Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sometimes The Litter Is Alive

Christmas was abandoned as a kitten.
Our house is on the outskirts of Nashville, Tenn., in a rural landscape along the Harpeth River. When we moved into our home in the late 90s, our jacuzzi meowed the first night we slept in the house. A kitten was living under it. The contractor then informed us that a cat gave birth under our house, and he thought that most of the kittens had left. The kitten was adopted by a neighbor and named NoTail, since he was a manx.

Soon, we noticed a parade of cats and sometimes, dogs, patrolling the area. All of them had been dumped by people who did not want them. Gradually, the animals would be rescued or adopted by families in the neighborhood. Possibly, some became dinner for coyotes.

Tiger looks at litter in the yard.
In 2001, our hardened hearts were softened by one kitten discarded by her owner. We relented and added Christmas, above, to our menagerie of birds and a dog.  Later we added another stray cat, Tiger, the orange tabby at right, to our menagerie. Tiger is photographed with an illegal flyer that someone placed on our mailbox, but that is another blog post.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 6-8 million dogs and cats go to animal shelters each year. This does not include many of the animals abandoned on country roads or in neighborhoods.

Is this littering? Yes, in the worst way.

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