Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Rescue Story: Kitten Season is Here

One of the cats in question.

I’ve been monitoring and planning for several rescue situations as the clinics come up, but two of them became more urgent last week.


siamese mix cat
Snowy, who needs to be spayed.

You may remember last May when I trapped 10 cats and moved them to my friend’s farm. The caretaker promised not to feed cats anymore, and he has not, even when a cat showed up and gave birth to kittens in the garage where he had fed before. He called and we discussed when and how to trap them, and are pretty sure they came from a colony down the road that I’d been helping with over the past two years.

That colony has a mom cat named Snowy who will not be trapped and has had several litters of kittens since that time. She gives birth in the woods and sadly most of the kittens disappear when she starts to lead them up to the feeding station. The large ravine behind the houses is full of wildlife, including owls and coyotes and foxes which are predators of kittens.

I made plans to work both situations together for this month’s clinic, but the caretakers called to tell me that developers are clearing the ravine in preparation for development, including the area where Snowy gave birth to her kittens. Thankfully the two equipment operators saw the cat and the kittens and went to the nearest house where the caretaker lives and let them know about the kittens. They said they’ve been careful around them and will continue to be, but they hope the caretaker can move the mother and kittens.

The woods at the end of the yard. Before clearing you could not see this pond and the other hillside was tree-covered.

I visited them on Friday to plan for this impossible-to-trap mom cat and her kittens, five to six weeks old. We saw her, and found that her kittens were inside the patio they had covered with tarps for winter and contained covered houses, beds and the feeding station. Glad that she had moved the kittens, which solved part of the urgency, we still have to trap her and grab those kittens before she moves them.

Snowy eats underneath one of their cars parked in the driveway, and there’s not space underneath for a trap. She has avoided every trap or trapping situation ever tried, including efforts before I came along. But I was glad to see that she didn’t run from me, and while I was still there she went under the car to eat the food the caretaker had placed there. Maybe Snowy is accustomed to seeing me, but I hope this means we can finally trap her, and that she’ll keep her kittens where they are so we can work inside the patio shelter to trap them.

tabby cat eartipped
Tomasina, former mom cat who is part of the colony.

I didn’t see the mother cat and kittens at the other place, but they sound about the same age, and I’ll trap them all at the same time, most likely next weekend. I have to get surgery appointments for the mothers, but also have to find fosters for the kittens.

Mama Kitty

feral pregnant dilute tortoiseshell cat
She’s pretty big.

You may remember Mama Kitty from a TNR project I helped with last autumn. The kittens, some older kittens and the father were trapped, but Mama Kitty, the first one trapped, managed to get out of her trap because it seems the back panel was loose.

As Mama Kitty’s caretaker describes her, “She looks like she swallowed two loaves of bread,” and that was accurate the first time I saw her this past Sunday. She is very pregnant with another litter and we want to trap her before she delivers. But she will have none of this.

feral pregnant dilute tortoiseshell cat

I told the caretaker to hold at least one meal and went to set traps on Sunday. He feeds two cats and occasionally an intact male comes along too, so I want enough traps for everyone. He was out so I sat to watch them for a while because I don’t like to leave traps unattended. Mama Kitty came around in short order, leaning into each trap and walking around the back, but would not walk in. I messaged with him while I was there and decided to close up the traps and go back home to warm up some tuna, her favorite.

When I returned he was there and both cats were responding to him calling them.

feral pregnant dilute tortoiseshell cat
The two cats come out for their caretaker.

I reset the traps with the warm tuna, but though they stayed around, neither cat would go near the traps. I left for him to watch them through the day. He told me the next morning that later on that night he heard the trap close and looked outside to see the Mama Kitty running across the parking lot, but I’m not sure it was her, unless she has some superpower where she can break out of any trap. If it was, she’d had a good meal in there.

Their caretaker calls to them. They hid under the trailer and there are other hiding places, as well as their winter shelters.

He works second shift so I went down Monday morning to set the traps again and also to show him how we would use the drop trap if we could. He often sits on the steps and watches them eat, and that would work perfectly with a drop trap.

He watched the traps until he went to work. Though I don’t like to leave traps unattended we decided we’d leave them up because the people at the business next door could take a look and I could stop down through the day as well. But no sign of cats at all on Monday. The person who trapped last autumn said that Mama Kitty was suddenly very erratic in her eating habits once they started to trap, so that’s probably what we’re seeing now.

Rain is forecast on Tuesday but we’ll see if we can make things work with the drop trap, depending on who, if any cats, show up.

feral pregnant dilute tortoiseshell cat
She owns this parking lot.

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.

We do have our Cubbage Hill Cats fund, but I don’t use that for cats outside of our neighborhood. If you’d like to help me keep things going or contribute money for goods, you can do that by visiting www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net and purchasing one of the things I make. If you’d like to donate, my Paypal address is [email protected] and my Venmo is @Bernadette-Kazmarski. For other ways of donating or contributing, send me an email: bernadette at bernadette-k dot com, and thanks for helping!

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals

Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals!

Feline Gifts from Portraits of Animals!

cat refrigerator magnets
Sitting Pretty Refrigerator magnets.

I worked out the manufacture of my own “die” or basically a cookie cutter to use for creating consistent shapes of one of my sketches. Each magnet is hand-painted. 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:

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!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “Rescue Story: Kitten Season is Here

  • listun veree care full lee two uz snowy and momma; ewe galz be gorgeouz bye de way…thiz iz de trooth….theez peepulz iz GOOD peepulz and they iz tryin ta make sure ewe N de wee onez all haza
    brite few chure ♥♥♥…be trapped…oh kay ♥♥


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