Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Update 7/12-A sad ending & a bright future

UPDATE:We trapped mama cat last night. She is now at the vet. Please send good thoughts & prayers for her♥

Late one evening,  we discovered that we were being spied on. A big black & white cat was staring in our picture window & taking in all that he could.  He had a white face with a little black mustache & had pretty long hair. We had just finished reading (as a family) a book about Anne Frank & we immediately (due to the mustache & the fact that he was spying) called him Adolph (no disrespect meant & we called him that lovingly). Over the next few days, we made numerous attempts to pet him & he always ran away. That was several years ago & we must have tried to trap/befriend/capture him a million times.  He was not always hanging around our house, sometimes we would not see him for a couple of months and then low & behold he would come around again. One time he showed up with obvious injuries & yet no matter what we did, we could not get close to him. We always left food & water out just in case we were the only source. He was content to lay on the porch, eat the food & watch us from afar, but he wanted nothing more. This went on for several years. About six months ago a female cat showed up with him & she was even more afraid of people than him. If you tried just to put your hand out, she would hiss at you; even if you were really far away. The cycle of setting the trap, trying to capture, hoping to befriend continued….. Not too long ago we could tell that the female cat was pregnant. We made a nice little “cat area” in our storage building in hopes that she would have the kittens there. We also amped up the efforts, with no luck. Before we knew it, she had given birth to the kittens. We looked all around the neighborhood  & could not find where she was keeping them. We actually thought that the kittens might not have survived. During all of this time, she still came to eat daily & Adolph stayed with her always. Several weeks passed & mama cat brought her kittens to eat at our house. Long story short, after a couple of days, we were able to get all of the kittens & during that time mama started to come closer & closer to us which in turn meant that Adolph did too. We had noticed that he had been looking to be in poor health lately & had lost a lot of his hair, but we were hoping that it was due to a flea allergy. Not too long after we got the kittens, Adolph finally stepped into the trap! Yes, we would actually be able to get him to the vet to be altered, apply flea meds & see what else this poor boy needed. I had visions of him suddenly realizing that we were his friends & we were going to make everything okay. I actually told him that even. Sadly, when we took him to the vet, we discovered that he had FIV (not in itself a death sentence, but he was very sick). The decision was made to end his suffering, but not until after he was shown kindness & had a belly full of extra special food. We really struggled with this decision & feel horrible that he never got the chance at happiness that he deserved. We do not even have a picture of him, but our vet's office so kindly made a paw print for us. I guess if we had been able to communicate with him through words, we would want him to know that he mattered & even though we were not able to show him in the traditional way, we loved him.

We are still in the process of catching mama cat. She is smarter than smart. We have witnessed her sticking her paws through the back of the trap & “scooping” food up & out to herself (fixed that by enclosing entire trap except for the entrance). We have watched her side step into the trap barely missing stepping on the trigger. We have tried luring her into a room(& separately a crate) by using her kittens as bait. We have tried everything. We have spoken with our vet about sedatives & any alternatives & basically we just have to keep trying what we are doing & hope that we are able to catch her before she gets too sick to help & before she has another litter of kittens. It is so sad to see her all alone now. I can only imagine that she fears us even more since we first took away her babies & then her companion.

Speaking of the kittens, we fostered them until they were able to leave for rescue. Needless to say, we were completely stressed out while waiting to see if the kittens would test negative for FIV. Thank God they were negative!!! From what we have read & also after speaking with our vet, there is a good chance that mama cat is FIV negative as usually kittens who come from a + mother will test + until 12-14 weeks of age even if they are not actually infected. All of our personal cats are seniors & we had forgotten how energetic young cats are! For the first couple of weeks we worked really hard on trying to rid them of their mama’s feral behavior. I even pulled the baby bed mattress into the room they were staying in & slept on it in order to speed the taming process up a little. What can we say, is there anything cuter than kittens?

Thank you to STAR for letting us list the kittens on Petfinder & thank you to Almost Home Dog Rescue for taking the kittens into your program & making sure that they will never have to fight to survive as their mama has.

Remember SPAY & NEUTER is the answer!!


What Remains Now said...

What cuties. I hope they find their perfect homes soon. You did such a good job helping Adolf.

Kari in Alaska said...

Good on you for helping the poor cat and her kittens

Stop on by for a visit

Maggie said...

Thank you for putting so much effort into helping that little family. I'm really hoping you catch mama soon, but I'm sure those darling kittens will find their forever homes in no time. Sheesh, they're cute!

Jan said...

What a lovely story from lovely people.

We've been lucky with cats. All of the stray ones that have been around our house were perfectly happy to become friendly for a little food and attention. We've kept some through the years and found homes for others. Dealing with a feral cat must be heartbreaking.

Roberta Beach said...

Be assured, over the years, Adolph knew he was loved even when he couldn't accept it. Thank you for your efforts and compassion. Those kittens are too cute for words!

Sam said...

How wonderful! We've been spaying/neutering the cats that come around my Mom's house - and thankfully, have not seen kittens in almost two years!


Leslie said...

I agree with Roberta, Adolph knew he was loved. Not all animals need a hug to know the kindness being extended. You did good. And you did the right thing for him even if it hurt to do it.

Those kittens are adorable and will certainly find homes very soon. Good luck with Mama cat. She may yet come around.