Saturday, May 21, 2016

OH NO! MORE Feral Kittens!


Aaargh!!!  I thought we had captured and neutered ALL the feral cats that hang out in our garden.  We were down to just two, who came to our porch to feed and take shelter in a hutch my husband made for them.  They were welcome, although they would never be pets -- too wild, too frightened of humans (although my husband has the magic touch, and manages occasionally to caress the female of the pair).  But then this little tiger female showed up, wild as a squirrel and obviously pregnant, and before we could manage to trap her and confine her until she gave birth, she DID give birth, somewhere in parts unknown. Then we could not trap her while her babies needed her hourly.  And now she has brought her babies, all five of them, to our back steps.  (The fifth, a little dark tiger, had just fallen off the porch.) Skittish as sparrows they are; one hand on the doorknob and off they fly!  Hard to believe such weak little scraps of fur could fly so fast!  I'll bet they can scratch and bite, too, if I were to manage to grab one.  

Since the babies are obviously old enough to eat solid food, I guess I can now try to trap and neuter their mom.  Then see if one by one I can trap the little ones.  Perhaps they are young enough to be fostered and gentled into pets.  There's an organization called Hope for Orphaned Pets Exists (HOPE) that will neuter feral cats for a greatly reduced fee.  Let's see how my plan works out.  Wish me luck!

(In the meantime, oh Lord, are these tumbling, pouncing, scrapping, climbing little ones fun to watch!)

5 comments:

Marie said...

Thank you for being kind to them.

Maywyn Studio said...

You and your husband are wonderful people.

threecollie said...

Oh, my, you have a big job ahead of you I guess. Lucky kitties to land on your doorstep.

Woody Meristem said...

Feral house cats are real problems for native wildlife and birds. The wife of a friend who had feral cats show up at their place and then fed them always remarked that before the cats arrived they had lots of songbirds and chipmunks -- afterwards there were very few. Indoor cats are one thing, but outside cats kill millions of birds and small mammals each year. Neutering does nothing to stop the killing. Fortunately great horned owls and coyotes take care of some feral cats, just not enough of them.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, dear readers, for your interest in our "problem." I do love cats, but all of our pet cats are exclusively indoor cats (we're down to just three, now). We also love the birds and squirrels, and by neutering as many of the feral felines as we can, we do keep the population down, so fewer mouths to feed, fewer dead birds (they are welcome to the mice, though). The neutered resident ferals drive off interloping ferals, so the population remains relatively stable. Killing them would just create a vacuum that other cats would move in to fill. It's not in my nature to eradicate cats by killing them, but I accept the solution of them dying by other predators. I'm just not as happy about that as Woody seems to be!