Ever since I came to Spain with my two kitties I rented houses.
A simple bowl of food left on the windowsill and there you go, you are feeding a stray cat. That doesn’t turn your house into a street cat feeder. Nope, that happens when over the years, your visitors are mumcats. My “fostering” activity was launched in a very natural way when mumcats came and stayed. Their offsprings grew strong and healthy. Eventually finding forever homes. To complete this equation you also need to be a caring person, and I do care about the cats.
Among the kitties, I also homed three tomcats. Males are rare though. Were they sick or ageing? Definitely tired of this life. Or who knows, maybe they once had a home. They behaved, enough in any case for the others to accept them. Some mumkitties have made this their place, even forced space for their offsprings. They are fierce fighters. But in the end everyone finds its role and place.
And then, last year, a kitty in particular was going to make me freak out. She brought me her two litters (one in preparation). 2017 brought an additional 8 cats in total, with Clyde showing up from nowhere in the last days of December.
Vainilla was no street cat. Not technically but she was hungry just the same. In very poor shape, she didn’t seem to be able to hunt at all. She gifted us with a few diseases as well. And there is nothing you can do about this. When your cats roam free they are in contact with infected felines. Strong individuals go through it, other get infected and you are required to act.
The previous years, all had been more manageable. I had carriers left, mum and babies. Got called to help kittens with only a few days of life that were found motherless. Or hosted three girls to assist a neighbour. Vainilla was every emergency you can imagine. Food, sickness, totally deprived kittens to end up with a terrible delivery of her last litter. Now one year later, I know I have copped with all of it, the best I could. But I still think all this struggle was not necessary. Had her human family cared, had the association responded, had the local authorities done their job. But she is just one silent kitty.
If you are a bit acquainted with our not so domesticated felines, you know similar scenarios happen all the time, everywhere. And then a few do something. The crazy cat ladies! Now, I know a few catdads too!
Is my large cat family linked to being in the wrong place? I do not think there is any wrong place. Only no action.
The local association is totally swamped as there is no population control conducted by the town-hall. Needless to say, I am receiving no help, be it physical or financial, or even mental (lol..!) This is a rural area where some modern mentalities do what they can, with very little. Some villages or areas are better dealt with when decision-makers are of the progressive type. That they have an open mind. Or at least show some empathy about this particular issue. Otherwise, the story is very much the same everywhere. And the cat population does not only grow because of their ability to reproduce them-selves. Abandoned pets of any age, dumped new-borns when the households don’t or can’t pay for sterilization. The lack of knowledge and education in this area requires a drastic change of mentalities. Unfortunately there always seems to be more pressing issues than this one.
Solutions require a creative mind
Sometimes you need to act fast. Looking for help has not always been effective. To some extent it has even diluted and delayed proper action. As they say, ask for help, but do not count on it.
When all goes well and that nature has repeated it’s life miracle, start looking for the funds for the forthcoming spaying and neutering.
But I consider my-self privileged. There is a lot of fun. Cuteness and laughs. I am a priviledged witness of their evolution. Getting to know these new beings, see them become amazing adult cats in such short notice. Some will leave pretty young whereas others will stay. And as they grow, you grow equally fond of them!
But every cat reaching the sixth month has had his/her surgery. In the beginning I managed to afford for the expenses. But at some point I went through difficult times. Now short on cash, I needed to become creative to the extreme. Selling second hand belongings, crafting items or organising fund raisers. Without plainly realising I was in the middle of a cat people network.
As I reached out for help, contacted associations, they got to know my situation. They responded with lots of tricks, dialogue and exchange. Which was much welcome. And one day, a couple of nice ladies equally involved got me into the magic WhatsApp world of lists. And it all started working much better from there on. My cats were on a planned schedule for surgery and there was one every month. A relief! The only burden would be to bring them to wherever those surgeries were taking place that particular month.
From then on, on a monthly basis and for a very affordable sum of money I was able to control the vicinity of my house. The surgery was and is impeccable. Done on the side, the kitties are 100% by the next day and therefore can be released. A tiny marking on the ear and there you go.
Time to find a solution for me
As mentioned before, I went through hardship at some point in time. My curriculum vitae didn’t seem to meet the expectations of any local employer. My varied talents or my polyglot nature were of no use or so it seemed. Or was it my age, my location?
However, after several many many revamps of my cv, a very interesting an clear picture of the professional evolution and acquired talents emerged. Every capacity branched out into sellable services. And this is how I have turned every expertise into a specific offer.
Right now this solution turns out to be more effective. Not to mention the amount of money and time saved from pointless trips.
A positive feedback
So far, my clients are loving it. They find this approach extremely satisfying. Their tasks and deadlines are met. And they know their money’s worth benefits a cause. The proposed services are meeting a real demand. Happy customers recommended me to family members and/or friends with businesses, and so on until bigger contracts came up.
On my side I am happy about the outcome. No more frustrations. I do what I like the most without leaving my beloved cat family. It is a tiny business.
You can visit Mumcat.info to see the cats and their stories. However I must say I have been writing less there, due to the success here. Which is actually great! But I really hope to be able to make a bit of room to continue adding up to the site on a steady basis. In the meantime our instagram account @mumcatorg has been a way for me to keep up with the pace. 2-3 posts a week generally accompanied by a short, funny, less funny or super long comment awaits our followers, and they are many!
Thanks for reading me and of course for providing work or even feedback!