Ok, the plan was to catch the kittens and mamacat, get them all fixed, get the kittens tamed and rehomed and if mama was tamed to keep her, otherwise to let her out.
The three kittens are still in our bathroom (they got booted from the guest bedroom suite when partner’s parents visited). Little boy is slowly coming around and one of his sisters may be right behind him. The other sister will probably never be tamed [update: still have hope]. She’s terrified of people. Our bigcat is not helping as she does not like her access to my closet (her daytime napping spot) cut-off and she knows there’s kittens in there and she wants to show them exactly who is alpha kitty around here. She threw herself bodily at the door one night and another night actually managed to get the door open. Partner doesn’t want to put them back in the guest bedroom because it was a PITA to clean. (Recall our bathroom is the only one that’s tiled.)
We caught 3 possums. They are no longer in our neighborhood.
We caught one scraggly (longish-hair) black male cat with lots of scratches on his face. We got him neutered, revolutioned, de-tapewormed, and vaccinated. Initially cautious of people, he turned out to be a cuddle bug. The vet thinks he was once someone’s cat but has been on his own for months. He’s been in our garage. He basically hangs out without destroying anything (unlike the kittens) until someone comes in to pet him. He loves food, but he loves petting more than food. He is a total sweetheart. He is so grateful to be in our garage where it’s safe and relatively warm and there’s food and occasional petting. It breaks your heart. He was not doing well outside so he’s become our #1 priority for rehoming. We may put him in the guest bedroom once we need the garage again, or we may try to integrate him with our other two cats. A lot depends on how he gets along with bigkitty. [Update: I think I'm allergic to him.]
We caught one glossy young healthy-looking male cat. We let him go. We caught him again a few days later and took him to the vet. We got him neutered, revolutioned, de-tapewormed, and vaccinated. He turned out to be completely and totally tame. Vet estimates him at about 1 year. But he was covered in fleas and had a major tape-worm infestation. She says he was certainly someone’s pet once but estimates he’s been on his own for a few months. We let him recover in our patio during the day and in a carrying case in the nursery at night (it’s been getting cold) for two days and nights, but he was pretty unhappy about it and we let him go the morning after that. We just don’t have space for him. And, other than the tapeworms and fleas, he was doing fine outside. He had a small scratch on his nose and we suspect he was the victor in a fight with garage cat. He also may be the reason mamacat no longer has her home-base in our yard. He immediately high-tailed it under our deck where she used to stay. If we catch him again we may try to figure out what to do again.
We caught a bird. We let it go.
We found and called another no-kill shelter. She’s also full-up. The humane society does have a program where they’ll take really nice cats and no-kill shelter them for a while (and take them to Petsmart on adoption day and stuff), so we’re signing up garage cat for that. Maybe. They need a picture and by the time his face scratches heal and partner gets all the matting out of his fur (he’s almost done there), we may have decided to keep him. Or we can drive him up to partner’s mom over Spring Break.
Still no idea what to do with the kittens. Poor things. It would be easier if they were tame. Or if we’d caught mamacat way back when. Now I worry about kicking them back outside unprotected where there’s fleas and tapeworms and big territorial black kitties. But that may be what we end up doing.
Update: boy kitten really likes pettings.
Update: little girl kitten #1 really likes pettings
Update: WE CAUGHT MAMACAT. She had hookworms. :( She’s currently in our garage. Vet says she’s really skittish. We put garage cat in our guest bedroom. After two nights in the garage she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink and hadn’t used the litterbox. The only sign of her existence was a trickle of pee coming from someplace inside our car that we didn’t think she could get to. So the vet said to open a side-door to the garage and hope she makes her escape. So we did. Hopefully she’ll be out of there before we have to use the car again in a few days. (Note: Honda civic hybrids are not good cars to leave in the garage with a cat. Stick to a simpler car.) Hopefully we’ll see her in the backyard so we know she’s out without having to take the car apart. Update [Tuesday night]: After another day of no eating and finding her wedged but breathing under the engine, I opened the other garage door. That night, she seemed to lave left the garage and eaten all the food in there. I think we saw her tonight just after dusk eating on the porch (after Patio Cat had his fill, talked amicably to our Bigkitty safe in the screened patio, and left). It was dark, but so far I haven’t seen any other small cats in our backyard and her form in a brief flashlight flash looked tabby…
We did a lot of things wrong. We should have set up feeding routines and used the kittens to catch mamacat and a dozen other things. This website has some really great suggestions. But, I suppose, if we’d done this correctly we wouldn’t have rescued garage-kitty or neutered patio-cat.
So that’s the story so far. The kittens have come a long way and I think the next step is getting them used to DH or DC1. Then maybe we advertise. I don’t know. It’s hard to know what to do.