or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › I'm back with another pregnant stray
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I'm back with another pregnant stray

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!
You may remember from last August when I took in a pregnant stray named Charity. She gave birth to 3 beautiful babies, Winnie, Tobey and Tubby.

You guys were great about offering me advice on potty training, bottle feeding, bathing and now I'm back to ask for your help once again.

One December evening while walking my dogs at night, I came upon a stray cat. She meowed at me and eventually followed me home so of course I fed her Since that time I've seen her sporadically and was even able to capture her once and take her to a neighbor's house. Said neighbor had inquired about the cat when I mentioned I had been feeding a stray and she seemed excited when "Lola" (as she named her) and I appeared on her doorstep. She quickly went to the store and purchased all the necessary cat supplies. I left her house that night feeling really good that I had found a stray a forever home.

Less than 24 hours later that *Expletive deleted* called me up and told me to come get that *itch of a cat. Apparently Lola was hiding in the house and my neighbor was freaking out. She took Lola's behavior to mean that she didn't like her new owner. This uninformed woman wouldn't believe that Lola was probably just understandably frightened. She went from being a stray to being an indoor cat with an owner that traveled around the house in a motorized wheelchair and whose daughter had been over vacuuming in the afternoon. The neighbor, however, acted as though it was my fault that Lola liked me and not her.

I sadly went and picked Lola up (it only took me a couple of minutes to coax her out from under the couch) and had to release her back into the neighborhood because I had no where else to take her. I felt awful doing it but I was out of choices. I continued feeding her when she came around and kept contacting rescue groups but no one was willing to accept her. Some nights she'd sleep in my flowerbeds and other days I wouldn't see anything of her.

This past couple of weeks I’ve noticed her stays becoming longer and longer and her belly becoming rounder and rounder. I snagged her and took her to the vet for a checkup and vaccinations (I still can't believe they don't offer discounts for strays/ferals) just an hour ago. Of course it was as I expected…a belly full of babies.

Some of you may recall the struggle I went through with my boyfriend last time when I wanted to bring Charity into the house to have her babies so I’m definitely writing this with a heavy heart. I don’t want to go through all of the conflict in my relationship again but I’m not turning my back on a pregnant cat. As far as the vet could tell, “Lola†is about 2-3 weeks from her due date. She offered me the option of simply having her spayed now and aborting the babies, which would solve a number of problems but I don’t know in my heart if I could do that. I don’t want to turn this into a debate about abortion, but after researching what such a procedure would entail I think it’s something I would feel a lot of guilt about.

Is allowing her to have her kittens the selfish thing to do? She passed her tests today with flying colors, so I know she would be healthy enough to bring into the house, it’s just a matter of getting my boyfriend to agree to it. If I was able to set up the old nursery again there’s the dilemma of this cat and these future kittens not having prospective homes. Is allowing these unwanted kittens to be born irresponsible? I am so torn about what I should do. I’ve contacted as many rescue groups as I could find in the area and I’m waiting to hear back from them. Boyfriend willing I’d be happy to care for Lola and her babies until they could enter a rescue program or find potential adopters. I’m also currently the webmaster for a local dog rescue group so I have no doubt I could use that site and a number of other sites to advertise these new arrivals.

Can anyone tell me what the moral thing to do is?
post #2 of 33
Beautiful kitties...About your choice, it is an individual choice, and one I have made many times in the past (as have others who do this sort of rescue work). Does it diminish you as a human? No, it does not, it simply means that there are too many cats and not enough homes. If keeping the pregnancy means that it will cause hardship in your life, or create friction, then do the spay. As I told another member in another post, your heart cries a million tears, but sometimes it is the best way to go. You cannot guarantee that the kittens when or if adopted out will be spayed and or neutered, and so that creates more kittens....

Yes kittens are cute, but as I look at it there are so many kittens already waiting in cages across the United States, why add to the problem. Become a part of the solution if you can.
post #3 of 33
Heidi I second what Hissy is saying....the choice is yours and there is no wrong choice. I volunteer at a feral cat clinic and we spay pregnant cats and yes it is sad...but we think about these cats lives and the chances of finding good homes for the kittens and we know soooooo many cats and kittens who are born are struggling to find homes. That being said....it is perfectly acceptable to want to care for this cat until she has her kittens....however, I caution you to think about not only the 8 weeks you will have to care for them....but also the prospects to find them all good homes where they will be loved for their entire lives and fixed. It is definately something that weighs heavily on all of our minds and hearts...but regardless of your choice..THANK YOU for taking in this stray.

post #4 of 33
It's a sad, sad, thing, but if you could not afford to take her in and spay her before she wss pregnant, then how are you going to be able to afford to care for and spay/neuter her kittens? We can only do what we can only do.

I took in a pregnant female and let her have her babies and she became emaciated from stress and almost died from the required incarceration as I needed her to nurse then kittens until they were eating out of a bowl. I had to spend $600 having her hospitalized to keep her alive. Plus, two of the babies died anyway. If I had not taken her in, most of the babies would have died. As it was, 3 survived and I had the great difficulty of adopting them out where they took homes away from other cats who had to be euthenized. There is no clear moral right here. Cats die no matter what you do. The only moral "right" is to make sure each and every one os sterilized and if you can't afford to do that with all the kittens too, then it is better to abort them. The way of least death is with spay/neuter.
post #5 of 33
Originally posted by Susan Wolcott
It's a sad, sad, thing, but if you could not afford to take her in and spay her before she wss pregnant, then how are you going to be able to afford to care for and spay/neuter her kittens? We can only do what we can only do.

I took in a pregnant female and let her have her babies and she became emaciated from stress and almost died from the required incarceration as I needed her to nurse then kittens until they were eating out of a bowl. I had to spend $600 having her hospitalized to keep her alive. Plus, two of the babies died anyway. If I had not taken her in, most of the babies would have died. As it was, 3 survived and I had the great difficulty of adopting them out where they took homes away from other cats who had to be euthenized. There is no clear moral right here. Cats die no matter what you do. The only moral "right" is to make sure each and every one os sterilized and if you can't afford to do that with all the kittens too, then it is better to abort them. The way of least death is with spay/neuter.
I agree here! If you don't have the funds for one, then you surely won't for more. It's not easy to abort, but sometimes best for all involved.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
I thought I would update everyone on the decision that I made.

I think I knew as I was typing my original post, what I wanted to do. I appreciate the time that you took to respond but it really didn't sway my decision in the end. I have decided to care for "Lola" and to her allow her to give birth to her litter.

I don't believe I need to defend my decision but I would like to explain myself a bit. I think there might have been some misunderstanding due to my first post. Throughout Dec, Jan, and Feb I only saw Lola a handful of times. I didn't know for sure that she was a stray but I did feed her the couple of times she visited my house. It wasn't until March that I felt certain enough she was a stray to catch her and take her to my neighbor's house.

When my neighbor called and asked me to remove Lola I did so because I felt responsible for bringing the cat into that situation. Before I picked her up I called all of the rescue groups in the area and none of them had any room for another cat. Rather than dropping her off at a kill shelter where time would be against her, I made the decision to release her near my home. My boyfriend and I live in a very small town outside of Austin in a brand new barely begun subdivision. There is a greenbelt full of trees behind my house and I felt that continuing to care for her on my own until I could find her a spot in a reliable rescue group was in her best interest. It wasn't the ultimate solution but at 9 o'clock on a weeknight, what was I supposed to do with her?

Her visits were few and far between for awhile after that and most days I wouldn't see anything of her. It wasn't until the end of March that I spotted her on a more frequent basis and that I was able to come close enough to begin noticing a change in her physical appearance. As soon as I determined that her belly was rounder than that of a simply well fed cat I immediately made an appointment at the vet to get her checked out. Granted I do not have a lot of money, but if I'm as irresponsible as some people seem to believe I am, I wouldn't have taken her in for a vet visit at my own expense.

As it turned out, Lola was already 7-8 weeks pregnant meaning she probably conceived during the second week of February...weeks before I even delivered her to my neighbor's house. I highly doubt that anyone else in my position would have trapped and spayed a cat they had only seen briefly on a couple of separate occasions. I don't feel I should be to blame for her current predicament. When we first moved here I caught and rescued an intact male. He was quickly neutered and re-homed. After that, at my own expense, I took in a pregnant stray when she arrived at my doorstep. I kept her female kitten and found a good home for her and her two male kittens in New Mexico. If I hadn't taken the initiative there would potentially be 3 intact males and 2 intact females wandering around outside right now. Since Charity had her litter in Sept my best guess is that she would either be pregnant again right now or be nursing yet another litter of kittens.

I am the only one taking any responsibility for the strays in our new neighborhood and yet I felt somewhat attacked by a couple of your responses. I was born and raised Roman Catholic and so I take the issue of abortion very seriously. Whether it be a human or a feline fetus I consider it a life. Who's to say the unborn life of a kitten is worth less than the life of a cat sitting in a cage somewhere? I did not take lightly the decision whether to abort & spay or let the pregnancy continue.

When I took Charity in last fall I considered her my number one responsibility. When she developed a URI and passed it onto the kittens I drove all over Austin looking for a vet that was open on a Saturday after noon. I paid almost $300 for the visit, the medicine, the KMR and bottles to feed the weakest baby. I struggled through bottle feeding, soft food feeding, bathing, and litter training when Charity just gave up on motherhood. I found Charity and her boys a wonderful home where I know they are happy and well taken care of. The constant updates I receive are very heartwarming. And I kept the most health compromised kitten myself because she had such a special place in my heart by that time.

I know that I'm often too sensitive to the criticism of others, and that many of the people that frequent this forum have made these tough decisions time and time again but I felt like I needed to explain myself a bit. Since my first post I've brought Lola into my home. I've set her up in the spare bedroom just like I did Charity, with fresh food, water, toys, cat beds, scratching posts, you name it. Right now she is living better than many cats out there. I've set up a couple of different nesting boxes so she can have her choice. I'm rereading articles on labor and going through the notes I jotted down prior to Charity's delivery. I intend to do whatever it takes to ensure that Lola and her kittens are well cared for. I'm not going to dump them off at a kill shelter, on someone's porch, or simply release them back into the wild. I've done what I can to help control the stray population here on Gettysburg Loop. It has been expensive. It has been an emotional struggle at times but I'm devoted to this cause.

I want others in this situation to know that it is a very heart wrenching decision and that I for one support them either way. If you don't agree with ending the lives of unborn cats you needn't feel that you are "adding to the problem" by allowing them to be born. As long as you follow through and accept responsibility for their care and well being, no one can fault you for your decision. Granted there may be a handful of new cats needing homes, but by ensuring that they are spayed and neutered you're preventing that mother cat and her offspring from producing many times that number of unwanted cats.

I do thank everyone for their time and their responses. I hope no one takes offense at what I've said. I understand that we all come from different backgrounds and different belief systems but I believe we all ultimately want the same outcome. I truly appreciate all the support I've found here at thecatsite and I hope I can count on you for your great advice and expertise in the future.

Take care and God bless,
post #7 of 33
I am the only one taking any responsibility for the strays in our new neighborhood and yet I felt somewhat attacked by a couple of your responses. I was born and raised Roman Catholic and so I take the issue of abortion very seriously. Whether it be a human or a feline fetus I consider it a life. Who's to say the unborn life of a kitten is worth less than the life of a cat sitting in a cage somewhere? I did not take lightly the decision whether to abort & spay or let the pregnancy continue.
Heidi...I am a Christian as well...but I do support aborting fetuses. I volunteer at a feral cat clinic and there are just too many cats and too few homes....over 61,000 cats and kittens were euthanized in 2002 in Virginia alone (put another way...over 6 out of every 10 cats in shelters in Virginia are euthanized). Those were cats and kittens that had a "chance" to experience life..but had their lives ended prematurely either by needle or by gas. To me, it is much better to end a life that has never started then end one that has already been born. Last clinic I volunteered at...over 90% of the ferals were pregnant...and that is only of the ones we had at the clinic. Just think of all the feral and stray cats that are raising kittens right now. Kitten season is a horrible time for cats....during that time, too many great older cats get overlooked because people want to adopt a little kitten...and if you think about it...every older cat at some point was a "kitten".

I do not hold it against you that you want to raise these babies. However, I would ask that you ensure that each gets fixed...and that this stray gets fixed as well. The same outcome we all want is less feral/stray cats...and that will only be possible if we aggressively spay/neuter.

post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
For those of you that have experience with the process of aborting and spaying I'm hoping you can enlighten me. I've researched how human abortions are performed but I cannot seem to find anything on animal abortions. From what I've gathered, the cat fetuses and their amniotic sacs are removed from the female cat and they are left to die from a lack of oxygen (essentially suffocating outside of their mother's body). Have I been misinformed or is this the standard procedure?

I don't ask to be crass. I am sincerely curious and annoyed that I cannot seem to find any information on the Internet regarding this. I know it's a delicate subject but I would truly appreciate any information that you can present me with. I am a firm believer that people should make an educated decision and I would love to find that I've been mislead regarding this subject.

Thank you for your understanding.
post #9 of 33
From what I've gathered, the cat fetuses and their amniotic sacs are removed from the female cat and they are left to die from a lack of oxygen (essentially suffocating outside of their mother's body). Have I been misinformed or is this the standard procedure?
I can only speak for the ACA clinic that I volunteer at. You are correct that the fetuses are removed as a unit....however, if they are far enough along (and the hope is to have them at the clinic before that point)...the vets at the clinic have the option of using a euthanization shot which is injected through the sac.

post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
I appreciate you being so candid with me. I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to make an informed decision which is sometimes quite difficult to do when the information is not readily available.

I hope that I never have to be in a position to make this decision again. My heart goes out to anyone that has found themselves in this situation.

Maybe someday the problem will be under control and no one will have to make such difficult choices. Until then, thank you for all your responses.

post #11 of 33
And Heidi....just to be "fair"..I think it is also important to consider the sheer number of already born cats that are euthanized on a daily basis here in the USA. Consider for a moment the shelters that use the GAS chamber...I would argue that that form of death is on par with suffocation.

I want to speak very candidly from the standpoint of someone who has been a spay assistant in the clinic and also as a rescue volunteer....in my experience...spaying a pregnant cat is currently the desirable option..especially when dealing with feral cats. Feral cats are unowned...feral cats usually do NOT do well indoors....so once a feral cat is trapped...it is the most humane thing to spay it understanding that the babies will be aborted. The reality is..we do not "know" the numbers...but estimates have been quoted in the tens of millions range. These cats are trying to survive against a number of odds that they are faced with....not the least of which is a society that would like to see them gone. The odds are not stacked in their favor and we must do all we can to stabilize and hopefully eventually reduce their numbers. Does this mean we may end up aborting thousands of fetuses?? Yes. But the alternative....release the pregnant cat and HOPE you catch her after she has weaned her litter and try to catch them as well when they are old enough..is a daunting task. Merrick Clifton has stated that in order to become a no kill nation...we must spay 6.4 MILLION more cats per year. If everyone who loves cats would invest in spaying ONE cat that isn't owned...how much closer we could come to our goal. How many more pregnancies could be spared..and how many more cats could live their lives free from the rigors of having litter after litter after litter.

post #12 of 33
Current Petfinder numbers (these are only the cats/kittens at shelters/rescues that use petfinder):

Abyssinian 122
American Curl 22
American Shorthair 616
American Wirehair 1
Angora 4
Applehead Siamese 44
Balinese 30
Bengal 104
Birman 23
Bobtail 101
Bombay 84
British Shorthair 71
Burmese 61
Burmilla 1
Calico 2882
Chartreux 16
Chinchilla 2
Cornish Rex 5
Cymric 16
Devon Rex 6
Dilute Calico 543
Dilute Tortoiseshell 460
Domestic Long Hair 1855
Domestic Long Hair - buff 113
Domestic Long Hair - gray and white 481
Domestic Long Hair - orange 262
Domestic Long Hair - orange and white 344
Domestic Long Hair-black 862
Domestic Long Hair-black and white 749
Domestic Long Hair-gray 486
Domestic Long Hair-white 260
Domestic Medium Hair 1384
Domestic Medium Hair - buff 70
Domestic Medium Hair - gray and white 471
Domestic Medium Hair - orange and white 307
Domestic Medium Hair-black 746
Domestic Medium Hair-black and white 769
Domestic Medium Hair-gray 329
Domestic Medium Hair-orange 214
Domestic Medium Hair-white 219
Domestic Short Hair 10030
Domestic Short Hair - buff 400
Domestic Short Hair - gray and white 2536
Domestic Short Hair - orange and white 1782
Domestic Short Hair-black 5072
Domestic Short Hair-black and white 4762
Domestic Short Hair-gray 1481
Domestic Short Hair-mitted 122
Domestic Short Hair-orange 1146
Domestic Short Hair-white 1344
Egyptian Mau 15
Exotic Shorthair 53
Extra-Toes Cat (Hemingway Polydactyl) 248
Havana 8
Himalayan 269
Japanese Bobtail 14
Korat 3
Maine Coon 1009
Manx 321
Munchkin 5
Norwegian Forest Cat 52
Ocicat 32
Oriental Long Hair 9
Oriental Short Hair 121
Oriental Tabby 18
Persian 526
Pixie-Bob 11
Ragamuffin 9
Ragdoll 76
Russian Blue 381
Scottish Fold 37
Selkirk Rex 3
Siamese 1847
Siberian 5
Singapura 1
Snowshoe 165
Somali 7
Sphynx (hairless cat) 1
Tabby 2472
Tabby - black 304
Tabby - Brown 3115
Tabby - buff 174
Tabby - Grey 2200
Tabby - Orange 1752
Tabby - white 619
Tiger 1496
Tonkinese 23
Torbie 339
Tortoiseshell 2689
Turkish Van 74
Tuxedo 1171

Total: 65484 all looking for homes. Why did I include this when I mentioned feral cats above?? Because feral kittens/stray kittens compete with cats and kittens that are already in the shelter/rescue system. Each cat we spay/neuter...allows more of a chance for those cats that are desperately trying to find a new or first time home.

I know we can argue the ethics associated with ending a life...but if all life is equal...shouldn't the life that has already begun it's journey have an equal chance?? Unfortunately, with all the competing cats/kittens...that usually isn't what happens. So while everyone must come to their own conclusion regarding what to do with a pregnant stray/pregnant feral. These numbers should be a factor...because these cats were once cute kittens...and they once were promised good homes that would love them forever..and now many of them will not live to the next week. There are no easy answers.

post #13 of 33
hi there,
my kitties were pregnant and not that big and had six and seven a piece.. so it looks like you have atleast a half a dozen there.. god bless you and i'm sorry you and your boyfriend are having conflict with this. obviously your an animal lover and he's not.. i am so glad that my husband is as much an animal lover as me because we love our animals and babies so much... if you'd like to talk or just want to vent feel free to email me at heavensmiracles_97@msn.com i'd love to help you through it if you need..
god bless you ,
post #14 of 33
If I can interject here....

While I do understand the numbers, and in an ideal situation would agree that spaying a pregnant cat is better than killing healthy adults in shelters, I also can definitely see where Heidi is coming from. It is easier to abort the kittens of a feral cat, who you don't "know", and who will be returned to her colony than to do this to a stray who you have brought into your home and come to love as your own. I know rescuers still do this, but it IS an individual choice. One not taken lightly by anyone who has to make that decision.

I have to commend Heidi for what she has done and is doing for the cats in her area. How many people would have just let Charity and Lola outside to fend for themselves? Or simply turned them in to a shelter and hoped for the best (although the reality is that mother and babies all most likely would have been killed....)? She is helping them, spaying them, finding homes for them and their kittens which is more than most people would do.

And she isn't letting them have litter after litter of kittens, finding homes or not. THAT is irresponsible and what is to blame for the overpopulation epidemic and feral exposion that all of the rescuers here who have suggested spaying pregnant females are dealing with every single day. There is no excuse for that, period.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the kind offer.

Things here are actually going very well. There was a lot of conflict when I wanted to bring the first stray into our home and I anticipated the same response this time around, but I was pleasantly surprised

Don't get me wrong, my boyfriend is an animal lover, just not a big cat fancier. I have, however, heard him admit that he likes our cats so there's still hope for him yet

I think the reason he had such a hard time with me bringing a pregnant stray into the house is that he knows me well enough to know how attached I get. The first stray I rescued from our subdivision was a one eyed light brown tabby. You cannot even imagine how much I bawled the day he was taken to his new home. Things were no better with Charity and her litter of kittens. Of course I wanted to keep them all and Nate and I went around and around a number of times regarding their futures. In the end he agreed to me keeping Winnie, the only female from the litter, which was a big compromise on his part considering he hadn't wanted any cats and was now the co-owner of 3! hehe

When I first told him I had taken Lola to the vet to confirm that she was pregnant I could tell he was less than thrilled but he didn't say much. He simply made me promise to agree that we would not be keeping any of these kittens and that I would make all of the arrangements for them to find homes. It sounded like a good deal so I jumped on it.

This time I'm really trying to keep in mind that Lola and her kittens will just be staying with us temporarily....that I'm caring for them until their new owners can pick them up. I hope that makes giving them away a little easier. (this coming from the person that couldn't bear the thought of our foster dog Dalton being adopted by anyone but us! hehe) I do realize though, that by finding them new homes, I'll be able to help the next animal that comes along and in the end, that's what's most important.

Thanks again for your kind offer...I just might take you up on it!
post #16 of 33

Dear Heidi,
I know how you feel.
I have been in the position many times.
I have had many many cats both feral and tame spayed and neutered.
I have no idea how many...I keep telling myself I have to sit down and go over all my records and find out exactly how many but there never seems to be any time for that.
I had to have a mother cat aborted last year when she became pregnant by one of her sickly sons. She has had 2 litter before this and out of 8 kittens 6 are suffering from birth defects. A neighbor had dumped her and 6 of her kittens in the street before she left. I was able to catch momcat(Cindy) and 3 of her babies. I took Momcat cindy to get spayed and they refused to do her as they said she had an upper respiratory infection. I saw no signs of any such infection. Well. she ended up pregnant again. She gave birth to 5 kittens. Then she got pregnant again after them and I had to have her aborted for the above reasons. Well, this decision was very painful for me as it goes against all that I believe in and all that I am. I cried and cried but I did it because of the severe circumstances. I still feel sad when I think about it and I must tell myself it was for the best. Well, that is not any comfort at all. I feel like a murderer. I even posted a Candlelight Rose Ceremony for them on the In Memory of Pets website.( that gave me mixed feelings too...a little bit of comfort...a whole lot of guilt because I caused their deaths.) I feel so guilty sometimes that it is paralyzing. I am not what you would call a religious person but I believe in God.
The thing I hang on to with all my might is that I am only one person and if I do ONE cat, then ONE more cat, and after that ONE more cat etc etc. Then I have accomplished SOMETHING. I don't have a whole lot of money either so I spend a lot of time praying. I did find a group in my area who is helping to spay and neuter for free. But I am on my own for the rest. I have also found a vet that allows me to post date checks indefinitely.(I do believe we are posted as far ahead as Nov.).
I am deeply saddened by all the cats who are homeless and unwanted and I am grateful that there are people out there who can spay pregnant cats. I could not do that myself. Those people are the real heroes. And I thank them from the bottom of my heart. There are no easy answers. I do know in my situation there has been advances. They have come slow and at a great cost both financially and emotionally. I myself do it because it is good and it is right and I love cats soooo much. I must have been a cat in a former life or something.
I am working really hard to stop the babies. And though I haven't been 100% successful I have put a pretty large dent in it. I will continue to work on this project with all my heart and soul and with help from above it will make a difference.
Bless you all.
Heidi, let me know how it goes with the kittens. You are an angel to help Lola and her babies as you have.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Love and Life,
post #17 of 33
I really and truly think that there are so many strong arguments on both sides about abortions in ferals or any cat, that you can only judge for yourself. You have to follow your heart, everyone is doing what they believe is right and you have to live with your decision afterwards, no matter what that decision is. What a problem!! I suppose really we all have to speed up in the helping with neutering to lessen this awful situation. I hope I never have to make that decision. I don't know what I would do, probably the same as you and let the kitties be born, and then I would probably keep them, but I don't know how I would pay my bills. Good Luck.
post #18 of 33
Heidi, I don't know how I missed your original post! I know how you've agonized over this, and I certainly understand your "pro-life" decision. I don't know what I would decide to do if a mother cat was that far along. Thankfully, I haven't had to make that decision.

As for getting attached - we SO understand what you go through! Whenever we've adopted out a kitty that lived in our home, we were complete messes after the kitties went to their new homes. My heart really goes out to you for making some of the most difficult decision there are.

As far as I'm concerned, being responsible in ending the cycle of life and homelessness is what's important, and I don't see allowing an already pregnant mother to have kitties along the way as being irresponsible. That, to me, is a personal and emotional decision that each rescuer must face when confronted with the situation, and there is no "right" or "wrong" answer. The best advice here is commonly given here at TCS: Follow your heart. That's what's most important.


post #19 of 33
I would like for you to seriously reconsider your position. If you are unwilling to have her spayed then you need to get her to someone that will. Whether or not it is a "kill shelter" or a rescue group. I am pretty sure the a city the size of Austin will have several low cost spay/neuter clinics and you need to consider using one of them. If you continue to work with ferals you will soon learn that there is no better way to spend your money than on getting them fixed.

While some say it is your decision whether or not to spay her I disagree. If you are not a part of the solution than you are part of the problem.
post #20 of 33
Sheeren....Heidi has already stated that she intends to have the mother cat and the kittens fixed...which is a good thing.

post #21 of 33
Sheeren I think you have misread. The big decision was whether to have the kitties aborted before the spaying.
post #22 of 33
Yes, I understood the debate.
post #23 of 33
AND I would support her decision if she had gone the other way.
I do believe that Heidi is the only one really capable of making the right decision in her situation.
I have had to make the same decision on numerous occasions and depending on the circumstances I have gone both ways.
The kittens who have been born because of my decisions have a forever home with me AND they have or will be soon spayed and neutered.
I don't believe I am taking away a home for a shelter cat either. Because there are so many homeless cats where I live. I have taken a lot of them in so I would not be going to a shelter to adopt a cat under the circumstances.
I believe that if there is any way possible the unborn kittens deserve a chance especially if they are near term.
I have a mother cat who was scheduled to be spayed/aborted on April 9. I had a change of heart and cancelled that appointment. She delivered 4 kittens on April 11. I knew she was pretty far along but I had no idea she was that close to delivery. The kittens are strong and healthy and I have already spoken to my friend who has them spayed/neutered and she told me they could do them as well as their mother when it is time.
And the battle with Mother Nature continues. Which is no easy task as we all well know.
Love and Life,
post #24 of 33
Shereen, I do understand your position here, but it is not that simple nor straightforward for many people who care about rescuing ferals. It is an odd position to value life and be willing to kill it. Some cannot reconcile that. Others just see it as a numbers issue. But there is no right or wrong here. The bottom line is that all of us value life, even though we may choose different ways to deal with helping it.

I'm sorry you believe people who are pro-life are a part of the problem, for there will always be members at TCS who make that decision. While we respect your position, I hope with time you will be able to come to respect theirs, especially when they are being responsible in the way they manage this decision.

We are here to educate and to provide opinions, but we hope that members will be open minded and responsive to those handling things in a responsible manner, even if it is not the choice you would make.
post #25 of 33
I consider those who dump a stray non-spayed cat back on the streets as part of the problem.
post #26 of 33
Sheeren....Heidi has caught the stray again and now she will be able to fix both the stray cat and her kittens...thus being part of the solution.

As Laurie had astutely pointed out to me...we all make mistakes...and as long as we learn from them...we can certainly turn things around and make a positive change.

post #27 of 33
Katie, I couldn't have said it better myself. If we could turn back the hands of time, there are many, many things I'm sure any of us who rescue would do differently. I know I made many, many mistakes along the way. I'm just glad I found a place like TCS where I could both learn and find support. I believe that what determines whether or not we're part of the problem is whether or not we learn from those mistakes, not whether or not we make them.
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
It makes me really sad to find that honesty here is met with judgement and condemnation. I come to tcs to share my experiences and learn from others, not to be beaten down because of my actions. It's such negativity that makes me seriously contemplate giving up on rescuing at all. If I'm part of the problem I might as well save my time, energy and money and let someone else pick up the slack.

That being said, I'd be curious to know what others would have done with a stray cat at 9:00 pm if they had no place to turn to. As I mentioned I contacted all of the local rescue groups and my local animal shelter but no one was accepting new animals or they didn't even bother returning my calls. I couldn't bring her into the house because 1) she hadn't been to a vet and I didn't want her infecting my other animals 2) my boyfriend refused to let me bring her inside.

Regardless of whether I released her that night or not, the damage had already been done and she was already pregnant. My actions that night wouldn't have changed that fact. I am doing the best that I can with what I have and I'm really becoming tired of feeling so beat up on this board.

I love animals very deeply and it really bothered me the night I had to release Lola. If I had had another option I would have taken it, but I was out of choices. I let her go that night knowing that I would continue to care for her, feed her, and try to find a place for her to go. Since then I've taken her to the vet and brought her into my home to deliver her litter. I am doing everything in my power. I'm sorry if you don't feel that's enough.
post #29 of 33
Hi Heidi, remember me? I don't consider one person's opinion directed your way as a beating up. I look at it as this person has one point of view, she is sticking to it, and it doesn't matter what people say to her, she will not change her mind. I would be interested to know her background, for I know of yours based on the Pm's you and I have shared.

When I started rescuing over 14 years ago, aborting the kittens never entered into the equation. Over time, with more irresponsible people not spaying and neutering the feral cat population has exploded and for rescuers who do this 24/7 the only option now is to do the difficult thing and take the cat in to be spayed regardless if she is pregnant or not. BUT for someone who does not actually get into rescue, but sort of falls into it because of a kind-heart, it is oftentimes hard to come to the realization that in order to save lives, you must make the decision to have a vet take them.

I have talked to over 5 vets in the last oh- probably 6 years on this subject, and I have not met one that will admit that aborting kittens does not bother them. On the contrary, they are affected by what they have to do, but they understand the problems that will result if they don't.

It is not an easy decision to make, and once made, not easy to live with.

Again, I do not see a gang beating you up, I see that you have passion and caring and sensitivity and you are affected by what others think. You have to do what makes you comfortable to live in your skin, and once you open yourself up in such a way as you have in your posts here, you invite all to respond. You just have to learn to take the negative with the positive and find a happy way to get along without reacting.

Shereen, you would make your argument more plausible if you offered explanations instead of just one-liners that usually are put out there to start arguments and not resolve problems. This is a cat welfare board, those of us who are old-timers are very pro-active spay and neuter and all of us came here at one time to learn and grow which we have.
post #30 of 33
Heidi....it was very brave indeed of you to share your story and you should not let the posts here (positive or negative) disuade you from continuing to share. As Hissy and LDG pointed out..this is a topic that has lots of opinions..but no clearcut answers.

Did you do the right thing?? That is a question only you can answer and you must remember that some people are going to look at your situation with a pair of completely different eyes and state how they would have done things differently...well, that is all well and good...but doesn't change your current situation. I think the only thing that I would urge (and I know you have heard this too numerous times to mention..but I only say it for those who read this post and haven't heard this for the 1 millionth time) is that you find an organization that will help you with spaying the momma stray and the kittens.

I will confess, I was sooo sad on Sunday...I have volunteered with Alley Cat Allies for almost a year and I know things happen...I know cats die...but I had a cat die on my watch...and it was heartwrenching..and I'd do anything to turn back the clock and watch her more closely to see if I could have saved her...or I would have taken her out of her cage and held her while she crossed the bridge. Unfortunately, I didn't get that chance.

We all do what we believe to be the BEST thing at that moment...doesn't mean that a day or two or even a week or a month later we would have done things differently...but we must reconcile within ourselves that we can only ever have so much insight or so much knowledge. We make mistakes so that we can become better people...better rescuers. I think it would be a shame to let your gift of compassion be dampened by one post...by one situation. Instead...recognize what a truly amazing thing you have done by opening a post where people could share opinions...and where a new person in a similiar situation can feel like they aren't alone.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › I'm back with another pregnant stray