A cat is not an old couch.

On Saturday, I adopted a second cat. I call her Lady Lavender, she’s about a year old, and she’s the sweetest, friendliest little kitty you’ve ever seen.

Lavender came to me from a friend of a friend. She was a stray living at a gas station and begging for food at a nearby laundromat. Her foster, Annie, found her at the gas station and asked the employees for permission to take her home, which they granted. By then, the cat was heavily pregnant, and gave birth to five kittens mere hours after Annie brought her home. She was happy to become an indoor kitty and took to eating about eight large cans of wet food per day while nursing her litter. It’s not that she was a big cat and needed all that protein in the long-term, but she was underweight and needed to fill out, in addition to having five babies to feed.

Anyway, Annie found people to adopt the kittens right away, but still had no home for the mama kitty, so she asked for help from her Ravelry friends. My friend Debbie shared her post on Facebook of this gorgeous little young mama tortie in need of a home, and I expressed interest. Annie got her spayed, let her rest for the week, and brought her to my house on Saturday afternoon. For now, I am site-swapping her and Purrion between a bedroom and the house at large until they get acquainted by scent.

You know what pisses me off? This cat was a stray until a few months ago, and she’s the farthest thing from feral. She’s affectionate, gentle and agreeable, which means she had to have been socialized by humans before she ended up on the street. Someone had this sweet little kitten in their home, and someone left her out on the street without first getting her spayed. She was left to beg for scraps for months, and she went through an entire pregnancy, before a nice human decided to take her home. Because she was lucky enough to have a good foster mom, her babies will not join a feral cat colony. Because she was a mostly-adult cat rather than a dainty kitten, it wasn’t easy to find her a permanent home.

For the love of Pete, folks, a cat is not just a thing you leave out on the front stoop when you need to make room for something else. This is a 20-year commitment, and there are options aside from chucking them out and hoping for the best. If you must surrender your cat, make sure it’s spayed/neutered first so it won’t create hundreds more cats with nowhere to go. If you must surrender the cat before you have a chance to get it fixed, surrender it to an animal rescue that’ll make sure it’s fixed and vaccinated and will make an effort to put the cat in a good home. Do not abandon an intact cat to fend for itself.