Friday, March 30, 2007

Nadia, the Unwanted Mother

Nadia - last cat to be introduced, and last cat to join the family (4 of 4). She arrived as a foster with four newborn kittens, less than 24 hours old. She had been a stray in Boise's North End. She was a good mother, and I used to love to watch her play "the tail game" flicking her tail in a different pattern for each of her children. They got adopted - she did not.

For more than six months I hauled her to PetSmart adoption centers, pushed her via emails, advertised her on cat adoption websites, in the paper, etc. No one wanted her. When potential adopters came, she hid in the basement, but when dinner guests came, she stayed upstairs. Go figure. She knew when we were going to an adoption event, and disappeared, but stuck around for other trips, even the vet.

She adopted 10 kittens of other litters and mothered them. She adored being a mom, so much so it was sad to get her spayed - but there are way too many unwanted pets to allow more to be made. Weaning her from her kittens she used to lay on one side of the door and cry, stretching both arms under the door to touch the babies I wouldn't let her nurse. It was hard on all of us. Now that she's spayed she shows no interest in new batches of foster kittens, but she happily let any of 14 nurse when she still had milk.

She used to rub my ankles in affection each time I brought her home again from failed adoption marketing, as if to ask if she could stay. She got along ok with the other cats and the dogs. She obviously had a home at one point as she knew how to beg at the table for food scraps. Why someone owned her and didn't get her fixed I don't know. She's the only one of my cats who I never knew as a kitten.

Eventually I gave in, of course. I took pity on her, always seeking a home and never finding one, while tons of other foster kittens and cats came and went. We were used to having her, and what's the difference between three and four? She worked her way in.

She doesn't like to cuddle like the others - she is friendly but prefers to be next to you, not on your lap. She's lowest in the pecking order, but doesn't seem to care. She seems to appreciate every meal, and every time she gets let inside from a day of playing outside.

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