Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update on my Garden Cats

I first introduced you to my "garden cat friends" about a year ago, and there's been so much going on with them I need to share updates. Soon after this post, Mama became pregnant again. She was looking like she'd be due to give birth when we were in Japan, so I asked our new next door neighbors to pop by daily to keep food and water fresh and they happily agreed.

We came home on April 4th, Mama was clearly no longer pregnant, but we didn't know the outcome until June 1st, when she showed up with 4 new kittens in tow.

Over the next few weeks, we didn't see the kittens much, but one stuck around. I'll assume the other 3 found some happy ending, but given the harsh reality of feral kitten life.....

Anyway, so the one little black kitten joined her Mom and brother and made our back yard her own. Oh, I should probably tell you by now the bird feeder is gone. It basically became a cat feeder once the brother figured it out, and his name became Shithead for a while as a result. He's now just Shitty, but we say it with love. Little Black Cat just naturally became Boo Boo. Shitty is very much the caring big brother to his little sister.

I then set about finding some help with TNR (how to trap, find a vet, all that stuff). And I found Melissa from Animal Matters who runs a local small charity for animal rescue. She lent me a trap, showed me what to do, and referred me to a local "feral friendly" vet. One by one, Mama, Boo, Shitty, I got them each trapped, spayed/neutered, tested and vaccinated and back home. I ended up buying my own trap so that Melissa could continue to use hers for helping other cats, since it took a few weeks to get all 3 in and out. They each acclimated back to home within a day or two.

They have the best possible life for Feral cats - I spoil them rotten. They are often treated to fresh chicken and catnip. Boo is the most "socialized" of the three - I swear she just stops short of rubbing against my leg when I'm feeding them. All three will eat from my hands, but she'll lick my fingers and climb on me sometimes. I've managed to pick her up a few times and while she's clearly not a fan, she doesn't fight me too badly for a minute or so.

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