Come and say hello to Tiggy. He and Micia are brother and sister, and they were abandoned outside of my very good friend Debbie’s house in early June 2009 when they were just a couple of weeks old. As Debbie already had over 20 cats and no experience with such tiny kittens, she asked if we would take these two. Of course, we did, because they were so tiny we hand-reared them. Hand-rearing kittens is extremely time-consuming, if you have to do it you can find lots of useful information on the UK Cats Protection league website here. Several times we did not think they would make it, but just look at how strong and beautiful they became.
Like all kittens, Miccia and Tiggy grew into delightful, affectionate cats. It’s hard to remember them at the funny looking weenie little things they were when they arrived. Both of them were neutered when they were old enough. Much as we love kittens and cats we cannot afford to risk having any more of them. Debbie and Bob have every cat that arrives on their doorstep neutered whether it stays with them or is just a visitor. They have managed to keep the feral and abandoned cat population in their area from exploding.
Unspayed female cats start breeding at six months, sometimes younger. and have three litters with an average of four kittens in each litter. In seven years, a female cat and her offsp\ring can produce 420,000 cats. Male cats should be neutered too, especially the feral/abandoned ones, they wander far and wide looking for a female mate. If you only have one or two cats and don’t live in a neighbourhood where there is a large population of abandoned and feral cats you may think this doesn’t apply to your pets. According to this article from the PDSA, there are positive health reasons as to why cats should be neutered.
Sadly Micia and Tiggy are no longer with us. Micia was killed by a dog when she was just one year old in 2010, one year after Minnie was attacked nearly losing her life. Generally, our cats and dogs interact very well. Once again it was a new dog recently introduced, Floyd. We had our suspicions that he would go for them, but he was very clever, practically ignoring them if we were around. I am so angry, why did we take him in? Needless to say, we had to make alternative arrangements for Floyd. My poor little girl.
Tiggy stayed with us for longer but sadly died in May 2019. Losing any of our animals upsets us so much, these two were so special having been hand-reared and nurtured from the age of two weeks. We will always remember them.
Recently Debbie asked us to take on another two-week old kitten who they had found in the garden of their holiday villa rental. They promised they would take the kitten back when it was weaned. Again we couldn’t say no … Betsy’s story is coming soon.