Opinion: This kitten is adorable, but she shouldn't exist

OPINION: Meet Eve. She got her name because she came into my life on December 24, and is around 1.5kgs, fluffy and very friendly.

But let me be clear, Eve shouldn't exist.

The thing is she didn't come from a breeder, pet store or SPCA. I pulled her out of a bush by a bike path after spotting a flash of fur while riding past one day.

That makes it sound easier than it was, I actually spotted multiple cats and signs they were being fed, and made a plan to come back later.

Not before I posted on the local Facebook page and discovered there was, in fact, a large group of strays that lived by the bike path, breeding freely while kind-hearted locals fed the growing population.

Two cats hide in flax behind a fence.
The cats I initially spotted. Photo credit: Newshub.

I don't know how those cats got there, whether it was through dumping, or one that ran away from home and met a few strays.

But I do know there would be a lot less of them living in that bush if more cats were desexed.

Desexing a cat is a simple operation, it costs less than $100 at most Auckland vets and can be performed on any feline over 1kg in weight.

Contrary to popular belief you don't need to wait until the cat is six months old to do it. In fact that could be too late as cats can get pregnant by four months, which is not good for them at all.

Failing to desex a cat means it's more likely to get into fights, males are more likely to spray to mark their territory and the stray population will continue to rise.

Stray cats can lead a rough life. None of the cats living in the colony I found Eve look a healthy weight, and she was skin and bones when I found her.

A ginger kitten sleeping on its side.
Eve asleep after a busy morning. Photo credit: Newshub.

Would you like living in a bush, fearful of anyone walking by, fighting for food and unable to get any medical treatment when you get sick?

There's such a short timeline to get to kittens who are born stray. Once the cat is more than 12-weeks-old, taming it to make it suitable for rehoming is requires patience and knowledge a lot of people don't have.

Eve is lucky, we've guessed she was around nine-weeks-old when she was caught, wailing and bouncing off the walls of the cat carrier I brought out on a rainy Monday.

I realised the same day I found Eve another stray kitten in the same colony was in danger of ending up spending his life on the streets too. I called him Sooty for his jet black fur and he was naturally a little bit more distrustful.

A black kitten sits outside a cat trap.
Sooty inspects a cat trap. Photo credit: Newshub.

I played a three week game of cat and mouse with Sooty, using two different traps, many bags of cat food and far too much of my own time.

But, unlike many of the already adult cats living stray on the streets, Eve and Sooty had a fleeting chance at a living inside loving home.

One where they will be desexed, microchipped and vaccinated every single year, living free of pests and disease.

Eve guaranteed that for herself the second she walked into a hastily laid trap, not noticing the fishing line I had laid down to pull the trigger.

And as of January 17, Sooty did too.   

A small black kitten inside a cage, with his face pressed against the mesh and big yellow eyes.
Sooty, now named Jet, after he was caught, before he moved on to his new forever home. Photo credit: Newshub.

Katie Fitzgerald is a Digital News Producer for Newshub.

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