If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have a soft spot for cats. We have several house cats and have taken care of (and taken in, when we can) any stray cats that show up in our yard. Recently, we had a stray arrive who turned out to be pregnant. She was very skittish and so we weren’t able to catch her before the kittens were born. We did discover that she was caring for her young under a nearby shed in the community garden of the church at the end of our block so we have been taking food to her a couple times a day. Some days, she even wandered up to our house for food. We had hoped that, by caring for Mama Cat, we were helping her take care of her kittens.
Somedays, if we sat quietly after Mama went back under the shed, we could hear the kittens shout for her. When we heard that, we knew we were doing a good thing.
We attempted to calculate when Mama, who we named Zoey, had her kittens so that we could extrapolate how old the kittens were and when they would need to start moving to solid food. By this weekend, we knew that the kittens would be about three weeks old and starting to be more active and mobile.
Sunday was a warm, sunny day and Zoey came up to the house for food and then walked me back to the garden where she let me coax the kittens out from under the shed and give them some wet food. It was a frenzy of wobbly-legged little puff balls that left Bob and I giddy but exhausted. I can’t imagine how Zoey must have been feeling caring for all SIX of these little critters on her own!
We weren’t prepared to catch them on Sunday but we knew we needed to do it soon before one adventurous kitten wandered away from the nest and got lost or injured.
Monday it rained all day so we did our best to get food to Zoey but we suspected we wouldn’t see the kittens.
Yesterday, however, was a different story. Zoey met me on the back step the minute I got home, hungry and ready to eat. I fed her and then we walked back to the garden together where all the kittens came out as soon as I got there. Eeeek! I fed them and then ran back to the house to get a carrier and Bob. We went back to the garden, fingers crossed that we would be able to catch all the kittens and that Zoey would be accepting of joining them and coming back to the house.
The kittens did come back out and we scooped them up and put them in the carrier, one by one. After catching the last kitten, we picked up Zoey and set her gently in the carrier with the babies and they all settled down. Relief! We walked slowly back to the house and, thanks to video advice from the Kitten Lady on YouTube, we set them up (temporarily) in our bathroom. The kittens are safe in our tub with cushions and a cardboard box hidey hole and Zoey can lounge with her kittens or on the floor nearby on blankets with plenty of food, water and comfort.
We have an appointment scheduled to take them all in for their first round of shots and a check up early next week. If you want to follow along with all the kitten adventures, check out our cat-only Instagram.
Thanks for listening to our cat-tales. Now, to the content you actually came her to read!
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- Lawrence Weschler’s Taxonomy of Convergences (via Austin Kleon)
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