Monday, September 01, 2014

Last Crop of Kittens

Kitten season is winding down.  At least, some would love to believe that, or, dare to hope that.

I was back to the Corvallis colony.  Remember that one?  A woman who with her husband had bought a house so as to move their mother from Albany into it, contacted me because of all the wild cats around it, including two mothers and four kittens.

The house turned out to be across the street from the house owned by a former friend I had met along the river.  She fed cats along the river during the time I lived along the river, off and on homeless.  Her name was Dorothy.  Dorothy was originally from England but she married an American GI after WWII and moved with him back to his home town--Corvallis.  He died then she did, several years ago.

Now Dorothy's daughter, maybe two of them, and at least one grand daughter with husband and kid  occupy the house and the backyard is no longer a pristine paradise of flowers.  It's where an over sized pitbull digs and poops and it smells like a dog yard now.   Next to it is an apartment complex where another woman feeds stray cats.  I first got involved trapping cats to be fixed there years ago.

I knew where the source of the cats were, as a result, now living behind the newly acquired house across the street.  I trapped four adults but only two of the four kittens.  Those two kittens, a month apart in age, survived severe URI's.  I tamed them and got them into a WA rescue.  Only two of the four adults I trapped survived.  One big male tested positive for FIV and was euthanized at the FCCO clinic while a skinny old black female was euthanized due to severe health issues, including a mouth full of rotten teeth.

The two surviving adults now are well cared for across the street.  At the apartments, however, there was a smaller black cat the feeder woman swore was already fixed and had never had kittens.  Well, guess what.  She sent me an e-mail with this picture two days ago.  Someone had heard something in the night, from a third floor apartment no less, thought it was a bird caught in something, went to investigate and found these guys wandering the parking lot, three of them:

I went over this morning.  We searched everywhere near where the cats are fed and where this photo was taken a week ago and did not find them.  So I watched the mother, from the street on the other side, and after she was fed, she did not cross the street, or leave the driveway, after coming through the fence hole to the driveway beside Dorothy's house.  So where was she, with the kittens?  In Dorothy's backyard.

Her daughter was very eager to let myself and the feeder woman into the big backyard with an expansive deck off a little garage, to look for the kittens.  I did not want them to die, like two of the other four had died I trapped for earlier this summer are presumed dead.  When the feeder woman was looking for the three latest, she had found a lone dead kitten.  All this suffering needed to end here.

We immediately heard kitten mews as we approached the deck but then silence.  The mews came from under the deck.  It took awhile laying flat on dog pooped bug infested dead lawn peering under the deck with flashlights and mirrors to locate the kittens.  First I saw the unfixed black tux cat under there, only four feet from my flashlight and face, too.  Then I saw the black female and when she spooked, I saw something small and black against the concrete backside of the deck.   Kittens!

I moved a big chunk of concrete beside a hole they used to enter the underground beneath the deck, to enlarge it so if I laid out on the deck in a certain way and twisted my arm a certain way I could force it through that hole and if I strained, I could feel the fur of a kitten.  After I felt them with my fingers, I petted them with one finger, straining to do so, but at that age, I knew they'd come out on their own to a friendly finger.  They did.

Three kittens.  One Snowshoe Siamese girl.  Two blacks, one a boy, one a girl.  They are crawling in fleas and two are seriously ill with URI's.  They have flea anemia from the blood suckers and would not have lasted long.

They are in my bathroom now.  The drop of Advantage I applied to each is doing its job.  Wish I had Capstar for quicker flea deaths, but I have what I have.  They are on antibiotics and sleep atop a warming frisbee and I love them.  Maternally glowing I am!

Tomorrow morning any and all survivors (the black boy is the most ill) will go right back to where they came from.  I'm taking them to use as bait to try to catch their mom.  Wouldn't that be nice.  She should be uncomfortable in milk for sure by morning.  Let's hope it works.  The feeder lady is leaving on three different vacations in the next month, starting tomorrow, and this needs done and over with once and for all.

For kittens as bait, I put them in a cozy carrier with a warmer (I have the frisbee warmers), feed them first, and put the carrier door right against the back of a set trap.  I drape the carrier and back half of the trap with a blanket and sit back and wait.   Sometimes the moms don't want anything to do with their kittens and seem happy they are gone.  But when they cry it is very hard for a mother cat to resist going to them.  If the only way she can even see them is by going through a trap, then she'll be caught.

If I catch her, she'll get to take care of them.  She's not up for mother of the year, taking them into a pit bull yard.

How cute is she?  She is the healthiest of the three.

Two little blacks sleeping, but mouth breathing due to severe congestion from colds.  The little girl by this evening is much better.  I hope they both make it. 

Under the Pit Bull's deck.
Well, might need some name suggestions.  If I catch mom in the morning, she'll be here awhile caring for them.  If I don't catch her, I'll have to do so later, when the feeder woman returns, and then I'll be bottle feeding the kids til I find a rescue to take that over and if that happens, I hope the bottle babe masters up in West Linn, PAWS, can undertake it.  They are the best with the babes.

I don't have the same phone number anymore.  I had to downgrade.  I could not afford the cheapest prepaid card on the net10 phone any longer.  Now I have a deal for 250 minutes a month on a cheap little tracfone.  The screen is so small (one inch by one inch) I must be improving my eye sight just by using it.  I can purchase more minutes but there's no sense to it, as more minutes are unbelievably expensive on tracfone and if I come into that kind of extra money, like $25, I'll just reactivate that net10 phone for a luxurious month of 1000 minutes.  In the meantime, I'm adjusting.  I have an old microphone and I can call out from here on google talk for nothing.  Free is good!


  1. Good luck. I do hope you get them all this time.
    Kitten season is just ramping up here. And there will be far too many of them.

  2. I know, EC, always too many. It seems strange to think you starting spring while everything here winds down into fall and winter.