June 24th, 2003

smokin'

R.I.P. "The Little Girl"

For a few years now we've been feeding a stray neighborhood cat we eventually took to calling The Little Girl. She was actually a nasty little feral thing, hissing at anyone who came near her, even if you were feeding her, even after years of free food and water and treats and catnip. We could never get near her because she feared people so much and would run away (after hissing, of course), and we always wanted to catch her because she kept getting knocked up by other neighborhood strays like Stripesy and the Fancy Cat. Some of her kittens were sickly, and some we caught and took to the vet and placed in homes (The Lawgiver has two of her kittens, Milton and Byron, and Sarah's dad ansd step-mom have a third, Tulie). Recently TLG showed up in our yard with two more kittens, who we christened Dot and Dash. They were skittish as hell, and we couldn't get near them. We fed them and for a few days they slept in our yard. One day, Dot and Dash disappeared. The Girl cried for two nights straight but nobody saw them. Friday night, while I was out watching kickflicks, the Little Girl came back with Dash. Sarah and her brother, John, who was staying with us for a week, managed to catch them in a big animal carrier we'd borrowed a while back for this very purpose. The next day, Sarah's dad came to get John and take the cats to his vet in Philly, who dealt with feral cats. The plan was to get the mother fixed and release her back here where she was comfortable (there was no way she was adoptable) and see if the kitten could be socialized for adoption. Anyway, Sarah's dad called today and told us that The Little Girl had feline AIDS and had to be put to sleep. We'd noticed she was scraggly and looked weak but we thought it was due to her giving birth and nursing and being a stray, she's looked bad before after having a litter. Apparently she was in bad shape, so, they put her down. Fortunately, the kitten is okay, and we're going to try to socialize her and adopt her out, we're hoping we can find someone who wants her in our social group, and if not, we'll see what we can do through the vet.

Anyway, I'm just bummed out about it all, I know it's not the loss of a human being and that strays don't have a great shelf life and, hell, she wasn't even our cat, or a particularly nice cat (she bit Sarah's dad really badly when he tried to give her water, now he has to get tested for rabies), but we expected to have her back in the yard this week, eating our food and treating us like shit like old times. She was fun to have around and we liked her and always kept an eye out for her. We still have our fingers crossed that her missing kitten,will somehow reappear, but it isn't looking too good. It's a bit of a comfort to have the other kitten in safe hands, and to have kept the mother from suffering more.

So long, Little Nasty Girl Cat.