Firstly Im all FOR
congratulating members when their kittens have given birth healthily. Why? Because the kittens have been born safe and alive and mum cat is ok. I have read too many times heart breaking stories of kittens still born or passing away soon after birth...and it is awful for the owners to go through that. So when it does go well, saying 'congratulations' is my way of appreciating the fact that the birth has been successful.
Hopefully there are a few members out there who will agree with me on this.... for whatever reason their cat has ended up pregnant (NB: I am pro spaying/neutering having learned about the importance of this), the pregnancy of their cat is an important time now that it has happened as they are concerned about the cat's health and pregnancy progress, and the kitten's health too. The positive support of fellow TCS members at this time is essential. To make us feel confident that we are doing the best for our pregnant cats and to ensure that we are actually doing the right thing. For many of us, its the first time we are experiencing cat pregnancy and kitten birth..so its a rollercoaster experience.
I respect that members such as Kumbulu and others, who deal with the woes of unwanted kittens being born on a daily basis will have a different opinion. But for those of us where it is our cherished pet who has fallen pregnant (for whatever reason) or the local pregnant stray has decided to adopt us, being told the only
decent thing to do is spay and abort is painful and unhelpful IMO, when our intentions as owners are to ensure the BEST for that cat and its kittens from hereon, in a pro-life manner
. Of course, spay/abort should be mentioned as an option, but if that is not the road the owner wants to go down, the owner needs to know that it is personally responsible for the health, welfare and finding good homes for those kittens. The positive support of the TCS Pregnant Cat and Kitten forum really does help with encouraging and ensuring that personal responsbility.
And if the cat is late into its pregnancy, so spay/abort is not an option, its best (IMO) to encourage good pregnancy and kitten care in a positive way, which the forum does.
I know there are irresponsible cat owners out there who let their cats get pregnant without any thought for their cat or its kittens
. But the people who post in the pregnant cat and kitten care forum are just not like that, Id like to think. We monitor each other's cats pregnancies..we care from afar for each others cats..we make friends from this process..we advise the mum cat needs to be spayed asap once the kittens are weaned...we encourage good kitten care... the least we can say is 'congratulations' (Thank goodness they are born safe and healthy! And yes....they do look cute). Its about making a situation that 'has happened and won't change whether its right or wrong' a positive situation...so the kittens get the best start in life and mum cat is looked after too.
I have kept all the kittens (except for 1 who went to my parents) that have ever been born under my roof. They have been spayed/neutered and vaccinated and live like Princes and Princesses. The exception to that, in terms of spaying, was Olivia who recently gave birth and will be spayed (I certainly dont intend of breeding kittens infinitely!). Im keeping her kittens, taking the total number of cats in my care to 7. She and the newborn kittens will be spayed (Olivia already has her spay booked). Why I mention this is because:
a) these cats are my children and I take their care very seriously. I cherish everytime I was congratulated on their birth by others because I am so proud of them. I cherish the people who congratulated Tinkerbelle and Olivia and who supported and advised me in the past in a positive way. These people may not realise, but I value these people so much. They feel like ' my other family'.
b) oddly enough, I would not have extended my cat family by getting a kitten(s)/cat(s) from a cat rescue if my own cats didnt have kittens. Because the cats fell pregnant, I felt it was my responsbility to keep as many of their kittens. Good job, the number of kittens was not huge, so I could do that. If more kittens were born, I would be in a different situation and would have had to find good homes for some (which in fact, I had prepared for and already had homes lined up). Having all these cats has made me into the cat crazy person I am...I would rather spay/abort myself than not have each and every one of these cherubs in my life today. I have realised and learned so much about cats and their care/health/behaviour from having them that in future I want to extend this to helping other cats through fostering pregnant cats/kittens.
Why i mention the above i because my experiences have been positive and happy ones. Ok, not everyone can keep the kittens. But they can find good homes for them. Encouraging people in that process and taking an interest in those kittens while they are still in the TCS member's care is just a small gift of our time that a fair few of us are happy to give on here. Not doing that because 'there are other kittens out there that need homes or because their are so many kittens out there that don't make it' isnt a helpful approach (IMO) because its happened, the kittens are here, we need to deal with it.
I know in the harsh reality of life, kitten birth and finding homes may not be so 'positive', particularly for the rescuers and those who have to deal with the trauma of kitten death/illness. But for those of us who have been through cat pregnancy safe and well and we have the intentions of ensuring that the kittens in our care do get good care and forever homes, a "congratulations" on their safe and healthy birth is just normal, nice, natural, positive thing to say (well, from my heart, I feel it is).
Kumbulu - this isnt a hounding at all. I so respect the work you do and I respect your opinion. Just others out there, like me, whose experiences are limited to the 'one off' pregnancies of our pets need and cherish that positive support and encouragement. I hope you don't think that we contribute to the problem of unwanted kittens globally. I think most of us are trying our damned hardest to make sure the cats and kittens in our care have good lives.
Sorry about the long post