and the proud Momma:She was abandoned when a neighbor moved out just before winter hit us last year. I saw her frequently through the winter, and when spring began unfolding I caught glimpses of her with the babies. I felt bad that she had such a harsh winter after being abandoned. She was extremely thin. I really don't know how she had enough milk for the babies; I couldn't see any teats on her at all. She originally had 4 kittens; 1 died.
One morning after an overnight cold snap, little grey mc fluffykins was sitting out in the next door neighbor's driveway, just a shivering ball. I asked him what was wrong and he just sat there, which was unusual. Normally he would have ran from me as soon as I talked. He just sat looking down the driveway as if waiting for something. I wondered if he was sick. I kept thinking about him all that day and night and wondering...
It weighed heavy on my mind...I kept thinking about how I had been mean to momma kitty. I had shooed her off our yard so much, she usually took a wide berth when passing us now...
And this was why: Her owners had 15+ cats in a tiny 700sq ft house...but that's not all that lived there-2 adults, 6 kids, 2 dogs, a rabbit, a couple of birds + who knows what else! Naturally, the cats couldn't stand it in the house after the first few weeks. I can tell you the smell was horrendous! The cats constantly came over and used our grass and backyard as their litter box. When they moved, they left cats behind to fend for themselves in October. Most disappeared that winter, but Momma kitty hung on.She stayed in that empty house for weeks until the windows were repaired and it was closed up. Then she took up refuge under a shed, at the neighbor on the opposite side of us. She kept going back all through the winter to see if her owners were coming back for her. When the handyman came to clean and repair the house, she would go running over there to see if her owner was coming back for her. Everytime someone came to look at the house she would run over there and watch hopefully... and then walk back to the shed down trodden when it wasn't anyone for her. Time and time again that happened. Even now as I type this I still cry for her. How sad it must be for her... STILL- I remembered my veternarian's advice about feeding ferals and strays and I DID NOT want these cats even THINKING about my yard. We have a cheap wire fence that barely suffices to keep our girls in (except for Crimson's occassional Houdini acts) I didn't want any trouble from these ferals and even though momma used to be domesticated, her babies were not.
Sorry for rambling on here-after the little grey mc fluffykins died, I didn't want to see kitties just starving to death just because the momma didn't know how to teach them to fend for themselves..so I used my 'handy grabby thingy'
and put out a couple of cans of tuna through the fence into their yard. Little socks could barely crawl up to the tuna can; they were all famished.
Well...I don't know how long I've been feeding them now; its been months. They have become my 'kiddos'. I first fed them twice a day and got them all healthy again. Then I began cutting them back so that they would become good mousers. I like to think of it as keeping them on retainer. :)Not only did I begin feeding them, but I would poke my fingers through the fence and start touching them. They were skittish at first, but eventually got used to me stroking them while they ate. Momma kitty was the toughest to crack; she remembered me being mean and even though I was feeding her, I could not be trusted. After the first snow, it became difficult to pass through the fence so I made the feeding place at the corner where our two fences meet. It made it possible for me to feed them at my feet and pet them more freely. Eventually, I have been able to tame all but Socks. He is still skittish about me touching him. But they all know their names.
And now this is the second half to this story:Cocoa Puff was mauled by a pit bull and for 3 days was unable to walk through the fence to come and eat. He was soooo swollen and and barely able to walk. It weighed on my heart heavy. Everyday I would take food out and each time everyone came to eat, except Cocoa. When he finally healed enough to walk through the fence, I was able to pick him up. His poor little body was so lumpy from all the wounds, but he was hanging in there. And then... he got attacked again; I could hardly stand it. And when he wouldn't come to eat, I took a kitty carrier to the neighbor's backyard and picked him up. I told him I was taking him someplace safe so he could heal.
I sequestered him in the kitchen, and made a warm bed for him I took him to the vet and he got meds. He had several hematomas that were draining. After he healed, I gave him the option of going back to the wild, but he decided he likes having a couple of big sistersAnd living the princely life he always knew he was destined for ;)Prince Cocoa Puff
I'm still feeding Momma kitty and Cocoa's other brothers. But through all of this insaneness that is my life, I did not get Momma kitty (nor the rest of her clan) to the vet to be fixed, and now she is with childs again. She is nearly ready to birth and has climbed the fence into my back yard to stay away from her boys while she has them. I feel honored that she trusts me and my yard.
I made an insulated bed for her yesterday while she watched. She went and checked it out after I finished, and I am trusting that she found it a suitable nursery. I haven't went out there this morning, but I'll be sure to keep you updated.
Til next time,