by Madeline Laughs
A couple of years ago my husband and I started taking care of a pregnant feline that showed up on our doorstep one morning. From there it became a feline colony that we regularly care for on a daily basis.
We love these cats.
Follow the story that captured the adoration of many of my friends on Facebook. This is the beginning of the FERAL FIVE UPDATE stories posted periodically as a litter of feral kittens came of age and the trials and rewards of taming the feral.
~SEPTEMBER 30, 2012
We have kit-tens! Our neighbor Bill came to get us this afternoon. They were just making their first foray into the world on shaky baby legs. Eyes are open, but still blue. We saw three of them, two black and one tuxedo. SO CUTE!
~OCTOBER 20, 2012
Just received a text picture from Chris of our first sighting of the new feral kitten litter! OMG! They are so cute! I wish Susan was here to make the feral kitten hiss for me 🙂
~NOVEMBER 24, 2012
Coming home the other day, my friend Angie and I spotted Little Mama running across the patio under the deck in front of the house. Close behind her bounded three little kittens.When the weather here started turning nasty my husband placed two bricks under the garage door so it safely stayed opened just enough that our feral colony could slip in out of the rain and cold. Daily when he went down to feed them breakfast, or I went to the laundry room, one of them would run out after a nice, warm nap.
The kittens are weaned, but still babies. Thinking they were making a safer run for it than following mama, they each scooted under the garage door. Ha! This sure saved me the anguish of setting a live trap for them! I removed the bricks and closed the door!
Now we have three of the most adorable kittens in our garage, but they’re feral, skittish and missing mama. Mama is missing them too and spent last night crying under our window. It makes us sad, but it has to be done. The kittens will slowly be domesticated so we can find forever homes for them and mama will be trapped and spayed. She will most likely become a member of our small outdoor colony now.
Any ideas about how we can get these babies to warm up to us? We put out cardboard boxes yesterday with toys and catnip and they played with wild abandon!! But they hide every time we come in. All advice is welcomed, so please chime in 🙂
We cornered the kittens in the garage this morning. There are definitely four of them, maybe five. One of the tuxedo kittens has gummy eyes and is much smaller than the others. The larger kittens put themselves at risk trying to protect this one and hopped, spit and hissed like wild animals every time I reached for him. That’s the one I’m most interested in catching because he needs medical attention.
I did grab one of them. Unfortunately, it was one of the bigger kittens and this little guy was a handful! He growled and tore at my gloved hand like he would kill me if he could. I had never heard such a ruckus from something so small. Chris couldn’t stop laughing because seeing me try to calm this animated tiger so I could pinch the nerve in his neck and physically disable him was comical because the whole time you’re trying desperately not to hurt the kitten and he’s trying to kill you.
They are all so adorable. One of the bigger tuxedo kittens lodged himself in a corner and we spent some time stroking his bottom and cooing to him. He looked at us with something less than fear…so progress!
I’ll keep you updated on our trials to catch the one that needs his eyes treated.
~DECEMBER 4, 2012
FERAL FIVE UPDATE!Today I was downstairs in my pajamas scooping the poop box shared by those adorable little furkids. I know that doesn’t sound all that risque, but I have to go outside, down the steps and around to the back of the house to get inside of the garage. I am a vision to behold in the morning hours.I happened to look up from my mundane task of figuring out how many of them still have the Hershey squirts from being wormed. Underneath the shelf and on top of the cabinet that was about an inch away from my forehead…was a cute little bundle of Ihateyouhumanbitchandyouwillnevertouchme kitty baby.I think I caused him a huge anxiety attack and I’m sure he was up there holding his breath. We locked eyes and then I cooed softly to him a bit, but didn’t reach for him. Trapping day is coming soon my little pretty! And you will be cuddled and nuzzled and YOU WILL LIKE IT!
Every morning when I get up I scoop 3 litterboxes. I feed 5 adult cats and 5 kittens. I fill 3 water dishes and I keep track of who gets what food and if I need to buy more. I watch and check them for disease or afflictions and I treat them or take them to the vet.As long as they bless me with their presence, there will never be a day that I am not responsible for all of these things. They will never grow up and clean their own litterboxes or make their own dinner. They will never be able to tell me where it hurts or if they don’t feel well. I will always have to know them well enough to just see all of these things.I will always have to be vigilant of them and their welfare. It’s called being a pet owner and the rewards, the unconditional love, the snuggles and the naps together, just like the responsibility…are endless.
~DECEMBER 9, 2012
Little Mama update!!
She has a tentative appointment tomorrow morning to be spayed.
This morning we’ve been trying to trap her, but she’s smart. She goes in the trap and cranes her head cross the trap trigger and eats the food. This is so frustrating, but we will keep trying to get her!
We succeeded in trapping Ferela 🙂 We don’t need to trap her because she’s already spayed…and she had already eaten her breakfast, but I guess the extra food in the trap was too hard to resist.
~DECEMBER 10, 2012
FERAL FIVE UPDATE!!!No one wants a feral kitten…except my husband and I.Feline Hope doesn’t want them unless they are already tame and said they would find someone to help us, but never followed up.
Coastal Humane Society doesn’t take any animals at all.
The SPCA will euthanize them upon receipt.
We have five feral babies. So I guess today I’m buying a couple of kennels and Chris and I will start taming them.
Note: We were unable to catch Little Mama yesterday, but we did catch Baby Daddy. We had never seen him before yesterday. He’s at the vet now being neutered. It’s raining CATS over here!!!!!
~LATER THAT SAME DAY…
Unfortunately, I was just informed that Baby Daddy tested positive for Feline Aids. He already had lesions.
He was laid to rest this afternoon.