We made a couple of quick, unscheduled posts last night regarding the feral kittens we apprehended. One of the BDR guys who was here to work on the new race car came across them near the gate down to the south pastures. Agent Smith and the other mechanics managed to eventually wrangle all four of them and we shoved them into the boys’ travel cage. We then tried to trap their mother but she wasn’t interested in that idea.
When we had given up hope and had set the kennel back out by the fence with the door open so she could come reclaim the kittens (they’re close to 6 weeks old but not weened,) it seems the smell of some fresh salami was too much for her and instead of getting her kids out of the kennel she checked out the trap.
So last night we set about making her and the kittens as comfortable as possible over in the studio. We got them all safely in the kennel and left them with water and some more salami. When we awoke this morning everyone was alert if not incredibly pleased by the situation.
All the local shelters are apparently closed on Mondays so I thought sorting out what to do with momma and co. had to wait until tomorrow. In the mean time, I went over to this afternoon and coaxed momma back into the trap where she promptly took a very large dump. I then removed the kittens, cleaned the kennel and put down fresh bedding (which is also more absorbent the flimsy towel we used last night.) Then it was very easy to transfer everyone back into the kennel and hose down the trap.
Momma cat has stopped hissing at me on first sight as I think she has figured out that while the situation is not ideal, we’re doing our best to keep everyone safe and together until we can sort out what to do with them all.
Then the local humane society called me back (I’d left a message this morning) and gave me better advice than the TNR folks I spoke to last night and this morning. Seems that the kittens have a good chance of leaving the feral system if we take them in when they’re mostly weaned and under 2lbs in weight. We could take them in as early as tomorrow since they’re pretty mobile and have all their teeth, but the more time we give them with their mom the better off they’ll be in the future. The ideal goal will be to get the kittens weaned, checked over by a vet and then find homes for them. They will also need socialized them, but the humane society may be able to help all of this. We will also get momma cat spayed and release her back on to the property. We figure we’re always going to have ferals here and maybe by going the TNR route we can at least manage things without resorting to outright killing cats with the air rifle.
So if you’re local and are looking to adopt a cat, let us know.