How many cats do you have? What is the highest number of cats you’ve had? What is the ideal number of cats for you? When do you become that crazy cat lady (or man)? When you have more than three cats? When you start dressing up your cats? When you take another chair because your cat is in your favorite one? When you start signing your cat’s name to your holiday cards? When you buy your cats Christmas presents? Or when you start traveling with your cat?
I’ve already been given a “Crazy Cat Lady” magnet and I use it to hold some of my cats’ pictures on the fridge. Sure, I have pictures of my human family, as well.
The most cats I’ve ever had at one time was probably 6 or 8. For me that was too many.
My ideal number of cats is two. Although much of my adult life has been spent with three
or four cats at a time. You know how it is: Sometimes there’s a need and you find a way to fulfill it by taking another cat or kitten in. Or you just fall in love with one and can’t say no.
But what about people who take on cat after cat after cat? There are cat hoarders, of course, and those who seem to border on being one. While some people can handle the numbers gracefully—they either have the space or create it somehow to accommodate all of the fur beings who come—others simply become freakishly overwhelmed. They open their heart to more cats than they can handle, perhaps fall ill and can’t take care of them physically or financially, but won’t relinquish them and don’t know how to ask for help. That’s when the litter boxes become gross, the feeding bowls are not washed, the water bowls are empty too often or allowed to become dirty, and some of the cats become ill and some die.
A hoarding situation is a sad reality for some. But my hat’s off to those who take on a colony, feed and watch over cats who find their way to their backdoor, or simply adopt cats in need, no matter the circumstances and the number of cats already accumulated. And who manage these animals well. And I honor those who know when they have more cats than they can comfortably handle and do something about it—something that benefits the cats. What would that be? It depends. Ideally, it would mean to find a way to make it work well for the cats. But it might mean putting the cat in a new situation with the help of a no-kill cat shelter.
Please, if you have cats who depend on you for sustenance, comfort, and love, do your best to provide all of the above. If you can’t take proper care of the cat, do what is necessary always—always with the cat in mind.