The Outsider

black cat outside broken window
Yesterday’s momcat.

As I was following the momcat around and looking for where she may have led her kittens on my Friday adventure, I captured this photo of her.

It’s a little ironic since the place she chose to have her kittens is a very nice house with a large brick garage behind that was likely once a palatial carriage house before the age of cars. This nice house also has a very nice human who has cats indoors, and eagerly chose to help this mama kitty and her kittens. She’s been working with the Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement to capture the kittens and had this kitty spayed, even while she was still nursing kittens, so she won’t conceive more kittens, and she’ll be feeding this kitty for as long as she stays around. And no doubt if this kitty ever decides to come indoors, she will be more than welcome in this house.

But for now this kitty is young and distrustful of humans. The petite and sleek black cat likely was once someone’s pet with just enough experience with humans that she feels okay to be near them and grateful for food and care, but with enough bad experiences to fear too much contact.

Seeing her on this dim and misty evening through the clouded glass of this old window with one broken pane, looking back at me on the inside, she symbolizes many things about these cats who’ve found themselves homeless, especially young females with kittens. She’s doing the best she can with what she’s been given, and she’s only asking for patience until she can get a little distance from the bad experiences she’s had.

She may have ended up outdoors on her own power, gone into heat and raced off to meet her destiny and not made it back home. It’s more likely, judging by statistics, that she was intentionally placed outside and abandoned, either when she went into heat and the person who’d adopted her couldn’t or wouldn’t afford her spay, or when she was found to be pregnant. Either way, she was just about to start a new cycle of homeless cats in this neighborhood but she’d found the right house, and a person who cared about the cat who was crying at her door.

Today, Sunday, October 6, the Homeless Cat Management Team is hosting its annual Free for Ferals spay and neuter clinic in honor of Feral Cat Day, which is October 16, in conjunction with the Fund for Ferals. Dozens of have people spent the past couple of days trapping dozens of cats for this clinic, nine on one farm and six in another suburban neighborhood, five in a city neighborhood and more numbers reported over the past two days, adding up to about 80 cats.

The cats who arrive at this clinic will have much the same treatment and opportunities as the mother cat above and her kittens. The kittens will be pulled into foster, socialized, vetted and found a home, not having to spend one more night on the streets. Female cats will be spayed, given a rabies vaccine and the tip of their left ear will be snipped off to indicate they’d been cared for in a clinic such as this, and although they lived outside there was a person responsible for them; males are neutered and get the rest of the package. Adults are returned to the area they’d been trapped in unless one was very friendly and a home presented itself.

Feral or stray, living outdoors without benefit of spay or neuter, they would have continued the cycle of overpopulation, but with the intervention of these caring people they can just live their lives inside or out, and hopefully someday there will be fewer to rescue.

The people trapping cats are completely volunteer and in some areas are in no small danger to themselves while they trap and rescue these cats—cats often choose abandoned buildings or isolated places, not the best place for a human with a humane trap at night. These rescuers often do the whole procedure on their own, and the  the organization gives them some support and the clinics to use for the cats they’re caring for.

This is a huge part of the solution to pet overpopulation, and the humane solution to caring for cats who’ve been abandoned outdoors. They have a long Sunday ahead of them, but the results make it all worthwhile.

After all, kittens are much cuter like this…


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski



From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

5 thoughts on “The Outsider

  • January 17, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Hello, Every evening, I hold my precious cockatiel with her tiny, little head lovingly cuddled between my much larger hands. This is her gift to met.She trusts me and loves me back. I wish more people could experience this type of unconditional love that will bond us together for all of eternity. I’m a very lucky woman.
    We give thanks to St. Francis for providing her with a safe and peaceful sleep each nite and a wish come true that she she wakes to enjoy another beautiful dawn. Her sweet morning singing tells me she has enjoyed another beautiful dawn.
    We also give thanks for the kitty we rescued and still have the honor of holding her close and visa versa.
    I never fail to remember all of my beloved pets we’ve rescued, cherished and continue to grieve decades later. I feel honored that each of them left their own special print on my life, my heart, and the special love each of them gave to me. I didn’t rescue my little loves-each of them unknowingly rescued me during my own difficult times.
    We never forget to ask St. Francis to bless all creatures who for whatever the cruel circumstances they have been left to fend for themselves.
    Hopefully, St.Francis will protect them all and guide them to humans who will open their homes to them, so they too, will come to know and feel the special gift of unconditional love, trust and happiness all of God’s beautiful creatures will give them. Who knows? Perhaps these compassionate people will find themselves being unexpectedly rescued, too.
    Blessings to all who have rescued and cared for an animal in need.
    XOX Angel’s Mamma Forever

  • October 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    may St Francis watch over ewe momcat; knot just two day but each N everee day N de wee onez az well XXX

  • October 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Bless them all Bernadette..the kitties and the kind people who help them..

  • October 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

    What a poignant photo! And it’s so head-bangingly (is that a word?) frustrating that people still don’t understand – or care – about the need to spay/neuter….

    • October 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Maxwell n Faraday, I can’t understand how people can just abandon cats wither–just put them outside and not let them back in. We have laws against this, but they aren’t enforced, and if they were imagine the outcome.


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