad economy. Once we free up room, we take more. I hope to help these kittens as soon as mine are ready to go.

Alley Cat Allies also has something to say about this problem, too:

"Depending on your initial decision, you will end up with either socialized, well-adjusted kittens who you can easily adopt out, or a colony with fully sterilized, vaccinated feral cats and kittens. Either decision is correct because, as you have read, taking on the task of raising kittens or socializing them is no easy feat. Be secure that you made the best choice for your circumstances and don’t second guess yourself. Kittens can pull at our heart-strings, but in the end, doing what is best for you will ultimately be what is best for the kittens"

After all this, I want to assure you that we are working with Tweetie, in the time we have. We have to face this dilemma with kittens every year. There are always a few we can't turn around, no matter how hard we try. For those, the most compassionate thing we can do, is provide them with a loving caregiver and a safe outdoor home to live in. It's not ideal, but when you look at the figures of how many millions of feral cats and kittens are euthanized every year; a life lived outdoors, in comparison, is a life LIVED.


Oh what a dilemma, esp. since he's a biter. I want to adopt him myself, but my current kitty does not like other cats. Really folks, this boy has potential to be a great pet. Semi-feral kitties will always be semi-feral to some degree, but they do come around and grow up to be more semi than feral. I know, since I used to have one. Even biting behavior can be trained out of a young cat with care. If anyone can give him a home, it's probably better to adopt him now and let him socialize to his forever mom. The more attached he gets to his foster mom, the harder the rehoming will be.

We think Tweetie is a fear biter, so he doesn't haul off and attack folks, which is great. That said, he is fearful, so there you go.

Yesterday and today, Tweetie played at my feet. He, unlike his siblings, actually pawed at my feet with NO claws. There is gentleness inside him. I have to work with gaining his confidence with people. This is what roast beef and jars of chicken baby food are for. ;-)

I have four days to turn him around.

Tick tock...

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