For almost an hour today we had eight house panthers in residence! Meet Scarlett. She’s a rescued kitty with a story, but isn’t she pretty? She’s petite like Mimi, with a short little nose and little ears.
Another cat rescuer who works in an office building on the other side of my town messaged me a few months ago about cats that had been abandoned. Many of the people who work there are cat lovers and cat owners already and they maintain a feeding station and outdoor shelters for stray and feral cats in the neighborhood and have had several altered who visit the station. When one of them saw the resident put the three cats on his porch, get in his car and drive away, never to return, they started looking for the cats and trying to figure how to bring them in when no one had room for a foster.
Worst of all, the three cats were apparently unspayed females, and only two were brought in by a neighbor, though she already had two cats and really isn’t supposed to have pets at all, but in this fierce winter she couldn’t leave them outside. Unfortunately one of the two, Charm, got back outside and came back ready to deliver kittens. Scarlett stayed inside.
They contacted me again last week when Charm was seen moving her kittens with a male cat trying to climb on her back…it really never ends for these cats when they are driven by hormones. I was ready to take Charm and her kittens, but unfortunately she has hidden them, more on that below. We could at least help Scarlett while searching for Charm’s kittens.
It’s so hard to get the word out about low cost or free spay and neuter for stray and feral cats, and getting that information out there could have avoided at least one litter of kittens.
Both Scarlett and Charm are very affectionate, quiet and sweet. It’s clear they were loved, and they would do well being adopted. AFTER they are spayed.
After a photo opp in my house this morning I took Scarlett to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society this afternoon to surrender her through our rescue organization, the Homeless Cat Management Team. She will be spayed and receive any necessary medical care, and if there is any reason she can’t go up for adoption right away they will call me so I can bring her back to my house to foster until she is ready. They guessed her age at six to seven years old and it’s likely she’s had several litters of kittens in her life. I had liberally sprinkled her with Trauma Free flower essence for all the handling and the rides in the car. For all she’s been through, she loves to be touched and held, enjoyed being brushed, sat on my lap and purred, and had a wild time with a catnip toy and they rode with her two WPHS.
I will be following her progress, and as a mature black cat I’ll be sure to promote her adoption. She deserves a quiet loving home after this, and who wouldn’t want a little black cat like Mimi?
And Meet Charm!
Charm is the other cat who was abandoned, and the one who hid her babies, or rather she found a safer place for them than the box on the porch. What a sweetheart she is! She sits on the front steps of the house where she is fed and gave birth as if she owns it, and greets all visitors. Last Friday when I went to meet the rescuers and Charm, I sat down on the steps and Charm immediately came over and settled down on my skirt, then leaned in and looked up at me.
Dr. Michelle helped to look for kittens as well, and Charm totally appreciated a neck scratch. Charm has obviously been nursing recently and doesn’t seem upset in any way so we are hoping that means her kittens are safe.
The family has four active children and their antics don’t bother her one bit.
The five kittens are about four weeks old and that’s when mother cats often move their kittens to a new place that may be larger or more accommodating to teaching little ones the skills for living outdoors, since that’s where mom is currently living. She may have also moved them because of the male cat that was literally on her back. A male cat will sometimes kill kittens they find and mate with the female cat to be sure of spreading his own genes around.
We’ve been searching under all porches, in piles of junk, under parked cars, inside garages and sheds, behind bushes, any place that a female cat might think was a good place to stash five growing kittens. Mother cats can find the strangest places, and not all of them safe, so searching for kittens is a time-consuming, dirty task requiring several flashlights. We also talked to as many neighbors as we could find and had neighbor kids helping us as well.
Charm isn’t giving up any secrets! She spends a lot of each day on the front porch of the house so the kittens are probably within a five-house range circumference, which includes a street, an alley, and the office building with its parking lot. I’m going to borrow a trail cam to set up in areas where she settles to at least get an idea which direction she goes when she leaves. Let’s hope we can find those kittens before too long!
Without the support of rescues like the Homeless Cat Management Team and Pittsburgh CAT and the agreement of the shelter to work with rescues, I could never do this. I am grateful that I don’t have to try to stuff all these cats in my own house or scramble around for spays and veterinary care.
. . . . . . .
We are overloaded with cute little kittens, but don’t forget the older kittens and adults!
Amazon Wish Lists
Many rescuers pay out of pocket for veterinary care and food but the costs of raising even the average litter of four healthy kittens is more than many people have, and many rescues have greater needs. Pittsburgh CAT has a number of wish lists that include foods for feeding neo-natal kittens like KMR, and other lists that include the best kitten foods, adult cat foods, food and materials for feral cats, and preferred toys and litter.
Pittsburgh CAT Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/2IUQ0FQOL2I51
2015 Foster Cat/Kitten Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1A1HUNQ7J3DL/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Winter Kitten Wish List! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3CZ6IYCKS2A7N/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Fall Wishlist for Fosters/Ferals! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2TD3TQBOEMT1E/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Food For Foster Kittens: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/OJQIYGC91289/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Our Groups Foster Kittens! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1D226142CCGZX/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Can’t adopt? Foster! Can’t foster? Donate or volunteer.
There are so many ways you can help cats who need homes and care. You may not have room to adopt another cat, but can foster a cat or kitten for a few weeks. If not that, you can volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue, or donate. You do this because you love your cat, and by doing so you help all cats. No matter which of these actions you take, you help to save a life, and make life better for all cats.
- Adopt one of the cats I’ve posted here, or from any shelter or rescue near you, or from Petfinder, to open up a space for another cat to be rescued and fostered.
- Offer to foster cats or kittens for a shelter or rescue near you.
- Volunteer at a shelter or rescue.
- Find a group of volunteers who work with homeless cats and help them with their efforts.
- Donate to a shelter or rescue near you.
If you can foster kittens or adults cats to help prepare them for a forever home, please run to your nearest shelter and find a cat who needs you! Anyone can help with this effort at any level, even if all you do is donate to a shelter or rescue so they can help to pay for the food or medications needed for their foster, or the spay/neuter/veterinary care during a clinic.
Need to know more? Read Fostering for Your Shelter and Fostering Saves Lives
Browse some rescued cats and kittens—browse here or visit PittsburghCAT!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!