Tag Archives: feral kittens

Nothing Ever Goes as Planned

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I’ve been delaying an update on Piggy, Vickie, and the SEVEN kittens, because I have hardly a thing to say.

First, the SPCA is crammed full of kittens and there is no room for my seven. It’s so sad. So much irresponsibility regarding cats in this county. If you are feeding them, maybe it’s up to you to make sure that food isn’t making more kittens? Sigh.

Well, I am feeding them, and I do feel responsible. Even though I live 20 minutes away, these are my babies.

Firstly, I had difficulty getting a cat trap. So a few days of my week off were wasted in regards to cat trapping!

I did catch Vickie on Wednesday. I thought like a cat, and moved the trap a few times to make it seem ‘safe.’ I also had to distract all the babies with food, while also making sure she knew where more food was. It didn’t quite go as planned, as she went in twice and didn’t trigger the drop down door. The third time she did, but it also caught the all black kitten, Bear.

Me, watching Vickie not-trigger the trap!

Vickie freaked right the hell out, of course. My first surprise was how quiet she was, no vocalisations at all. Just banging around trying to escape. But when I picked up the trap with her and Bear in it she bit the hell out of him, right on the back of the neck. He screamed. It was horrible! I had to let him out, somehow, and I did.

My brilliant husband came with me and drove to the vet that would do the spay on Vickie, and I am so thankful as my adrenaline was through the roof making my hands shake and my brain less than perfectly functional. It’s also super hard to find parking so no way could I deal with all at once.

The volunteer I’ve been working with took Vickie back and released her, but I couldn’t get the trap back until Friday. Himself came with me again, with high hopes.

I sort of … pushed Piggy Peggy into the trap. She’s my friend, I didn’t want to trick her too much. But it didn’t work; she immediately got out the other side and then she was mad at me. Fail. She left the area completely and we gave up.

I couldn’t even try to get Piggy again this week. I work until 6, and the vet doing the TNR closes at 4. I also give a coworker a lift home so I couldn’t stay late even if they did stay open longer.

Also, Piggy was upset with me and didn’t appear until Wednesday this week. Then it rained like hell for two days. I’ve still been feeding the babies of course.

Yep, seven. Didn’t this start with four? I’m thinking four are Peggy’s, and a bit older, and the other five are Vickie’s. Bear, Shark, and Jupiter are definitely Peggy’s kids. It’s so hard to tell the other ones apart.

I did name another one yesterday. There is one very small baby with an all black face, and she has gotten so brave in the last two days! She is now Elf. Maybe she is the runt of Peggy’s litter?

I’ve been playing with them as well, and between the cheese and the toy, I get Elf, Shark, and Jupiter climbing up my legs. Touching is still iffy, but today I managed to get in some full-hand strokes, not just a finger on the back. The shy ones play by themselves after they eat, but the named ones stick by me.

Cheese please?

I was also given some wormer, seen here. Hoping those fat bellies are my good food and not worms. But it’s likely worms.

Today wasn’t so good. I heard a lot of sneezing. Peggy came up and didn’t want cheese, she only wanted to sit on the blanket beside me. I eventually got her to eat a little bit, but she definitely did not feel good. I rang the TNR vet and I can pick up some antibiotics tomorrow to put in the food. I hope they eat it. I also hope I can catch Peggy.

This whole experience has been harder than I thought, and scary, and stressful. I’m super happy I have Vickie spayed now but so much more needs done. I’d still love some donations for the SPCA, they might take the babies if room opens up.

…And on Wednesday, Even Closer…

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It was raining like hell on Wednesday, and I had little time with the cats as I had a personal emergency and so lost my lunch 45mins.

I fed them under the bushes so they wouldn’t get rained on too much. I got wet of course!

Something is wrong here…

Ah, no!

One two three four five … six. Six kittens now? I swear they are multiplying.

Six. Sigh. This gets worse every day. Except… look how close I am to them all. That’s very good! I stroked the ones who let me, but I move slowly and quietly and try not to hover my hand or arm overhead as that scares them.

Piggy The Teacher

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The first thing PP did to surprise me involved an elderly turkey sandwich.

Vickie came to see me first, and I was tossing bits of turkey and cheese her way (I didn’t need a lunch, right? It was a couple days old anyhow). She wouldn’t come close to me at all. Eventually Piggy showed up, came to me, sat beside me, got some loving and some cheese, and then she went to sniff the bread, which I’d left on the ground next to me, thinking they wouldn’t have any interest in it.

Piggy picked up half the bread (French loaf type), took it over to Vickie and dropped it, then gave a “momma cat call.” She was calling her teenager over and saying, “Hey! You missed this. Look, it’s got butter on it! Eat it, dummy! That weird big cat over there has good stuff, and you can trust her.”

Well, I was gobsmacked. Even more so when Piggy took the other half off into the bushes. I knew it was for the still-hidden kittens. Wow!

In the middle of this, the tomcat showed up. I’m calling him Big Boy. He’s honestly not that big, as he’s mostly floof.

He was stalking Vickie and looked like big trouble. I was about to get in between them when someone left the parking area making lots of scary car noise, and everyone scattered. Whew, right?

Big Boy came back a few days later, and as above, he perched on a wall. I got closer and closer until I was about a meter and a half away before he fled.

He is gorgeous. He has the lightest ice blue eyes, and faint orange/red colour on his face. He’s also filthy as hell on his belly and feet, poor lad. This was taken on the 17th. I was assuming he was trouble for the kittens, especially after Piggy growled at him during the ‘stalking.’

Backtracking a bit to the 15th, when the kittens started popping through the fence to get food.

The all black one was first. He was brave. I’m assuming he, for no reason whatsoever. So there we have black kitten, Piggy Peggy, and Vickie.

Yum yum yum!

I’m using those bright blue bowls on purpose – a visual cue that food can be found inside.

This Monday Vickie was right there when I called, even before Peggy. Then three wee ones popped through the fence. The black one, and two B&W ones.

Vickie is still very scared, so has run to be safe behind the fence. At this point, the kittens are warming to me via the blue bowl of noms. This also tells me that Vickie is being a good aunt to these babies by helping keep them warm and guarding them. They trust and follow her.

Piggy Peggy shows up and we do our usual cuddle greeting. I get a second bowl so she can eat, too.

Then… Big Boy arrives. I get tense as I know male cats kill kittens sometimes. He goes to the now-empty first bowl. The kittens have moved to the closer one to steal from momma.

Piggy…doesn’t care?

What is going on here?

I dole out more wet food.

Big Boy is actually sharing it with the kittens. Piggy isn’t worried at all. I’m baffled.

He actually turns away and stops eating to let the wee ones have their fill. Exactly the way Peggy and Vickie do.

All this time I’m sitting quite still and trying to remember to talk to the cats, getting them used to my sounds and calls so they associate my voice with food. I’m also checking to see if Big Boy is deaf like so many white cats – he isn’t. But he does have a raging case of ear mites; I can see the dirt they leave. Yuck.

He backs off when I get more food. He actually sits to the side and proceeds to groom himself. I’m thinking he’s pretty comfortable with me if he can do that.

I’m feeling sorry for Peggy who has given all her food to the babies. Still trying to get them closer to me, I fill the closer bowl. That’s when I get to touch two of kittens! They came at a run to momma’s call. I gave them gentle strokes on the head and back, one finger only, while they ate even more.

These are the two I made contact with. The all black one, and one of the black and whites. I think my efforts are paying off and I’m taking the feral out of them with Piggy’s help.

I’m only up to Monday. I have more!