It's been pouring here, drenching down pours. To think of kittens out in that, made me cringe.
I went down and first talked to the coffee stand folks. One of them had caught one of the kittens two days earlier. Unfortunately, the person she thought could take the kitten backed out. And she has two large dogs who eat kittens. So the kitten had been living in a crate in the back of her car. She asked if I'd take her, so I did.
I got her to my bathroom and she acted feral, but then wanted petted and on my lap and even on my shoulder. She is darling! A little torbi girl, very skinny.
8 or 9 weeks of age.
After she got settled in my bathroom, which meant kicking out my cats again, I went back over with more traps and tarps I'd cut, but they're old icky tarps, to cover the traps.
I caught a black kitten with a brilliant white chest spot. He's a bit bigger than the torbi girl, probably because he's a boy and she's a girl. Then I caught a massive black male. This alerted me to the fact these kittens were not dumped here, but born here, to adults who were likely dumped originally.
I went and talked to another business. Some workers there also feed the cats. They told me there were four or five adults and the kittens. They were not sure if there were three or four kittens.
Nutria were everywhere around the businesses, as they are in many places in Oregon. They love the rain more than we do. Their oily coats are waterproof. They have huge yellow teeth and they can sink those into your ankle should startle one in the dark. They seemed to have shit on the curbs surrounding the businesses. Why not in the field, I thought. Their greenish smooth elongated pellets lined every curb in one place.
Nutria generally eat grasses, but they'll eat cat food too, so I knew it'd be difficult to trap there.
Nonetheless I set a trap in a corner with a cover over it. However, the down pour began, a ruthless deluge. I stared over at the trap to see the entire corner of the parking lot several inches underwater. The trap bottom was soaked and stood in three inches of water. I moved it to higher ground.
I caught whom I thought was the other tabby kitten, but pulling the cover back slightly, I realize its another adult, a torbi female, young and skinny.
However, much later I did catch another tiny scared tabby kitten. Now Miss First in My Bathroom kitten, Miss Purr on My Shoulder, rejoined with her wild siblings, is acting wild again. What will I do with these kittens? They need tamed and judging from the first girl, when alone, it could happen quickly, but it won't happen here, where there is just me, and my cats are so mean to kittens. I need help with these little ones! Please!
As for the adults, they will be fixed and returned. The problem is getting an anesthesia release signed for them from the business whose workers feed. The main feeder won't be back til Thursday. She said she'd text me and we'd arrange the signing today. I hope she does. It gets hard here, holding onto extras.
It's a double insult to those helping cats in this county. We don't get paid for sitting out there in the rain and cold, to catch cats and kittens, who do need caught and fixed. Think what would happen if we didn't get all these cats and kittens fixed.
Then once caught, there's no further help either, in getting them fixed, or wild kittens socialized. The shelters only take tame kittens, and the shelter in this county, seems always full. There are no cat fixing programs that are helpful in the two counties either. So you catch a feral or two, you can wait a week or longer, until there's surgery space over at Heartland, and pay out of your pocket $40 each to fix the cat, or travel all the way to Portland to get them done at the FCCO. During the day, if you have no money, to kill time, you sit in a parking lot and hopefully its not too cold or too hot to sleep.
Do you ever see cat volunteers honored at local events honoring volunteers? Never! And yet we do so much volunteering, probably more than any other type of volunteer and pay out of pocket and we create better communities. It's a joke. We are a marginalized bunch. We're also awesome.
I've not got photos of the other two kittens or the adults yet.
Here are the two adults, and Heartland texted me about 10:00, that their surgery today is full, but they would work them in. AWESOME. They're over there now!
|Obviously a female, since she's a torbi. Looks just like her daughter.|
|Looks like a boy to me.|