Snipping Kittens and Other #KittenCaboodle Updates

On Monday, we took our feral mama, Jennie Jane, to be spayed, tested, and vaccinated. She came through that procedure with flying colors (tested negative for both FeLV and FIV.) The cat lady who helped us to trap her had a temporary spot in her foster room so JJ is now enjoying a bit of the inside life while she recovers.

Feral Cat Pittsburgh
Jennie Jane in her recuperation crate

During the period of time while she was in surgery, we got a call from our foster cat group that they had slots open for the #kittencaboodle to be spayed and neutered on Tuesday at 8 AM. Fortunately, the procedures were being done at the Human Animal Rescue clinic here on the Northside. That’s about three blocks from our home.

So last night, we drove Jennie Jane to the Steel Valley, arriving home around 9:30 PM. Then at 7:30 AM, we loaded up the five kittens and drove up to HAR before I dropped Laura at work. I came home and got an update on Jennie Jane.

Foster Kittens
The #KittenCaboodle can be transported in two crates as of now.

By 3:30 PM, I was back at HAR picking up the kittens. I learned that they had each been given a small blue tattoo near the incision so in the future, anyone inspecting or examining them will be able to determine that they’ve been altered. This is particularly useful for females whose spay scar may not be visible in a few years. They also received their rabies vaccinations.

While the kittens were out of the house, I took advantage of the chance to drag the vacuum into the bathroom and clean up a bit. It looked great for about ten minutes after they arrived home. Soon enough they had dragged the pillows and blankets around, dropped toys in the water bowls and litter boxes, and knocked over several items. It was nice while it lasted, but I’m not-so-secretly happy to see my inquisitive kittens back to their usual activities.

Meanwhile, last night the boys showed up – Oxsana and Mx. Pajamas. They wanted to eat and how! They were meowing at me very intently while I freshened their water and brought out the dry food. Then Oxsana went to sit under one of the chairs and Mx. Pajamas perched on our grill while grooming himself.

Feral Cats Pittsburgh
Oxsana and Mx. Pajamas came for dinner last night

I did not see them today, but a neighbor was weed whacking a big nearby yard so they were probably skittish. I expect to see them tonight. They are next on our list. They’ve been neutered (or spayed if they are female), but we’d like to take them in for a wellness check. Several local vet clinics will see feral/homeless animals. We’d like to get their vaccines current (rabies, distemper, etc), see if they have a chip or chip them otherwise, and get a few specific issues taken care of as well.

Then what will we do? Well, Oxsana and Mx. Pajamas are not affiliated with any foster organization so all of their expenses will be coming out of our pockets (you can chip in here if you are able and willing) as will the decisions. There is no room for them in any foster homes that we currently know about. And taking them to a shelter is not a good idea either. So once we have them vetted, we will hopefully get a better sense of their temperament and potential to be indoor cats. And we’ll look for homes among people we know and trust. We’ll continue building the relationship – they can live safely in our yard.

We also have our eyes on the tom cat named Konstantin whom we believe fathered our #kittencaboodle.  He needs to be trapped, neutered, and released.

Black Cat Pittsburgh
Konstantin in the yard

We have a few other very occasional visitors, but they haven’t been around of late – perhaps because we’ve had traps out and running so much.

THEN … our neighbors down the block describe a caboodle of homeless cats living on those properties. We are hoping to rally some folks in our immediate blocks to work together. I expect that due to the vacuum effect, we’ll have new visitors to our feeding station soon.  We hope to continue working with Homeless Cat Management Team and Pittsburgh C.A.T. to address the needs of these cats.

Internally, we are ramping up our integration plan for our two formerly feral residents (Maylee and Mamma Mia) so they can move out of the second bedroom and into the general population. This will give us a room for fostering if the need arises again (it will) and keeps our bathroom available for backup duties.

As for the kittens? They need more socialization. We’ve asked for volunteers to come over and hang with them, but we haven’t had many takers. Could you be one of those people?

Socializing kittens
Our friend Sarah holding Muriel for some enforced socialization.