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Outside Kitties

Back in late July, Mike & I were awoken to the sound of meowing outside our window. We found a momma kitty feeding kittens! We went outside, but they all ran away. After we showered, we went outside again and found one kitten along our fence and two along our house. Mike picked up the gray one by the fence and I picked up one of the tiger ones by the house. The other tiger one ran under our porch.

They were so tiny and so cute. Little did we realize that would be the only time we would be able to pick them up or pet them again. At the time, we thought it would be best to put the two kittens we picked up back with their sibling. We went away for the weekend and when we returned, there was no sign of momma kitty or the kittens.

A couple weeks later, we found momma kitty and her kittens in our backyard again. This time, we saw 5 kittens! A few days or a week later, a big kitten showed up and was adopted into the family. We wonder if he was part of a previous litter. None of them would let us get near them. They would scurry off under our porch. We decided to start feeding them, hoping that we could make them people friendly and adopt them out.

I would stay outside with them when feeding them, but they were always too scared to eat while I was around. One time, we were gone for the weekend and they didn't have enough food to last the whole weekend. When we got home, we put food out and they were so hungry that they didn't mind us being out there while they ate. After that, they stopped hiding when we'd come out, but still wouldn't go near us or let us near them.

Eventually, I was able to pet momma kitty. I started to feel confident that I'd be able to catch her and get her spayed, but I got scratched and bit when trying to put her in the pet carrier. I had to go to the doctor and get a tetanus shot and be put on antibiotics for possible infection.

That weekend, I did some research on the web and contacted over 20 organizations soliciting help. One lady responded to give me the number of a local lady who traps feral cats all the time to spay/neuter and release. I called her and she made several trips out to my house to trap all 7 cats. She works with an organization called The Catherine Fund, who pays for all the spaying and neutering of feral cats.

Momma kitty was already pregnant again when they took her in, but they still did the spay. Unfortunately, we haven't seen momma kitty since the day she was brought back. Our best guess is that she popped some stitches while jumping the fence and died somewhere. This makes me very sad because she was the only one I could pet and she was really sweet. I was looking forward to having her around. For a while I would still look for her every time I went outside to feed the kittens. I'm very saddened by the loss, but I know I did the right thing in taking her in to get spayed.

A small part of me hopes she'll just show up again one day months down the road. One small bit of hope is that we found a dead rabbit in the backyard about a week after they were all fixed. When momma kitty was around, she was an excellent hunter. We kept finding rabbit parts in our back yard (skulls, legs, spines, etc.) So either momma kitty left one last offering to her kittens before taking off or the kittens (probably "big kitten") picked up the skill. That was almost two months ago though, and we haven't seen any rabbit parts since. So I guess there's hope she's still alive.

We still have all 6 kittens (her 5 and the "big kitten"), although they are getting very big now and won't be "kittens" much longer. We feed them twice and a day and give them fresh water. We've also put out a cat scratcher, a chair with pillows, and some blankets since it's getting cold. We can tell they want more than just food, but they still won't let us pet them. I've been able to touch a head or two a couple times while they're eating, and Mike was able to pet gray kitten a little bit a couple nights ago.

Here are some pictures of the kitties with the following description by Mike:

"These are neutered strays we have adopted. There are 6 of them, but only 4 are present here. Before we befriended the mother, she taught them to be afraid of people, and it's a hard habit to break when taught so young."

Poor Kitty, Conclusion

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We ended up meeting the people who own the house next door. They were on vacation for a couple months and then came back to the house to live in it until they rented it out. They told us that a bunch of the neighborhood kids came over and helped them catch the kittens, so all the kittens found homes. The mom is still a stray, but we found a ton of small rodents in the neighbor's back yard (she was coming back and leaving them for the kittens even though the kittens weren't around anymore - we think it was instinct), so she seems to have plenty to eat out here in the desert! We've found the mom in our front yard looking at our cats through the window a couple times. We haven't been able to catch her though. If we do, we'll take her to get spayed and then release her back into the neighborhood. I've been told that's a good method of action with strays, especially since they help to keep the rodent population down!

Anyway, I'm glad the poor kitty story had a happy ending!

Poor Kitty, Part 2

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The kitten came back again this afternoon, meowing its head off and trying to squeeze through a whole in the fence that was too small for it. I approached the kitten from a different direction, but it took off again and ran to the other side of our backyard. Apparently there's a whole in the fence just big enough for it to squeeze through there too. I went out to the front yard, but again no sign.

After they kitten ran off, I peered through the fence and the mother cat was peeking out from under the porch because she had heard her baby calling for her. When I went out to the front, I tried the gate next door and it was unlocked, so I opened it a little bit. Hopefully when the kitten gets brave enough to try to come back into our yard, it'll see the opening to the other yard and find its way to its mommy.

I feel so bad for the little thing. It's terrified and hungry, and probably cold too because it's windy today.

Poor Kitty :(

Mike and I were woken up around 8am this morning by the sound of a kitten meowing in agony. When I first woke up, I thought it was my cat Navi in the house somewhere, but Mike asked if it was outside. Sure enough, I paused to listen and it was coming from outside. I looked through our window and there was a little kitten in our backyard trying to get over the fence. I could see the shadow of another animal (presumably its mother) on the other side of the fence. So Mike and I went outside with the plan to help the kitten get to its mom. But as soon as the kitten saw us, it went running out through a whole in our fence leading to the front yard.

I went to the front yard to see if I could find the kitten, but there was no sign. I looked through the fence of the next door neighbor's (which is currently vacant) and indeed saw an adult cat. We wonder how the kitten got over the fence in the first place.

This afternoon after running errands, I came home and thought I heard the sound of the kitten meowing again. I looked around, but couldn't find it. I really hope the kitty finds its momma.

Navi and Ringworm

As Erik pointed out, I never did give an update of Navi's case of ringworm. I never even responded to the comments on that post. There are actually several other things I haven't given updates on either. Have I mentioned my hectic schedule? But, after this weekend, I will be done with school until mid October - yay! I hope to keep my blog a little more updated, at least until school starts in October again.

So anyway, yes, Navi is all better. :) I still have to bathe all 3 cats occassionally (I've gone to every two weeks now) to keep the ringworm away. That will slowly taper off. Mike took a picture of Navi soaking wet. I need to get it from him so I can post it.

And thank you Erik for being "glad to hear it." I do know that you could care less about the cat, but you're probably glad to hear that *I* don't have to deal with the pains of ringworm anymore (or at least the pains have lessened). So I'll accept that. :)

Grades, Life, etc.


I've been so bad about keeping up with my blog...sorry about that. School last term kept me pretty darn busy. However, I got A's in both classes (Organizational Behavior and Computer Resources and Information Management). Yay! Three classes down (I took Statistics during the Spring I term) and 9 more to go for my Masters. I only had a week break and now I'm back in school for the Summer term. I am taking Fall I off though, so I'll have a break for all of August and September and half way through October.

The two classes I'm taking now are Database Management and Finance. The Finance course I'm actually taking online, which is interesting. I stayed up until 4am doing homework for that class...yech. I'm going to be out of town the next two weekends (my brother's wedding in San Diego next weekend and a visit to Vegas the weekend after that), so I'm trying to do a lot of the homework ahead of time. Today, I'm going to tackle homework for my Database Management course.

Mike got stuck in the Bay Area all week because his car broke down. His birthday was Wednesday, so we're going to celebrate it tonight when he gets home. I'm super excited about one thing I was able to pick up for him yesterday...but on the off chance that he reads this, I'll wait until after he sees it before blogging about it.

Navi has ring worm again. :( I really hate bathing the cats, but it looks like I'm going to have to do it every 2-3 days again until it goes away. Poor things are SUPER cuddly after their baths. They must think I'm punishing them...I hate it. :(

Okay, enough procrastinating...

Thade and His Handiwork


So my funny little cat Thade has decided to make it his mission, every day, to open up all the cupboards and drawers at ground level. Weird cat. :)