Friday, April 29, 2011

Pregnant Stray Cat?

Does anyone have any advice on what to do with a pregnant stray cat?  This little darling girl just started hanging out in our backyard about 4 evenings ago and I'm pretty certain that she's got some hot little buns in the oven (notice her super skinny frame, yet bulging stomach).  She's wearing a cute pink collar, but there's no tag attached, and she hasn't seemed to have left our backyard since we first saw her.  Whenever Christopher or I step outside and call for her, she runs right up to us like she's been waiting for us all along.  She's incredibly affectionate and doesn't act at all like a stray--she's constantly vying for attention and follows us around.

Since we've never seen her in our area before (we have a regular attendance of cats in our yard, but we recognize those which we haven't seen), we can only imagine that she's either lost or that her owner discovered her pregnant and kicked her out.  There are no Missing Cat signs and nothing posted online about her.

Two days ago, feeling responsible for her well-being, we started supplying her with a bowl of fresh water and soon followed up with a bowl of food.  Then, worrying about her safety and wanting to give her shelter, we invited her to come inside just yesterday.  She was quick to accept the invite and after a small confrontation with our own cat Random, she's made herself at home and seems to like sleeping in our office chair.

Now, we're not really looking to adopt a second cat--let alone take care of baby kittens.  Both Christopher & I are slightly allergic to cats and suffer enough from owning one cat (though I complain, it's worth it).  Our apartment is much too small for a herd of kittens to be born and nursed in... not to mention, my piano students are constantly traipsing in and out of the house.

The good news is that we have a neighbor who rescues cats for an organization here in West Philly called Project M.E.O.W.  When we wanted to rescue Random from outside, she helped us by taking him to vet for his vaccinations and neuterization, and housing him in her garage until he healed.  Currently, I'm waiting for her to return my call from this morning.  I'm hoping that perhaps she'll be able to give us some advice or even (cross my fingers) keep the cat in her garage until she delivers.  My major concerns are that if I leave her outside at this point, that she'll deliver outside and the kittens won't have a good chance of survival.  Or, if I take her to a shelter right now, I worry that she'll be put down or spayed while pregnant (an abortion, in essence).  Until I can talk with my neighbor, I really just don't know what to do!

Any advice?  Have you or anyone you know had to deal with this before?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

layers and reflections.

Cemeteries have long held a special place in my heart.  I'm not quite sure how it all started, but they have become one of those places that I very intentionally seek out.  They are a place to spend time thinking and sorting out life's questions.

A place to peel back layers.


Sometimes, all I do is read grave markers.  I examine names, dates of birth or death, keywords about who this person might have been. I investigate whether the deceased is buried near their husband, wife, or children.  Or are they all alone in an underground sea of graves?  

Other times, I just like to observe the headstones themselves--occasionally there's one so magnificent that you can only stare and marvel at the artistry of it.  Others are so old that the names are no longer visible, while others yet have fallen atop of neighboring gravestones. 

How kempt is the plot?  Has anyone recently left flowers?  Is this person still remembered and loved?  Have they been forgotten entirely?  Did they accomplish what they set out to accomplish with their lives....  did they make a difference.... were they good people.....

It's enough to make you examine your own life--in whichever way you need it most at that moment.

Monday, April 4, 2011

spring time.

Despite what science may say about the Vernal Equinox, the sun's positioning, or the tilting of the earth's axis, I nonetheless declare today to be the first official day of Spring here in Philadelphia, PA.  After spending the weekend in our winter coats, today is shaping up to be one of those gorgeous Spring days that we've so anxiously awaited--the sun is shining with wild abandon, the temperature is currently lingering in the 60's (fast approaching 70's) and I've had a wonderful morning spent outside... wearing a T-shirt!

This morning I woke up (not super-early, mind you) to the sound of singing birds.  They soon beckoned me outside to do the first round of backyard clean-up, which I've been anticipating for weeks now.  I started by raking up a few bags full of dead leaves--leaves that had fallen after my final round of pre-winter raking.  It felt so great to move the earth around a little bit and breathe in the fresh, thawing smell of dirt and earthworms.  

Now I sit outside, munching on a simple homemade lunch with our cat Random sleeping soundly on the window sill overlooking the patio set.  

This, right now, is the best.