Kitty update

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.

39 Responses to “Kitty update”

  1. Linda Says:

    Holy crow that’s a lot of stray cats! Is it normal to have this many strays in a neighborhood? I’m assuming you also neutered mamacat, as well as treated her for hookworms.

    I have low confidence of taming kittens that were born feral based on personal experience. I adopted one from the vet that was found in an alley when it was just a few weeks old. I had to re-home it because it was SERIOUS about trying to get out of the house to roam outside and was a biter. It was just plain mean. Although I have successfully raised one cat from kitten to adulthood in the past (not feral kitten, but another that was adopted from a shelter at 5 weeks and sadly died at 14 during a dentistry procedure), I don’t consider myself a cat person. Maybe that’s why feral kitten turned out so mean.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It’s really only 3 strays and 3 kittens. Yes, mama has been spayed and treated for all sorts of stuff.

      Two of the kittens are total sweethearts. One of them is a bit mean. But so was my non-feral cat growing up. I think personalities just vary. I think that’s a good argument for adopting adult cats, personally.

      • Leah Says:

        I am a fan of adult cat adopting. You just never know with kittens. We got our adult cat at about a year old, and that was a nice balance of youth and knowing personality.

      • darchole Says:

        Lol, “my” cat growing up was a grouch, and it’s not like he wasn’t well socialized or treated badly as we got him from a family member. One of his littermates however was very friendly and loved being petted, so you get all kinds even in the same litter.

        In my current area there aren’t any stray cats, or I’d be doing TNR too, even though it’s technically illegal in my county. Where I and my parents used to live was an area where people would dump unwanted cats. Had a cat colony there for a while, with personalities going from “I’m only here for the food” to very friendly, petable cats (including the cat who learned how to used the slide). At that time we couldn’t to TNR since we couldn’t afford it, but we made sure the cats had food and shelter. Ended somewhat badly however, multiple houses including theirs got bought up for development of something retail, and since both the food source was going away and the area was becoming dangerous for cats, my parents decided since rehoming wasn’t an option for the cats taking them all to the shelter was better for them than leaving them there.

  2. kellen Says:

    Sounds like your only option is to start your own no-kill shelter and run it out of your garage :).

    Maybe the male cats just got lost, and weren’t abandoned by their humans, but that seems unlikely. Some humans are awful pet owners…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Hahaha, no.

      I think that patio cat probably ran away. He doesn’t like the indoors and he’s the big man on campus outside. He’s doing fine. He may even belong to someone, though he tends to stop by at dusk and at midnight for food. (And his owner must suck, what with the tapeworms.)

      • Thisbe Says:

        Cats and dogs mostly get tapeworms from fleas (cestode life cycles! so fascinating!). So the owner just has to suck enough for the animal to have fleas in order for there to be tapeworms – which doesn’t necessarily mean any suck at all. Flea infestations can happen to anyone, boo, and can be extremely difficult to deal with.

        I’m not trying to say that patio cat’s (hypothetical) owner doesn’t suck, mind you – of course I have no idea. Just that tapeworms /= sucky owner.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        The owner has to suck enough to not notice a major tapeworm infestation– the kind with wiggly bits coming out of places. (Also the not neutering thing.)

      • Thisbe Says:

        I am happy to accept the sucky-owner judgment. :)
        (I was just thinking of the number of times in the last week alone that I have treated cats for well-established tapeworm infestation that non-sucky owners had not noticed for a while at least; but of course that’s not directly relevant to your patio cat and the sucky owner(s) thereof.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        The vet thought that he’d been on his own a few months, though not many. Garage kitty had been on his own longer and was in much worse shape. They’re both still 1-2 years old though in her estimation.

  3. First Gen American Says:

    My initial reaction was the exact same as Linda’s. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stray cat in any of the neighborhoods I’ve lived in the last 20 years. What’s wrong with these people? It’s way too many cats to be just a lost cat issue.

    Are you still taking article suggestions? I’d love one on keeping desk clutter at bay. Even when the rest of my house is clean, my desk is always a challenge to keep to a dull roar. Even with constant vigilance I can’t seem to deal with all the paper.

    • Leah Says:

      My desk at home is a challenge, but I’ve been pretty good with my work desk. I’ve found that filing and an organization system help. But my true solution is constant vigilance. I share my classroom with someone just 2x a week (one period in the morning), so I always make sure my desk is clean for her. This has become a habit, and I clean off and organize papers for 5 minutes every day at the end of the school day. Sometimes, I need to do a little more, but that keeps the monsters at bay.

      At home, well, good luck. I try to deal with stuff ASAP, but my filing cabinet is in another room, which I think is the biggest issue.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We can’t answer that one. Sorry. :(

      • First Gen American Says:

        Rats..Well, I work from home, so my office is both work and home stuff..and it gets doubly complicated when I am gone for a week and then empty my briefcase after being on the road. That’s one of those goals that I haven’t been able to master.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Getting Things Done addresses it, we think. It’s just not something we’ve ever implemented. Messy desks of the grumpy!

      • Liz Says:

        Unclutterer has a whole photo/award series on neat desks, but (a) they just make me cry at my comparative deficiencies, and (b) they are minimalists who are probably OCD Type-A’s with more digital documents than paper.

        What works for me is using folders/filing, cutting myself some slack, and trying to put “clean up desk” into a not-infrequent routine, like once a week or two weeks. And then about once a quarter or so I go through all of the things and toss/sort/re-prioritize. I don’t need a perfectly clean desk, as long as the important papers (esp. bills) don’t get lost in the shuffle.

        As a counter to unclutterer, see the book “Perfect Mess.”

    • chacha1 Says:

      +1 to Constant Vigilance, and the two-minute rule. That is to say, if a task will take two minutes or less, Just Do It, don’t put it off. :-)

      Also: if you can do something electronically, DO. And don’t print out confirmation copies. I am slowly breaking myself of that habit. If you have an automated backup system and a rational electronic filing system (granted the latter may take some time to develop) keeping things in e-form is just so much simpler than juggling paper.

      • Leah Says:

        I store confirmation numbers digitally. Best are date-oriented ones: I store those in google calendar. Our vacations would fall apart if I ever lost my phoen and gcal access. I keep every address, number, and confirmation number in there for our trips.

    • rented life Says:

      My dad always said a messy desk is sign of a creative person. I think he was justifying his own messy desk (and mine by default!), but I’ve stuck to that approach. I’m not a mess, I’m creative!

  4. Leah Says:

    I live right next to a forest ravine, and we have lots of strays around. I haven’t gotten ambitious enough to trap any of them yet. One of our friends adopted one, and he’s become semi-tame (I suspect he was an abandoned cat rather than truly feral). But the rest won’t let humans anywhere near them.

    We call them the ravine kitties, and our cat hates them. We keep our cat indoors for lots of reasons, and the ravine kitties are definitely one of them.

  5. OLW Says:

    Wow. That is quite a saga. This is one thing that my terrible allergies (and allergic asthma) to cats makes not an issue for us- there would never be an option for a cat to live in any enclosed space in which I need to be. It would make me too sick. I’m not even sure I could tolerate a cat sitting on my outdoor furniture….

    Good luck figuring out what to do. I have zero advice but a lot of sympathy.

  6. chacha1 Says:

    Wish I could take garage kitty off your hands. :-)

  7. rented life Says:

    No advice here. If I lived nearby and was able, I’d take a kitty off your hands. My kitties wouldn’t handle that well though–they are still a little resentful of baby. (I get a lot of “why is that noisy thing still here?” looks from eldest cat.)

    I test positive for cat allergies too, but you can get used to your own cat’s dander etc. This is why you’re alright with your cats but not with new cat. I’m fine at home, but in other people’s homes, I react. My friend who is allergic is the same way.

    Thank you for having such a big heart to take care of all these kitties.

  8. Alicia Says:

    We have a cat that is a stray (not feral). I have never seen such a friendly cat – all he wants is to be picked up, give head-rubs and talk. I wish we could take him in, but honestly we have too many cats, and not enough rooms to sanction off. So we feed him, and let him in our porch area. Not ideal, but gets him out of the extreme winter weather.

  9. bogart Says:

    Yay to helping kitties. Thank you for updating us. And for helping kitties!

  10. Patti Says:

    You are super hard core! It’s really impressive. When I had 4 cats in a Manhattan apt (which is crazy, but we had 4 cats and we had to move so there you go. worked out fine actually) I used to tell stray cats, esp kittens not to look in my direction. No Room at the Inn! I managed to bring 0 kittens home. Existing cats certainly would not have tolerated new additions.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Garage kitty basically seems to be ignoring the other two cats, other than the occasional sniff. Bigkitty keeps hissing at him but he just doesn’t pay any attention. We’re still keeping him in the guest bedroom when we’re not home, but he’s been starting to mingle and explore when we are home. The kittens are still stuck destroying the bathroom, except occasional escapes to destroy my closet or to face off with Bigkitty in the bedroom.

      Littlekitty has mainly been keeping on high ground in order to avoid everything.

  11. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    How the fucken fucke did a cat open a closed closet door?

  12. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    That is so sweet that you’re spending your own time and money on those kitties! I’m sure they would thank you if they could. Hopefully you get it all worked out =/

  13. What Now? Says:

    You are a Good Samaritan indeed! Good luck with the rehoming projects.

  14. Updates | Grumpy rumblings of the (formerly!) untenured Says:

    […] kitten has been tamed.  Now we still have 6 cats and no idea what to do with 4 of them (we’re keeping our original two!).  The kittens are […]

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