Mom and Abandoned Kittens

When I was about 15, our cat had kittens.

The family was going to go out of town for a couple of weeks for summer vacation, but the kittens were tiny and not really weaned yet. My mother wanted to get rid of them before we left town. She wanted to simply go somewhere to a different neighborhood and drop off those kittens because “they are cute and someone will adopt them”.

I had done some research at the local county ASPCA for a “Pet Care” Boy Scout Merit Badge and I knew that most kittens abandoned surely died, either run over, starved, or killed by other cats, dogs or sadistic humans. My mother did not want to believe me and slapped me for disagreeing with her.  My mother INSISTED that all those kittens would find homes because they are so cute people will just take them in, and if we dropped them off at the animal shelter, the would ALL been executed. While I acknowledge that many would likely be put down, at least it would be quick, and some would find good homes. Just abandoning tiny barely weaned kittens without their mother (who was a “pure-bred” siamese cat” and thus would not be abandoned) would likely result in terrible deaths. I kept up such a stink, which my mother put down to me being a brat rather than real concern for the kittens.

My mother finally relented as we were leaving town for vacation on a late night, and dropped the kittens off at my grandparent’s home for them to take them to an animal shelter.

Afterward, that night and later on the vacation, my mother kept saying to me “I hope you’re proud of yourself, you KILLED those kittens”.  In other words, my mother seemed to really believe her imaginary idea that the kittens would have been better off abandoned at the side of the road rather than in the animal shelter.

As I write this, it occurs to me that it’s quite likely that my father did not actually take the kittens to his parents, or if he did, they may not have actually taken them to the shelter, but rather simply put them out their front door. With Dad, Mom, and Dad’s parents now gone, there’s nobody I can ask about this.



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