I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
My mother rescued the cat Angie, and this waif of a cat was unnamed and unwanted at first. Here is how this true story began in Houston, Texas. My niece was taking horseback riding lessons, and while my mother was sitting at the stables one day waiting for the class to end, this big-eyed little cat approached her and walked right up to my mother with pleading eyes.
Other young adults were there visiting and awaiting the time for the horseback riding lessons to end so that they could take their children and return home. This cat did not approach them. It seemingly knew which person might be willing to help. Its belly seemed bloated, and yet the young cat seemed thin in other areas. It was pregnant and in need of help.
Those pleading eyes of the cat were haunting. My mother decided to take action if she would see the cat there the next day. Upon returning to the stables, she found out that cats and kittens often were dumped there. This little cat was just one of the latest arrivals. The pregnant cat presented herself to my mother again that day, and the furry creature's life was about to take a dramatic change for the better within the next few hours.
Vet's Office and Instant Motherhood
My mother was prepared and had brought an animal carrying case with her. After my niece's lesson ended, they put the pregnant cat in the case and stopped at the veterinarian's office on the way home. Upon examination, they found out that the cat was only about seven months old and that birth was probably imminent. Oh yes! That latter diagnosis was indeed correct! In the car on the way home, the first births began taking place!
They called me to come and help (after all, I was a Registered Nurse), and although my field of expertise never included deliveries, I did know enough to help with the births of that young and inexperienced cat's five new little kittens.
While no one was quite prepared for this instant motherhood and all that it entailed, everyone did their best. My mother's household consisted of another cat Taffy, a dog Missy, the new mother cat, and my niece.
We quickly assembled a box and padded it with an old rug and some newspapers. I took a large dog crate that we were no longer using in our home and set it up in my mother's home. We put the padded box inside to help contain the new young lives that had unexpectedly come upon the scene.
My mother had to come up with a name for this little half-grown kitten. She was doing her job so well that she deserved a good one. Angel came to mind, and the compromise chosen by my mother was the name of Angie.
Taffy, the older cat that was already a part of the household, seemed unimpressed by all of this action. She pretty much ignored all of the hubbub and commotion and went about her usual activities of eating, sleeping, and expecting to be petted and brushed.
Missy, the dog, was more interested! She was sweet, and once she sniffed the new furry critters, she assumed a watchful and protective mode.
Angie might look big in these pictures compared to her five kittens. She was very young and was a diminutively sized cat remaining so throughout her life.
My mother was hoping to find good homes for not only the kittens but Angie as well. This wish was not to be. All of the kittens eventually had good homes (our vet adopting two of them), but no one wanted the half-grown cat. By the time all of this had transpired, my mother could not think of abandoning Angie to a shelter in hopes that she would be adopted. So Angie became a permanent part of the family!
Kittens and Curiosity
A kitten ideally needs the nourishment from its mother's milk for a minimum of six weeks or longer to get all the health benefits associated before being given away to other homes.
Imprinting of cat-like behavior happens in these first few weeks to months of kitten's lives that will carry on through the rest of their lives and possibly into other generations. Thus my mother knew that she had accepted being the host for more commotion to the usual routines of operating her home. It was also fun!
Kittens and all of their playful antics provide much entertainment and many smiles throughout the day. Babies of all kinds, for that matter, are cute. It is fun to watch kittens as their natural curiosity leads them to explore further afield from their mother's warm and comforting embrace.
Moccasins and everything else on the floor became something to explore and became a possible toy or obstacle course. Keep in mind, Angie, while not nursing, or otherwise attending to her kittens, was also looking around the house. Everything in it, including the people, was all new to her as well.
To keep the growing kittens amused, my mother provided all kinds of toys. Of course, almost anything becomes a toy to a curious kitten. Knowing that they like to climb and exercise their claws, a friendly neighbor built a kitten-sized cat tower. The kittens made good use of it. The cat tower was finally donated to an animal shelter thrift shop as Angie and my mother's other cat Taffy had no interest in playing with it after the kittens were gone.
Preparing the Kittens for New Homes
As the weeks progressed, my mother introduced some milk and solid food to them at the kitchen table. In the beginning, it may have been a bit messy, but it did not take long for the kittens to welcome that new and tasty source of nourishment.
An acquaintance of mine adopted the first tortoise-shelled kitten. The blond and calico kittens, adopted by our veterinarian, were the next ones to find a good home. A vet's office, in which the owners were reputed to be very fond of cats, and pledged to place them into excellent environments, were given the last two kittens.
Spaying and Neutering
After all of the kittens had new homes, my mother had her vet spay little Angie. Far too many animals are brought into this world than there are good homes to provide for them. What this ultimately means is that they endure starvation and suffering on the streets with most often untimely deaths.
Those that make it into the many animal shelters are at least cared for while there. Vets examine them. They are tended to as necessary and are provided food and water along with a safe environment. While some find good homes, because of overpopulation, way too many others have to be euthanized.
Every one of us can do our part to prevent this outcome. Become informed! Help to spread the word that spaying and neutering one's pets not only makes for a healthier pet but can help to prevent the needless suffering and killing of so many other animals.
What would have happened to Angie and her kittens had my mother not come along to rescue her? She could have been trampled underfoot by one of the many horses at the stables. She was starving and could hardly have provided enough good nourishment for her kittens that were about to be born. Fleas and other insects, not to mention other predators, would have made their lives miserable if not ending them in a probably painful manner.
If you are a pet owner, do the responsible thing and have your pets spayed or neutered. There are charitable organizations that offer such services at little or no expense.
Bob Barker and Others Support Spaying and Neutering
This post is not only about how Angie came to live with my mother, but it is also a tribute to my sweet and kind mother, who cared for many animals throughout her life.
Some of them were her pets, and others were simply animals that she found injured or lost. In many instances, she paid for veterinary bills for those other animals. Some were so injured or ill that they had to be euthanized.
I accompanied her on several of those visits and shed tears for those hapless creatures whose names were unknown to us and had no forms of identification on them. If there was indeed an owner out there, their dog or cat had some people who truly cared for them as best they could at the end of that animal's life. And if abandoned, at least they got some loving if ever so briefly before they died.
In other cases, my mother would shelter the animals she found until locating the owners. Pet owners, please put identification on your animals! If they get lost, there are some means to return them into your loving arms.
Hopefully, you found this post to your liking. All animals that made their way into my parent's homes were fortunate indeed!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Peggy Woods
Comments are welcomed!
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2021:
Little Angie did end up having a good life, thanks to my loving mother.
Amy on April 11, 2021:
Very touching story about Angie. So glad she had a good life with your mother and her other pets.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2021:
I am glad to hear that you have also helped many cats over the years. All animals deserve love and compassion. Enjoy your Sunday also, and thanks for your comment.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 11, 2021:
This one touched my heart.
I have a special place in my heart when it comes to kitties.
Over the years I have had & helped many cats along their journey.
It is sad when we lose them.
I'm glad your mother had compassion for Angie & helped her with her kitties birth.
Those next weeks were alot of hard work, but fun giving everyone a smile.
I think you have your Mother's compassion.
Have a great Sunday.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2021:
My mother was tender-hearted towards people and animals. This is a true story about her rescuing a half-grown abandoned cat who immediately gave birth to five kittens.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 16, 2020:
So happy to know that you enjoyed this. Kittens, and full-grown cats, for that matter, are a lot of fun.
AnnaCia on February 16, 2020:
Thank you so much for sharing. There was a time when I took care of newborn kittens, and the experience was wonderful. I love your photos and videos.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 09, 2013:
My mother loved all creatures and was a saint to many of them in the years that she lived. Angie ended up with a good home with her and she found good homes for her kittens who all promised to spay and neuter them. Thanks for your comment.
Nadia Archuleta from Denver, Colorado on May 09, 2013:
The kittens are adorable, and Angie looks like a sweet, good mother. It was so kind of your mother to take them in!
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2013:
So nice to know that you do your part and then some with regard to spaying and neutering cats, and especially feral ones. My mother was an angel to Angie and to many other animals who crossed her path. We also are big believers in spaying and neutering. So many animals suffer needlessly because people let their pets breed over and over again. Not all of them can possibly find good and long lasting homes. Thanks for your comment.
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 16, 2013:
Such a lovely story. I am a huge advocate of spay/neuter as well. Any stray cat who visits my porch for a morsel gets fixed, and I trap/neuter/return ferals at a grocery store colony as well. Your mom sounds like she was Angie's hero.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 14, 2013:
Hi Au fait,
Animals do depend upon us for many of their needs. My mother was an angel on earth to not only animals that crossed her path but she also helped many a person along the way. Your point is well taken. We should reach out and take care of people as well as animals and those animals we take in as pets. Thanks for your comment.
C E Clark from North Texas on April 13, 2013:
A great hub with fabulous photos, videos, and an important message. Animals depend on us and we need to be responsible and take care of them. We should absolutely prevent their misery whenever we can.
A shame we aren't as kind hearted and generous towards 'stray' people who find themselves deserted or homeless for whatever reason.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 22, 2012:
My mother was a true animal lover among her many other wonderful attributes. She ended up keeping Angie since everyone wanted kittens but not the mother cat. She saved many an animal in her day! Thanks for your comment. I am missing my mother today thinking back to all of the Thanksgivings we shared together.
moonlake from America on November 21, 2012:
Your mother was a very nice person to worry about that cat and bring her home. All animals deserve to have warmth, food/water and love. Enjoyed your hub. Kittens are so cute.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2012:
Hi again Perry the Cat,
As you can tell, if you have read any of my other pet hubs, we are BIG believers in spaying and neutering! Like your poster saying. :)
Perry the Cat from Mouskin, Texas on April 08, 2012:
We have a motto here in the house: Spay And Neuter Makes You Cuter with a poster and everything!
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2012:
Hello Perry the Cat,
My mother was an angel and is now up in heaven with the rest of them. Angie is also a part of the next life. Her kittens (now cats) are probably still alive. Glad that you liked this story. My parents (and after my dad died, my mother...) rescued many animals, both dogs and cats. Thanks for your comment.
Perry the Cat from Mouskin, Texas on April 07, 2012:
Thank you so much for sharing your mother's story. True animal lovers are angels themselves. Angie is a lucky soul.