Katzenjammer” is German for (roughly) wailing cats, which, as anyone who sleeps in summer with open windows knows is a dreadful, piercing, yammering yowl from Hell – or two cats in “love”.

The product of the Katzenjammer frequently is a litter of kittens.

Did you know that the female and male cats mate frequently when the female is in estruous? That each kitten in a litter can have a different father? That a female can become pregnant as young as five months old, bear up to five litters a year? That cats don’t go through menopause, but can reproduce up to death? That if you keep kittens past sexual maturity, they will bred with any available cat of the opposite sex, including each other or one of their parents?

Zack Scott recently posted this important video on adoption of found pets.

You’ve seen the cat hoarder on “Animal Planet” with a house so polluted with cat urine and feces from an over-population of cats that the house has to be demolished. One cat hoarder, one pregnant cat, sufficient time- as little as a year -and that’s all it takes! Most of the cats from these houses are either sick or have to be euthanized.

There’s a mistaken notion that letting your female cat have one litter before spaying results in a better-adjusted, healthier cat for the long term. Veterinarians dispute this notion. Nor will your cat companion get fat in consequence- unless you over-feed it!

In a world where half of the cats and dogs ending up in pounds are euthanized as humanely as possible (which is killed nonetheless), it does not make any sense to allow your pets to reproduce on your whim or by accident. Again: male pets should be neutered, females should be spayed.

Most of you reading this are, I hope, people who do neuter or spay your pet, do take the necessary steps to assure your pet is happy and safe, do get all the required shots at the required time, do license your pet if required by the jurisdiction where you live, do love and provide for your pet’s physical and emotional needs. The Lord bless you people!

The ones who most need to read this probably still don’t get it, if they read this far. More’s the shame.

Zack Scott’s excellent appeal to adopt found animals focused me on a long-time need. I’ve considered all changes adopting a found cat will cause me, not to mention will cause the cat. I’m not the easiest fellow to live with! Ha!

I thought I'd test-drive a used cat resting on my shoulders. Looks pretty good!
Here’s a prototype cat resting on my shoulders. Looks pretty danged good!

The big question is: Am I ready to have a cat companion? What do I need to have in place before I even bring a kitten or cat home? Do I need to cat-proof (ha!) my apartment first? I know Dieffenbachias can poison cats, so I need to find a home for that plant at least. Do I have any other plants that can harm a cat? Am I financially able to take care of a cat? Pay for spaying or neutering? Provide adequate toys, attention, and amusements for the cat? At my age and with my health issues, am I likely to outlive the cat? I mean, what needs to happen in my life to make cat adoption a bad idea?

I think I can do better with a mature or very mellow young cat that likes to be cuddled. I knew a cat like that, a neutered cat that belonged to my neighbors. We got along very well indeed, and he established in my mind that I am not only a dog person but a cat person as well.

Naturally, then, I e-mailed my sister in Seattle because she has a tuxedo cat (Sox), and knowledge of what I need to consider before adopting a cat. This is a big step! Her response helps me feel positive about going ahead with the adoption.

I’m almost through assembling the necessities for happy cathood. Mine will be an indoor cat, spayed or neutered, that may be allowed supervised trips outdoors on a harness leash. Maybe.

Next time- I hope!- a blog entry about a new found cat.

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