Cat dilemma

There is a female stray cat outside that I’ve been feeding for several months. She is quite pretty – black with big green eyes. Her downfall is that she has never been fixed and is constantly getting pregnant. She had kittens last fall, but we didn’t see them until they were almost weaned. Only one survived and we fed him regularly until he disappeared a few weeks ago.

Momma Cat got pregnant a couple of months ago and had her kittens in an undisclosed location. A few of the neighbors reported seeing kittens following her around, but we never saw any of them. It would seem that these kittens suffered the same fate as the previous litter.

This evening, I looked out the back door to see her mating with a strange male cat in the neighbor’s yard. I know she needs to be fixed, but we would have to trap her in order to take her to the vet, and to be honest, I don’t want to spend that kind of money on a cat that I really don’t want in the first place.

The three cats that we have inside are enough to deal with. There is constantly something to do – like cleaning up cat vomit, scooping litter boxes, vacuuming up clumps of fur, and trying to keep them from doing things they aren’t supposed to be doing. It’s also expensive to have three pets, when one considers the costs of veterinarian visits, flea and tick medication, litter, and quality pet food.

The outside cat uses the bathroom in the yard and the gravel driveway (which means that we are constantly having to evade piles of smelly poop), she kills songbirds and leaves their half-eaten carcasses lying around the back patio, and she scares off our usual backyard inhabitants. We know she is to blame for this being the first year that bluebirds didn’t nest in the house we provide for them.

Our vet has also warned us about the dangers of having outdoor cats in close proximity to our exclusively-indoor cats. He said that not only could fleas and ticks pass through the cracks around the back door, but that my indoor cats could actually catch deadly diseases from the cats outside.

So, now, I don’t know what to do. I know if we trap her and take her in for spaying that we will still have to care for her when she returns. I know if we take her to the animal shelter that her days will be numbered. I know that three indoor cats is more than enough and I don’t want an outdoor pet. I know that I have absolutely no idea what to do at this point.

Any suggestions?

25 things that make me happy

Taking a cue from Alyson on this one.

  1. Planting flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, etc
  2. Anything computer-related: working on them, building websites, trying out new programs
  3. Snuggling up with Honey to watch television or a movie
  4. DVR
  5. Visiting my sister’s house on “Family Day”
  6. Going bowling with friends, even though I suck
  7. Cooking a meal and sharing it with people I care about
  8. Crawling into a comfortable bed when I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open
  9. Computer-controlled machining
  10. A clean bathroom
  11. Kittens and puppies… practically any baby animal
  12. Dlisted – my guilty pleasure that often makes me laugh hysterically
  13. Getting the bills paid on time
  14. Peeing outside (in private places, of course). It makes me feel like a kid again
  15. Flamingos
  16. The sands of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Florida
  17. Finding a bargain online that has free shipping
  18. A fresh haircut
  19. Finding money in the pocket of a jacket that I haven’t worn for a year
  20. The “Bahama Mama” at Red Lobster
  21. Mom’s turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving
  22. Shopping at T.J. Maxx
  23. Dancing like a crazy person while watching MJ perform “Man In The Mirror”
  24. Google Chrome
  25. Hearing Honey talk about our future as if it’s written in stone

Random thoughts

I hate winter. I used to like it, but the ice storm we had in January completely changed my perspective.

I heard on the radio the other day that two books in the Bible, Esther and Song of Solomon, don’t mention God. Strange.

Pineapple Express is so freakin’ funny.

I am learning to not judge my paternal grandparents so harshly. They are who they are, and they aren’t going to change any more than I am. I’ve been spending quite a bit more time with them since going to work for my father, and it never fails to amaze me how physically fragile they have become.

We have been doing little projects around the house lately. One of the things we are planning to start within the next few weeks is replacing all the stained/varnished doors and trim with white.

Chris Brown is an idiot… and so is Rihanna for going back to him.

Do they really expect people to not continue calling it the Sears Tower?

Honey went with his mother to put their dog to sleep yesterday. Sparky had been with the family ever since he was a puppy and remained there after both Honey and his sister grew up and moved out of the house. Needless to say, it’s a great loss for all of them, but especially his mom.

I played Poker for the first time last night when we stopped by the home of our friends, Todd and Kelly. It all seemed terribly confusing at first, but I did pretty good once I figured out it was all about the ability to bluff.

I am making the switch from Microsoft Expression Web to Macromedia Dreamweaver for managing websites. It’s quite a bit different visually, but I think it will be far superior once I get used to it.

Blogbits

Debt – As of yesterday, I am officially free of credit card debt! I had over $6000 of charges racked up this time last year, so the relief I feel is exquisite.

Cats – I cannot stand having pets in the house. Don’t get me wrong… I love my cats, but life has become a constant cycle of lint rollers, cleaning up cat vomit, and scooping litter boxes. I’m beginning to think that it’s really not worth all the effort.

The Strangers – This was one of the most suspenseful, terrifying movies that I’ve ever seen. I screamed so loud that we were afraid the neighbors might call the police.

Neighbor – Our 90-year-old neighbor took an ambulance ride to the emergency room last night because she was feeling really bad. Turns out the bottom number of her blood pressure was only eighteen! This resulted in her temporarily losing her vision, but after a full checkup and some fluids, she was able to return home around 1 o’clock this morning.

Wal-Mart Sucks – I know I shop at WM way too much, but what other alternatives do I have in this pathetic town? Anystore, I found a bed-in-a-bag set that I really liked and bought it last night. Today, after washing the sheets twice with fabric softener to get them nice and comfy, I discovered that a Wal-Mart “queen” must be a completely different size than anywhere else. The sheets wouldn’t even begin to fit on our bed.

Still less expensive than kids

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Our youngest cat, Macy Gray, has been getting her vaccinations, which means that we have to drive her forty miles round-trip every couple of weeks, where we then shell out somewhere around $40. She was due for her last three injections today.

Our oldest cat, Blu, recently started throwing her food all around the food bowl while chewing, so I decided to check her teeth and gums yesterday and discovered that they looked red and irritated. Honey says I’m constantly looking for trouble, but I say better safe than sorry.

So, today, we packed both cats into the single pet carrier that we own and headed for the veterinarian’s office. They were stuffed in there like a couple of sardines, but we felt that it was necessary to avoid another trip later in the week. Turns out we have to drive back down on Friday anyway.

Blu’s teeth have to be cleaned, which means that they have to put her to sleep. The estimated cost is around $100, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was the $78 bill that I got at the end of today’s exam. Blu’s exam, which lasted all of five minutes, cost $30. Macy’s identical examination and three injections cost $48.

One the way home, Honey was figuring up how much money we’ve spent on Macy over the last three months, which is several hundred dollars. After a few moments, he added, “Well, I guess they’re still cheaper than kids.”

Maybe so, but I’ll be glad when this country gets a universal healthcare plan for pets.

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