Posts Tagged feral kittens
The house of kittens is taking its toll on my time.
They are getting bigger, more energetic, more hungry and generally more demanding. It’s so entertaining to see them playing together though and, when I go down to feed them, I usually spend far too much time just watching them.
I had to take little Yuki to the vet last week. She (for he is a she!) still didn’t seem to be able to eat properly and had started to lose weight. The others were more than twice her size and she was getting knocked about a lot at playtime. The vet said she had severe diahorrea and gave me a syringe full of gloop to give her twice a day for two days and some tablets, twice a day for five days. I worried. She has a skull the size of a walnut and trying to force tablets down her was not an easy task.
He also said her tail was broken and disappeared with her for two minutes and, when he reappeared, the above was what was left of her tail. I barely had time to be traumatised.
Since then, she has been gaining weight. She sits in the middle of the food dish so none of the others can get any and sucks up the food noisily and slowly. She generally needs a wipe down with a damp cloth afterward!
This is her now on the left. Still very small and she looks a bit like a guinea pig crossed with a gremlin but look at that little face.
I embarked upon a campaign to get the kittens adopted – apart from her of course as she’s far too little and delicate to leave 😉
I had a surprisingly good response – bearing in mind that kittens are ten a penny in France – and these two have been reserved by very nice families and will be leaving in a week or so.
Then there’s this one.
I sort of let him hide behind me when they came looking because I’m not sure we can be parted. I have a good excuse. Yuki needs to learn play from her siblings and she’s only just gained enough strength to join in the rough and tumble so I can’t keep her on her own – she needs to learn. Well, I can’t can I? Will having six cats make me ‘odd’? Do I care? Maybe I’ll keep him another couple of weeks and then restart the adoption campaign
halfheartedly in earnest. I’m already being picky. My hairdresser told me yesterday that her sister was looking for a kitten and I said I’d bear it in mind but she wants ‘an indoor cat’ because she lives in an apartment with only a balcony and I’m not sure about that.
What would you do? Could you be sensible?
Hello, my name is Yuki (apparently the younger human in this house is a fan of all things Japanese) and I want to explain why the older human isn’t blogging about sewing or knitting or dogs or getting anything else done at all.Yuki
You might have read that I got stuck behind a wall. My mum must have dropped me there and couldn’t get me out. I cried and cried but the human who lives next to the barn had gone away for a couple of days and nobody heard me. In the end, I couldn’t make any noise at all.
Suddenly, somebody realised I was there and got me out.
Are you my Mummy?
I am very tiny now because I missed my food for two days and the human took me next door to where there is usually somebody home and they are used to animals like me.
They put me in a spare bedroom because there are big cats who live here and also big dogs.
Even though the humans came and played with me a lot – they say I’m cute – I felt a bit lonely and followed them around and sucked on their feet. I liked to sit inside the human’s t-shirts and go to sleep and they said they might make me something called a ‘papoose’ to keep me warm.
I’m not sure how to play with this and there is something inside that makes a loud noise.
Suddenly, there was a fuss and the human from next door made a delivery
It was my sister
Then he came back
There are four of us living in the spare room now so I have warm fur to snuggle up with.
The humans here say I need to put on weight. I weigh 270g and the others weigh 470g but they say I have now survived two nights since being stuck so they are hopeful. The others are lapping from saucers but I’m still having a bottle as I’m so little.
That will be me soon!
There is a bowl of stones in the room and I think we are supposed to do our ‘business’ in there. Here’s my big brother showing me how it’s done. I don’t know how he knows this – cats are just clever I think.
The humans have said that, if I survive, even though there are already four big cats living here, even though they said ‘no more cats ever’, I have such ‘character’, they couldn’t possibly part with me.
I don’t know why, do you?
When a Daddy Cat and a Mummy Cat love each other very much and they haven’t been sterilized there will usually be a population explosion.
This is what has happened in our hamlet and now we have two litters of kittens with no place to go.
At first, there was a female cat who, last summer, deposited two pretty kittens in our log pile that we have up against the front of the house. She carried them back and forth for a while and I never saw them again. My neighbour who is renovating his house (spasmodically) started to feed the mother and said he was going to have her sterilized and keep her as a pet with me feeding her when he is away on one of his frequent visits to Paris.
That was the plan. However, he left it too late and this was the result
I did put out a plea for new owners but, by this time they were 5 months old and not so easy to tame even though they allowed us to stroke them while they were eating. I said that, if we got them sterilized, I would feed them while my neighbour was away and they could live a semi feral, semi domestic life in his barn. I established that only one was a female and was worried that, post operation, we wouldn’t be able to care for her properly or give her antibiotics. Apparently, with feral cats, they use soluble stitches and don’t bother with the antibiotics afterward so we decided to try to catch them and get it done.
These were the three that had their day at the vets. The tabby you can see in the background was spooked by seeing his siblings being caught and took off so we’ve yet to get him ‘done’ From left, Bilou, Nero and Gipi – can you tell my French neighbour named them? Gipi is the female so was the most important to get to the vets as, at 5 months, she could soon have become pregnant herself. After a week, with a bit of help from me giving what remained of the dressing a bit of a tug, she recovered very well from her op and is a lovely, lively girl. Nero is a hero and I’ll tell you why in a minute. Bilou has become a little less friendly since being nabbed and put in a cat basket but who can blame him – I’m sure he’ll come round eventually.
Meanwhile, the mother appeared to be ‘with kitten’ again. After a while, it was obvious she had given birth somewhere and I was determined not to get stuck with yet more kittens and told the neighbour we must catch the mother and the new litter and take them to the refuge. I should just say here that I already have four cats of my own and three dogs so am already halfway to being a crazy cat lady as it is.
On Sunday, the neighbour was away visiting parents by the coast and Mlle. Tialys the younger went down to put some food out for the big kits. She heard plaintive mewing and we had to break into next door’s barn in order to investigate. Up on a concrete shelf we could see a teeny kitten making a racket and hear another, quieter mewling. We left them there because the mother had obviously taken them up there and would be back for them.
Two days later, the neighbour returned and we told him that his favourite black and white kit had not been seen for two days. When he went to search for him later that evening, he found him beside a section of wall in his barn and heard a mewling behind it.
He broke open the wall and this is what he found
Guess where this little chap is now. In my spare bedroom being fed on formula milk. I am going to draw the line at the usual mother cat method of getting them to go to the loo and compromise somehow or other.
We think this new litter is about 5 weeks old and, apparently if you want to tame feral cats, that’s the right time for them to be taken from the mother. We wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for the fact that this one was trapped behind a wall but now I think we should probably try to get the others from the litter – however many there are – and keep them together. At least we then might have a chance of getting them adopted eventually because they will be socialized. I hope so anyway because I think four cats is quite enough for one household.
In the meantime, the reason Nero is a hero is because he refused to leave the section of the wall where his half brother was trapped until we found him.
and, hopefully, this little one won’t have to remain in a bed on his own – with just a microwaveable soft toy for company – before we catch the rest of them.
As an aside – I nipped down the shop quickly to buy kitty litter today with formula milk stains all down my front. Aah, memories….
Have you ever had any experience of raising feral kittens. Any advice would be gratefully received – there is lots of useful but sometimes conflicting information on the internet.