I spent Sunday and Monday calling every no-kill shelter number and fosterer I could find.  Everybody is full to capacity.  The cold hard reality I’m up against is I can’t afford to feed one more cat, never mind one who’s eating for six.  I’m walking the tight rope that is living on a shoestring budget and because I fed her for three days while I tried to find someone to take them, my three will be on shorter rations until I can afford to buy them more food. My only other option was the city pound.  They have an adoption program, but there is no guarantee that the momma kitty will qualify for it.  Since her kittens’ eyes aren’t even open yet they’ll not be adoptable for at least another month if not 6 weeks.

Yesterday morning I bit the bullet and called the city and early yesterday afternoon, the city guy came out.  They won’t take an animal that’s not already in a box or cage.  They have cages, but they won’t put the animals in them.  I had to pick up that sweet, trusting, unresisting momma cat and put her in the cage.  Then I had to pick up each one of her little kittens and put them in the cage with her.  At least she was together with her babies when the guy put her in the truck and drove off.

They keep them for three days.  Then she and her babies will meet their fate.  Because she is so sweet and trusting, she may make the cut and go into the adoption program.  The kittens looked healthy, but the economics of the situation are against them being fed until they are adoptable and frankly I don’t hold out much hope for them. I keep telling myself that if worst comes to worst, as it probably will, their end will be quick and painless, and a kinder fate than being savaged by a dog or hit by a car, or dying from starvation and exposure, or dying from FIP, FVR or parvovirus, but I just keep remembering picking up those precious little kittens and putting them in that metal cage one by one with her looking up at me with her confused and bewildered eyes.

I feel worse than I felt when I had to have poor Jett put to sleep.  He was dying slowly of diabetes and was suffering; as agonizing as it was to part with him, I loved him too much to let it go on any longer.  That poor little momma kitty and her five tiny adorable kittens, one of which looked just like my little grey girl with the swirl, were innocent, healthy and blameless.  Whoever dumped the momma didn’t care enough about her to find her another home.  They just threw her away without another though.  Because they were irresponsible and didn’t spay her, she brought five more innocent lives into the world.  But I’m one who feels guilty, who feels like I betrayed their trust and sold them out because I would have cared for her and loved her and her babies, but I couldn’t afford to keep her and couldn’t manage to find her a safe haven. I’m the one who feels like I failed her, because I was there when she needed me but couldn’t come through for her.  It’s fortunate that I’m unlikely to ever find out who dumped her, because right now I’d be hunting them down and whopping them upside the head nine or twelve times with the nearest blunt object to hand.