One of our semi-regular visitors has been Jenny Jane, a young tigerstriped female. We were discussing if she was preggers or not.
Turns out, she was. And it turns out she successfully evaded the last local push to TNR in our blocks, successful because she is caring for at least three kittens who are about 6-7 weeks old.
Laura discovered two of them that Jenny Jane had deposited into one of our food bowls, chowing down and having a good time. One skedaddled away but I did catch the second one on photo. This was Wednesday around dinnertime. So we decided to increase the allure and put out a heaping size of wet cat food with the hope of ascertaining how many kittens and where they are staying.
That’s when this little fella we dubbed SunVolt ended up on our deck and I literally scooped them up with our leather gloves (we are badass falconrey wannabees) and put them in a cat carrier. Then we looked at each other like “what the fuck do we do now?”
We called the cat ladies. I got onto the Feral Cat FB group while Laura was texting our cat lady gurus. Once we established that SunVolt is old enough to be on their own, we quickly set up a makeshift kitten container in our dog’s travel crate now located in our bathroom. SunVolt is super sweet if scared. It seems like we caught them at the perfect age to tame. SunVolt can eat canned and kibble food. So he’s doing okay in his makeshift acccommodations.
We’ve confirmed that there are two other kittens, one black and one brown tiger stripes. So we will spend the next two days trying to repeat our success. They are so little that using cat traps will be difficult – they don’t weigh enough to trigger the mechanism. Jenny Jane has been back several times and we continue to dole out the good stuff in hopes of a win/win.
Once the three are captured, we’ll focus on trapping her to get her spayed and avoid this ongoing problem, at least for this one cat.
This is exhausting work, even in our own backyard. We are literally running back and forth to check the deck and backyard every ten minutes. (I had hoped to buy a waterproof security camera, but that didn’t happen.) Plus, handling and feeding SunVolt and our usual pet duties. Coco’s nose is out of joint because she can’t go into the bathroom. Precious is very clingy. Tonight, one of us will be in the feral cat room doing their socializing time and the other will be on the bathroom floor with the kitten. If we are lucky, with kittens.
I had to order a slew of supplies from Amazon – kitten food, kitten appropriate litter, very small everything. Another nanny cam.
And then there are the vet bills – the general estimate is that each kitten will require about $350 in general vet care, barring any complications and not including the spay/neuter. Fortunately, the City of Pittsburgh allows residents to access subsidized spay/neuters. And we’ll hopefully be working with a foster care organization. But we plan to try to raise this money ourselves to reduce the burden on the rescue.
It is a lot to take on and not what we had planned at all. But as Laura told me tonight “The idea of coming home each night and having to spend time socializing kittens sounds delightful right now.”
Stay tuned …