For those of us who love cats, we often have a soft spot in our hearts for those which are abandoned or stray. Often times, we will open our hearts and homes to these cats and kittens in need in hopes to give them a second chance at life. And, as we know, cats can be like Pringles sometimes. It’s very hard to have just one—and many of us cat lovers find ourselves with many cats before long. For one cat-loving family out of New York state, their entire lives changed a few years ago. And it all started with a little black and white kitty that was dropped off on their property.
I reached out to them after I learned about all the cats in their care, hoping that I could share more about their story with the Cattitude Daily fans. And, thankfully, they agreed to allow me to share with you all. I hope that you enjoy their story and photos, it makes my heart happy to think of the many cats they’ve helped to give the second chance they deserve.
Can you tell me a little about how you came to acquire over three dozen kitties?
Well, you see, it all started in 2017 with this little black and white kitty that someone dropped off on our property. A few weeks later, a gray and white kitten showed up on our door step. Those are the two that really started everything. From those two, the number escalated rather quickly. We went from having 4 cats (we had 2 already that had been born on the property in recent years) to 39 cats in a matter of 2 years. How do you manage to keep the peace in a home with so many cats? They aren’t bad cats at all. We do have three males right now that I have to separate frequently because of territorial disputes. We have a few that have chosen to stay in one room of the house because they don’t like conflict. The handful that they do get along with are allowed in but the others have to stay out.
Do all of your kitties have names?
Absolutely! Some even have middle names, mainly because we couldn’t decide on just one. They have last names, too.
How did these cats come into your life?
Each one has their own story. To shorten it, we have some that were born on the property to feral mothers, a couple were dropped off, some were living in conditions that were less than desirable and it affected their physical well being, a few were calls that we received from people needing help and the rest were born here while we were waiting for grants to go through for spay/neuter clinics.
I love how they’re mostly black and white, either tuxedo or cow cats. Was that planned or simply coincidence?
That was simply coincidence. Tucker was our first black and white cat. He was the first one that was dropped off on the property. After him, we took a litter of Mama’s babies. Only one of them was black and white (Marilyn). Then, Mama had another litter so we took her and her 5 babies, all of who are black and white. After they all arrived, we adopted another black and white, Pi, from a lady that was getting rid of kittens down the road. He was the very last one without a home. From there, the babies grew and we were all set up for spaying and neutering EXCEPT we had to wait for a grant to go through.
It took MONTHS (we waited from July until December). Everyone got old enough to have kittens in that time and, before we knew it, we were welcoming 16 new black and white kittens into the house. We kept them because, in all reality, it was my fault that they were not fixed in time. We were doing so well on getting them fixed until COVID-19 hit and shut everything down. At this time, we are waiting to get everyone in to start the final process of spaying/neutering the rest of the crew. Unfortunately, we will be welcoming another litter within the next few weeks (which we will also keep).
Do your children enjoy helping with the kitties?
I don’t know if they really “enjoy” helping, but they do help if I need them to. I think the kids just enjoy loving on them, which is fine with me because they all need love and I’m only one person.
What’s something you’d like people to know about your cats?
There isn’t really one thing in particular. They are all very different from one another. Each cat has their own personality, their own temper, their own likes and dislikes. I guess they are a lot like people; they are just covered in fur.
Just a few things they’d like to mention about these cats and what caring for them means to them…
1. I don’t do this completely alone. In fact, if it wasn’t for my roommate, I wouldn’t be able to financially take care of all of these guys the way they need to be cared for. He provides the funding for care while I provide the physical care; we are a team. 2. At this point, my job IS taking care of the animals, my children and my home. I am here all day, every day (unless we have an appointment).
Having this many animals is a commitment. It is not something to take lightly. You are responsible for them just as you would be a child. If we want to go somewhere on vacation, we have to make sure that we have someone at the house to care for them. If they are sick, they have to go to the vet. These are things that you have to prepare for and there are certain sacrifices that you have to make.
3. We have one extra special needs girl, Leah. She is completely incontinent (Manx Syndrome) and requires toileting, baths and cleaning up after. We also have two deaf cats, Pudge and Leilani, who were born that way. They are both pure white. And last, but not least: To be honest, I think the humans in the house make a bigger mess than the animals.
If you enjoyed this story, don’t forget to share it with other cat lovers that you know who can use a smile.
I’d like to give a special thank you to the family who allowed me to share this uplifting story with you all. Keep up the amazing work for our feline friends in need! It’s easy to see from all these precious photos just how happy these kitties are.