How is that for kitten cuteness?
I’m helping trap five kittens born to a feral mom for vetting and socialization for adoption. Below, the gray kitten is playing with the tip of its sibling’s tail, the best toy in the world, then they all begin moving through to head for another play adventure.
A couple asked the Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) for help at the table next to me at the Pet Fair I attended as a vendor on Saturday, and it turned out they were friends of mine and live close so I agreed to help them as I do in my neighborhood and as a volunteer for the Homeless Cat Management Team.
The kittens are 8-10 weeks old and are of age and weight to be spayed/neutered so they’ll have their surgeries, rabies vaccine, snap test and FVRCP vaccine in preparation for fostering by the couple to socialize them and find adoptive homes for them. I’ll be updating as we go along.
It’s Monday and we intend to trap them on Friday for surgery appointments on Saturday, so we have a week to condition them to the traps. Their mother hasn’t been seen for a week or so but we’ll set a trap for her too, and keep trying to find her and trap her even after the kittens are trapped.
Can you find all five kittens? There are two black ones and three gray ones. They play like crazy and just blend into the grass!
I cleaned all scent of other cats off the traps when I sanitized them after the last use, and I also cleaned my own scent off of them and minimally handled them. I let their caretaker handle them since the kittens know him and his scent well. I also sprayed them with pheromone spray to make them welcoming to the kittens.
We tied them open and are letting the kittens explore them and rub their scent on them, and their caretaker is placing their food in the traps, each day moving it farther toward the back where it will be on the day we trap. I took a video of them eating in the traps for the first time this evening. It’s eight minutes long and kind of like watching paint dry, but if you like watching kittens creeping around a new thing in their environment, and in the process each one of them entered a trap and had its meal, it’s pretty darned exciting.
Their relative ease in going into the trap comes really close to ensuring success on Friday and I’m relieved to see that, while they still keep their distance from people, they are still curious and fairly unafraid in the face of something new and strange in their environment. That may mean they’ll socialize easier than some former feral kittens I’ve known as I coach the couple in socializing.
We will skip their meal the night before we trap, then remove all the ties on the traps and make sure they are set so that when the kittens walk all the way to the back of the trap to get their food they will step on the trip plate which this time will close the door behind them. The trap will be immediately covered completely and trap with kitten will be moved to their screened porch to wait for the next day’s adventure at the clinic.
This part of the rescue process for feral kittens and cats can be a little unnerving because all cats are frightened by the trap closing and being caught, but I do my best to make the trapping fear-free, and the consequence of leaving them outdoors to battle diseases, other cats, predators and people who don’t want them around is far worse than this brief discomfort.
Fun and games…
I mentioned keeping my trapping “fear free” because it can be such a frightening thing, and I’ve integrated several ways to do that mentioned here. Please read my article on fear-free trapping on the Fear Free Pets website: https://fearfreepets.com/can-trapping-cats-be-fear-free/
A note about my cat rescue activities
I’ve been at this one way or another since about 1980, and I’ve just accepted that rescuing cats is a permanent part of my life. I try to be very careful with my time to be sure I meet all my deadlines and have the time to create the artwork and gift items I sell, but rescuing cuts into both my income and my time. However, if I have the skills to help a cats and people who need it, and no one else is available, I am happy I can do that for them.
The caretakers have just laid out quite a sum for vetting for five kittens, even at low-cost rates, and I’d like to help them with any donations of goods you’d like to give, especially food and litter. I’ve been gathering some donations and purchased toys and scratchers as well.
I also have some pretty high veterinary costs right now after losing Mewsette, and still treating Jelly Bean, Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe. Morty still needs prescription foods until I can get him back to the veterinarian for some blood tests so we can find out more about his particular condition, and all of them need to eat.
- Consider a Custom Pet Memorial Votive for yourself or a family member or friend. Remember that they don’t actually have to be memorials—a votive with someone’s pet on it while they are very much alive is also a nice custom gift!
- Visit www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net. I am currently preparing my basement studio for handmade goods but it will be a couple weeks before I start stocking things, but look around in my Handmade Gifts Gallery.
- I have four Stained Glass Cats small votives which I now offer with string lights in addition to an LED votive for your choice of lighting.
- I still have plenty of feline garden flags, though I’m currently out of a few designs.
- I have one of each of the Tortie Girls block prints and one of Awakening, all are matted and framed.
- And consider even a small portrait of one or more of your fine felines!
If you have any questions, please let me know! And thanks for any help.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Feline Gifts from Portraits of Animals!
“22 Cats” votive lamp featuring all the portraits in my “Great Rescues Day Book”. Read more.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals 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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Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!