by Madeline Laughs
We still go downstairs every morning and feed Ferela and Dumbass. The last of their last litter, Tiger and Midnight, were adopted by my mother in law. She has worked with them patiently, finally taming them. Tiger will now crawl into her lap and Midnight winds around her legs for treats. Both of these feral and forgotten-about kitties are active members in her household and she doesn’t know how she ever lived without them.
Being loved and adored by a cat is some kind of special. A cat chooses who they will fawn over, not the other way around.
It wasn’t long after getting Tiger and Midnight situated at my mother in law’s house that we discovered another pregnant feline had checked into our House of Wayward Feral Felines. She was chubby with babies and ravenously hungry.
She was also missing the top half of one of her ears. It was probably bitten off in a fight of some sort, but here on the beach the vet snips the tip of one ear off to signify the feral cat has been “fixed“. When we finally do trap her to be spayed we will have to have this ear notched on the side. Poor baby is going to have one mangled looking ear, but at least the dog catcher will leave her alone. They won’t trap and euthanize a feral cat that has been spayed or neutered. The notch saves their lives.
We watched everyday for her teats to droop, signalling she had given birth to her litter. Once we realized she had them hidden some place close, we went and scouted for them.
The litter was in a small shed in our neighbors backyard and all of us watched eagerly for them to get big enough to start following her around. There had been a lot of bad weather those few weeks, so we started leaving the garage door propped open with a few bricks so the feral colony could take refuge inside during the worst of it.
One afternoon when I returned from shopping, Little Mama, our new name for her, ran by the garage door, followed by her gaggle of babies. They were so small and adorable! But instead of following Little Mama into the empty lot next door to hide in the weeds, the kittens all scooted under the open garage door, out of sight.
I walked over, removed the bricks and successfully trapped them in the garage.
Our plan was to tame them while they were still very small. To do that we were planning to set live traps outdoors until we caught them all. Then we could trap Little Mama and get her spayed. Trapping them all in the garage was just a stroke of luck!
The first weeks the kittens were in the garage, Little Mama cried for them at night. She stood in the Kitty Disco at the back door downstairs, triggering the security lights, and howled because she knew they were in there, and she couldn’t get to them. It was a heartbreaking sound.
For many weeks we put out food and water for the kittens, but we never saw them. We never heard them either. In the beginning we weren’t sure how many kittens were in the litter and we weren’t sure that we had trapped the whole litter in the garage either. We knew they were in there because the food always went missing and they were using the potty box.
They also used my potted plants as a potty box at first. But eventually they just used the potty box. I guess when the whole outdoors is your potty, it’s kind of a drag to be relegated to just one box.
We finally decided we would have to trap them in a live trap inside of the garage in order to be able to tame them successfully. Thus the story of the Feral Five was born! Stay tuned!
- Zionsville clinic offering reduced spay/neutering for feral cats (fox59.com)
- Feral cats (meinkat.com)
- Stray Cat Spay Neuter Return Program Makes Progress (newcumberlandnews.com)
- Houston woman finds homes, jobs for feral cats (click2houston.com)
- Warning: Rant! (theveganpennypincher.wordpress.com)
- Cats for Adoption: Felines in Difficult Places (thecreativecat.net)
- Feral Treasures Works To Control Wild Cats (gloucestercitynews.net)
- The First Days (catquadrupled.wordpress.com)
- Register, Volunteer or Donate for Homeless Cat Management Team Clinics (thecreativecat.net)