I called a friend around the block who always has cats, took in a dog that wandered by as a puppy, let a stray hen live with his dog, and has cats. Not only that, but he has church people over all the time, a youngish crowd, it appears. I called just now and explained my weakness when I fell for the cat and my dilemma with my back, needing to care for chickens, and how he might help me by taking the cat or helping me find it a home amongst his friends.
Tony readily agreed. Yay! One of his three cats disappeared last week, so he said he could handle another cat. Plus, he said that someone had dropped off the last cat he got, right on his porch with a bowl of food.
This is such a relief. I could see the future with the cat: raccoons eat it, I spend energy I don't have to care for it, I trip over it and further hurt myself, someone would have to care for it while I have back surgery, plus the worry I expend over my hen animals. I am not an animal person, but I really do want to do right by them and not cause them any problems by neglecting them or not doing the right thing. LOL...I do rescue them for someone else to care for!
It was already my desire to feed to my cat food I cooked. That would be another burden I don't need right now. There was a bag of Friskies here that I bought at the suggestion of someone when I was going to catch the raccoons. Everyone said that raccoons eat cat food,so put cat food out for cats. Well, all I ever caught were cats, pets I had to release in the morning.
Animal Control officers said to open sardines and toss the can to the back of the trap, beyond the trigger. That was way too expensive. So, I just dumped the sardines and tuna and left the oily, fish-smelling can. Raccoons are not going to look and assess the situation, "Hmmm, she did not leave food, just a food smelling can. So, I will skip this attempt at a meal." Yes, cats like emptied tuna and sardine cans, too. sigh....sigh
I used a single strawberry or strawberry scraps or a chunk of mango to catch every raccoon I ever caught. Not one cat fell for a strawberry. So, I still have the almost full bag of Friskies that I told Tony I would give to him.
Another thing--my last cat (1983) died because I could not afford to take her to the vet. She survived my running over her with the car while she was nursing kittens. No, I did not hit her in the act of nursing! But, two years later when she was with kits again, she was doing poorly and disappeared when she was due to give birth. I feel she died giving birth. I vowed never to have a cat until I could care for it properly. I loved that sweet cat.
My back seems to feel a bit better after that good news. My mind and heart is relieved of a heaviness and sadness about what I had done when I got the kitten. Now, I resume canning.
Thanks for your concern and the offer of help. I know she will be cared for and not abused. Plus, I am sure I will see her about the neighborhood.
How about this development? You can all stop worrying about Arabella.