|Feisty and Angel|
I have been overwhelmed lately...so whats new? As you may know, a mother cat brought 4 kittens to my porch a couple weeks ago. I did the humane thing by feeding them and to my surprise...they stayed. (gasp!)
Now my intentions are pure. I can't turn my back on strays, especially in winter. My electric bills and food bills will testify to that. I have 4 heat lamps running, numerous beds and blankets arranged to thwart the cold...and I go through so much cat food...and not the cheap stuff either. No, they're eating pretty darn good, ala Friskies and Iams, both kibble and canned. And while I'm saying that so are my raccoons.
Last Wednesday I waited until Ray went to work, then ... I went to work. I placed two square cages (used to hold my cats during hurricane threat) on my back porch. I then waited until the raccoons left (at 7am on the nose! I swear they adhere to a very regimented schedule of foraging. I rarely see any of them linger beyond 7am.) Then, while the cats were milling around, waiting for breakfast, I slipped the food into the cages...and in they walked. I closed the doors behind them. Success!
Well, not really all that easy, but I'm going to skip over how one of the kittens refused to get inside a cage and how the sister cat was MIA. And I'm going to skip the part where I knocked over the water dish and generally scared the snot out of the cats with my clumsiness...but still they were hungry and went into the cages and all turned out lovely.
Then came the part where I had to carry these two cages upstairs to the cat apartment. Let's just say I'm not getting any younger. The one cage held two kittens that were freaking out. Once they were upstairs, I ran back down for the other cage that held Mom cat and one of the kittens. For a small cat Mom was heavy. I think I broke a heart valve carrying that one upstairs. Then I had to catch the remaining tabby kitten. I took a cat carrier down, put inside some stinky tuna...pretended to...oh, you know...dust and fiddle with the blankets while Junior squinted at me with both menace and suspicion. Finally, hunger won and when he went inside, I closed the door. Dang! but he was mad! He snarled and hissed and I actually danced back a few feet before getting my act together and carrying him upstairs.
I released everyone and they huddled on a cat tree. Clearly I was not the same friendly lady who fed them on the porch. Now I was The Monster. Whatev! I'm not getting attached.
Next I had to catch the sister cat. She turned up the next morning. I did the stinky tuna in cat carrier thing...she walked in, closed the door. Voila! Well, again not that easy and this time I soaked one of my beloved Sperry shoes, but I got her upstairs. I then had to bungee cord the door shut because in winter the door will not stay closed, and I have way too many curious cats (Opie leading the pack) that would push open the door and let the strays loose.
On Friday I registered the two adult cats at Elmore Road Veterinary Clinic under the aliases Stray #1 and Stray #2. I'm not naming them, cuz we all know if you name them, somehow, someway... they end up staying. Anyway! Turns out, mom cat's sister is actually her brother. That's the cat who let me rub her...um, his tummy. Friendly, although a bit freaked out over all that has been going on.
While the adults were gone, I moved the feisty tabby into my downstairs guest bathroom. He scared the dickens out of me with his hissing and swiping of his razor sharp claws. I had to get him away from his litter mates. You know, divide and conquer. It kinda worked. I was able to pet him despite his growling. I took pity on him and brought his tabby sister who is an ANGEL! He stopped growling and this morning I held him in my lap for the first time. Meanwhile, the two black kittens sat in my cat apartment waiting for their mom to return. The room is too large for any kind of success at taming them. I decided to move them to the bathroom but ended up bringing just one downstairs because the other left a really nice gouge in my palm.
Last Friday I returned the freshly spayed/neutered adults to the cat apartment. Mom cat is sincerely sweet and I hope she will get a home. The brother cat is nice, and but seems on the fence as to whether or not to trust me. He lets me pet him but does the squinty eye thing making me wonder if Junior isn't his son.
Next week I'm supposed to have a no kill shelter rescue group inspect the cat family to determine whether they are adoptable. PetsMart will be displaying cats in February and I really want this family to be adopted, because otherwise they will be back outside.
With these kittens I can see it will be one step forward three steps back to get them tamed. But there is hope. There is always always hope.