The other morning, as I was traversing my backyard in order to put out some grub for the gaggle of demanding stray cats that have made it their home, I heard a strange noise. I looked around for a bit, and decided it must have been the rabbits and one of their strange rabbit rituals. Their ways are mysterious to me. I spent a bit of time visiting with my wild-cat friends, whose friendship was bought with daily feedings and kind words. (Of course, it’s not all roses and rainbows for them; all of these cats have been trapped and had their reproductive organs removed! That’s a lot more than I would pay for a cozy yard to sleep in and meal service!)
I went back in just as my wife was getting up. She peeked out the back window to check on the resident menagerie, and I heard an exclamation. “There’s a kitty in the trap!”
“Oh, I guess that’s what I heard. I thought it was the bunnies.”
“Bunnies don’t mewl!” she told me. At the time, she didn’t know how wrong she was.
[[image:vs081028_kb.jpg:A meeting of the minds.:center:0]]
This tiny little girl is a heartbreaker. She weighs approximately nothing, and her gums are completely white (which indicates that she is very anemic). We thought she, like the rest of our strays, was attracted by the other cats and the free food. However, the truth is far more terrifying. We keep her in a large cat carrier while we fatten her up, but my wife decided to let her roam about the yard while she was out there with her, and she ran straight for the bunny cage. The rabbits were not phased at all to see a little kitten in their midst, and in fact seemed to be saying, “Where have you been?!” The little stray didn’t make friends with any of the cats that congregate there; she made friends with the rabbits. She wasn’t there to eat the cat food we put out daily; she was there to eat the rabbit’s food. She’s… a mysterious kitty/bunny hybrid!
[[image:vs081028_kb3.jpg:One of these things is not like the other…:center:0]]
On a more serious note, her story is going to have a happy ending because she managed to stumble our way before she starved to death. (She’s so close that my wife was in tears the first night we were trying to get her to eat and she wouldn’t. Starving to death, and would rather eat rabbit food than canned cat food! Of course, once she settled down and realized we weren’t going to eat her she started eating again. The KMR kitten milk replacer we mixed with her food didn’t hurt, either.) Most stray cats aren’t that lucky. The very least you can do is spay or neuter your pets so as not to add to the problem. If you want a companion animal in your life, don’t go to the pet store: there are always needy animals that need adoption. If you want to do more, I’m sure there’s an animal rescue group in your area you could get involved with. A little Googling should point you the way.
[[image:vs081028_kb2.jpg:I is a bunny.:center:0]]