Until now, that is.
We moved here in March of 2001 and within a week we got a kitten. The house had sat empty for a year and the country mice were partying like crazy. In my house. That had to cease and desist. Immediately. So I stopped and got a free kitten one day. Turns out the guy was a guy I had gone to school with and hadn't seen him in forever. We shot the breeze awhile and he showed me his "best" kitten, said she was the sweetest and would make us a good mouser.
Turns out the little darling had ringworm. So guess who got it, too? Yep. On my chest where I had been cuddling and snuggling her. Shortly after the vet visit and subsequent diagnosis she disappeared. I have no idea what happened to her and I'll tell that to my kids till my dying day. Because I wasn't actually there when anything allegedly happened to her.
Anyway, from March 2001 until June of 2005 we went through - and I'm not exaggerating - 26 cats. I ran over one, a couple ended up squished in the road, a whole litter disappeared in one night due to either owls, foxes or the Swamp Thing, some just vanished. We figured we lived in the Bermuda Triangle of all Catdom and just set more mouse traps to keep the country mice at bay.
Then last June our neighbor called and said he had a mama cat and litter of kittens that were less than a day old and did we want them all? Heck yes!! We loaded up in the truck and got her and her five kittens. We named her Mija and she has been a lovely addition to our Diva family. We gave one of her kittens to Tater, one to Chandler and kept the other three - a male and two females who we named Junior, Marsha Brady and Cindy Brady. We haven't had a mouse in the house for a year now.
Later last summer a friend of my mother in law brought us a cat and two older kittens. One kitten ran off immediately and the other got squished in the road. The mama we called Mamacita. Well, the kids call her that. I call her "you hateful THING! GIT!" We don't get along.
So in case you weren't counting the cat total in the story so far is: five.
A few months ago we noticed Mija was puttin' on a little weight. Sure enough, she was knocked up and about four weeks ago added to our family a litter of all females. Three little Siamese-lookin' tigers and an all grey tiger. All females. Oh yay.
Cat total in story now: nine.
Tonight Marsha Brady had kittens.
I was here at the computer listening to my MP3 player and reading blogs, the kids were playing behind me in the toyroom when Paul came in and told us all to come outside. I knew from the look on his face that someone was birthing something. Marsha Brady had curled up on an old rag next to the deep freeze and lying next to her was a white kitten and a black kitten. The older kittens, the Siamese-lookin' things were crawling all over and being general nuisances. I said, "Ya know, I'm surprised she hasn't slapped one of them yet!" Paul said, "Me, too. Especially since they've already e-a-t-e-n one." Our kids can spell. Well, two of them can. Immediately gasps of horror rose from the children and Abby screamed, "THEY'RE EATING HER KITTENS??????" And this hysterical statement sent Kady into a particularly loud and pitiful crying/screaming/wailing fit.
Now, in the human world, your sisters eating your offspring - their niece/nephew - is a definite no-no, but in the cat world I guess it's easy to mistake your niece/nephew for a delicious mouse.
Abby immediately scooped Kady up in her arms and carried her away from the kittens and I could hear her talking softly to her, calming her down. I was so glad she did that, because without any ceremony or couth, Paul picked up a headless, half-eaten kitten and disposed of it. Sam was crying and gagging. I was just fuming and ready to kill the man for giving our children a not-really-needed lesson in The Circle Of Life.
After giving him a really nasty look that said, "I am SO going to kill you, darling husband" I went in the house to find a box. We then moved Marsha Brady and her kittens to the box and put her on top of the freezer. Those carnivorous kittens can't get up there yet. Ha. We had a hard time convincing her that the box was a good thing, but finally she decided to hang around. We all went in the house to give her some space and when Paul checked on her ten minutes later she had had another one. A red one.
Cat total in story now:
We figure Cindy Brady will have her kittens within the week.
People, this is why Bob Barker says to spay and neuter.
The only theory I have is that all 26 cats that have disappeared over the last 5 years are being reincarnated en masse. Lucky us.
So......we're now taking orders. You want a kitten I will either personally hand-deliver the little furball to you or will even mail it to you. You pick, I'll accomodate you either way. Heck, I'll even pay postage.
Shannon, if the taking orders for kittens doesn't go well, I'll be paying you a visit in about eight weeks with a dozen or so cats. Get ready.