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Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Smell of Death

Good evening, dear readers.

I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of the horrible sight, so here's a mommy and baby kitty pic instead (pic found here)

Today, my husband made a grisly discovery.

He was going out to round up the cats for their morning feed when he noted the horrible smell of something dead and rotten wafting around the yard. He followed his nose to the front of the trailer, where the smell was strongest. Getting his drill, my husband unscrewed the soffet covering the bottom of the trailer and found the source of the smell.

It was a litter of dead and putrefying kittens.

A few days ago, we heard the sound of kittens mewing under our trailer. The Siamese minnie who we believe to be the mother of Puppy, our youngest cat, was pregnant and had now given birth. Since we had no idea where the kittens were under the trailer, we couldn't check on the newborns to see how many there were and what condition they were in. After hearing silence for a few days, I had assumed their mommy had moved the nest. It's not uncommon for minnie cats to move litters from one place to another after giving birth. Well, apparently she hadn't. My husband noted that from what he could make out in the remains, they still contained the afterbirth. It was like the Siamese minnie had just dropped the litter and abandoned them, not knowing what to do and not caring whether they lived or died.

With the help of a plastic bag, a shovel, and LOTS of garden lime, my husband buried the remains in the garden, right near White Chin's grave. It was heartbreaking to know of what became of the litter of kittens that the minnie had. I was looking forward to raising another litter of kittens, or at least whichever ones that I could catch. It literally put in perspective how miraculous it is that Puppy is even alive. Granted, her mother isn't very healthy (she wheezes constantly when she comes around) and was likely abandoned herself, but to drop a litter and walk away is just mind blowing. Perhaps its my own motherly hormones that make me feel this way, but to contemplate why the Siamese minnie had done such an irresponsible act made me feel depressed.

Powderpuff, 2013. She was my husband's favorite girl cat. He'd raised her from infancy and watched her grow into a strong and capable mommy cat.

True to his Catholic views on all forms of contraception, my husband has never been particularly big on spaying/neutering animals. But, upon making this grisly discovery, he has been adamant about trapping the Siamese minnie and taking her to get spayed. His view on spaying was always to do it after the minnie had at least one, maybe two, litters because having so many kittens can literally kill them. He'd seen this lesson play out many times over the course of his life. I saw it happen to Powderpuff, our beloved tortoiseshell calico who my husband brought into our marriage and whose untimely demise from birthing too large a litter too close to her last one was only the second time I ever saw him shed tears in front of me. Now, we're looking into getting a trap and seeing where we can get free/low cost spaying done. We plan to do a TNR, since the Siamese minnie is rather feral and doesn't like being around people much.

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