Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Tiny Scream


Update: The Animal Crackers woman helping trap the nursing home colony called this a.m. and offered to take this little bottle babe. I jumped on the offer, grateful. Precocious (the name I gave her, in her one night here) just left. Original post about finding her follows....

I spent the evening at that warehouse, mostly in the black, wind shaking the metal doors of warehouses distant and near, on this property. The huge bay doors groaned and creaked and moaned and slammed and banged and then went back to hanging silent. Those doors must like the wind, gives a break from the monotony of hanging and nothing else. When the wind blows, even a hanging piece of metal makes music.

There are at least 28 fixed cats out there. I drop trapped three of the unfixed ones early on this evening. Then caught no more unfixed cats until I left, at the time I, in my mind, agreed upon. I caught some fixed cats, yes, of course. There are plenty of those out there.

The warehouse has more of a bird problem than a cat problem. Swallows swoop by the score, by the hundreds, and Starlings litter the air with their squawks and trills. Bird poop drops from the sky and I so wished I'd worn a hat, to avoid getting bird poop hair!

I determined to stop by the nursing home colony. Maybe I would get lucky, I reasoned, catch one of those last two, both pregnant. I arrive and begin to set up the drop trap. I passed the long hair black unfixed girl on the way in and eyed her, wishing I could just toss a net over her.

As I was about to prop up the trap, I hear something, some peeping sound, but growing in intensity. "Must be a bird," I thought. The sound grew louder. I turned my head this way and that to try to locate the source.

"Kittens!"

The teensy barely audible mews had become lion screams. This was a desperate soul who knew someone was passing, in the dark, and that it might be the last soul to pass and the last chance to be saved. So this kitten, fully aware that life was passing by in the heavy footsteps of a human, took a big chance and bellowed out her location and empty stomach and sorrows, like a mom who left her here, cold on the stones in the dark beneath an immovable object with no way out. She screamed knowing I was not her mother and not even a cat and she didn't care, because somebody had to save her. It was a big risk for a kitten to take. It better not be a raccoon digging her out, or a possum with all those sharp teeth.

I knelt beside the metal storage container. At the back, sure, where the ground fell away, the container was propped on blocks, leaving some space underneath, not much. But there was no space up front, between the metal bottom edge and the gravel and dirt it sat on. I went from this side to the other side, listening, calling in "cat", to the kitten, who wanted me to find her very very badly.

I finally began to dig with my hands, pulling the gravel away from the edge of the container, then digging under that edge, frantically. I was laying on my stomach in the dark in the dirt, reaching under through the hole I'd dug out, and feeling up in that little section. Something soft touched my hand. A tiny mouth latched onto my palm, trying to suckle. The screaming stopped for a moment.

I withdrew my hand, to try to get the kitten to squeeze out after it. She did.

She wanted me. She was cold and starving. She was under that foot wide section of the metal storage unit. Metal slats run cross ways a foot apart underneath. She somehow squeezed into that chamber, but a mother cat would not fit.

I wonder who the mother is. Is it the black teenager I'd passed on the way in? Did she have only one and abandon her, as so many teen mom cats do? Did raccoons or possums kill the others?

When I first drove up I saw a long hair tan cream tabby eating where the staff feed the two cats they claim. I'd never seen that cat before. It's not Little Fluffy, the long hair male, returned after he was fixed. Maybe that's the mom. I didn't see the other one, the pregnant medium hair with smooth abbytabby colored hair. She was pregnant. Maybe this one is hers.

But then I remember the big black short hair male relentlessly pursuing the black long hair teen female. I look at this sleek black kitten, and I think of both of them together. Its the teen mom's kitten. She probably got fed up and couldn't hack it. She was fifty feet away from where I found the kitten when I drove in and that kitten was screaming from the moment I parked and got out. She would have heard that. If she's the mother, she ignored her own kitten screaming. That's pretty cold.

She may have other kittens and moved who she could move. No place safe from raccoons, possums, rain and cold for kittens there. Must be tough for a mother to bear.

I came home. The kitten is nestled inside my shirt asleep. I didn't have KMR but I had some colostrum and I fed her, while sitting on the toilet and while the nine ferals in my bathroom from the Albany business stared, wide eyed. I'm hoping the seed warehouse will take three of the business cats, at least, for helping them out. I'm hoping that very much.

I wanted to trap several places tomorrow. Now I have a bottle babe to complicate the picture, three cats in traps, all teens from the seed warehouse, nine ferals in my bathroom and the rest of my pouty whiny crowd to keep happy, too.

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