Brick - the Spayed Adopter of Feral Kittens

by Ed Grant
(Sparta, Missouri)

Brick still loves walls

Brick still loves walls

Most cat lovers and owners have ethical objections to the spaying of cats, whether tamed or feral. But when I was acquiring Brick from the local animal sanctuary, I never knew that she had been spayed by her previous owner. Brick was a black cat with white patches on her paws and tail. The former owner – a Vietnam veteran – who had passed away briefly after surrendering Brick to the local animal sanctuary, had perhaps named her Brick because she love to nap on bricks and stones.

My love for cats can be traced back to my days in grade one. Brick was actually the fourth cat-friend in my life. My first cat was a white kitten named Sally. My aunt Lisa noticed my passion and love for cats after realizing that I spend inordinate lengths of time playing with her cat and kittens whenever we visited her on the weekends. Aunt Lisa decided to give us one kitten after they’d stopped suckling. My mother strongly objected, but somehow, she managed to coerce her and I took Sally home.

Sally disappeared at ten years of age and since then I have adopted two other cats – Muse and Grey – but all of them ended up dead because of sickness. I decided to stay without a pet during my last years of college. But once I secured my first job and moved into my new home, I thought it was time to rekindle my love for these feline friends again. My search landed me in the local animal sanctuary and I couldn’t resist the immediate bond that was established between Brick and me once she purred, meowed, and rubbed her fine fur against my outstretched arms.

Her show of affection really warmed my heart, and since I wanted a few more kittens in the future I decided to acquire her and spay her later on after giving birth. However, after staying with Brick for seven months I realized that she never seemed to show signs of getting on heat. As a result, I took her to the local veterinary for an examination, and the vet sadly informed me that she’d been spayed, perhaps by the local sanctuary or the former owner.

It was sad news, but I had to bear with it. Luckily, I soon realized that Brick often went out to the backyard to play with some grey feral cat that had three kittens. Each time I approached to feed them, the feral cat and her kittens would jump over the yard’s wooden fence and disappear into the bushes. I finally gave up trying, but one day I found the three kittens tucked under Brick in an abandoned dog kennel owned by the former occupant of my rented home.

After three days of observation, I realized that the grey cat and mother to the feral kittens was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she’d been hit by a car or attacked by a raccoon, but the fact is that she never showed up again. I started feeding the feral kittens. Sometimes they’d hiss and scamper back into the safety of the dog kennel, but they’d finally come out and eat the food that I left them. After three weeks, they started becoming less feral and they could get into the house and play with Brick before going out again.

It took a whole month before they could get into the house, feed and sleep like all other tame cats. Now I have Brick and three beautiful grey cats that are now not kittens anymore. Even though Brick was spayed and probably never had a chance to bear her own, she’s now become a mother of the adopted three!

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