Friday, June 10, 2016


feral mama and kittens

You know, it's hard to ever be upset about kittens showing up in your yard. They are so darn cute! But of course when one tries to keep down the general feral population, it's a bit upsetting when all of a sudden the mamas show up with 2-5 kittens each. 

When DH and I were younger, we'd try to catch the kittens born in our yard when they were at a catchable age (3-4 weeks). At this age, they wobbly-walked and couldn't run too fast (3 of the cats we have inside now were caught like this about 12 years ago).

Over the years we've continued to take the kittens we could catch to the adoption room at our nearby shelter and this way they were adopted and no longer on the streets. And when we could catch the mama, we'd have her spayed, vaccinated, and returned to the street.

Now that we are older, the feral mamas seem to have caught on, as they now have their babies in another yard, but continue to bring them to our yard after they are about 6 weeks old... definitely too old to catch... fast little buggers! But they are adorable. 

At the moment, we have 3 mamas with their kittens. Backyard mama has 4, Sideyard mama has 5, and front yard mama that just showed up yesterday has 2. 

It's hard to know what to do. We certainly can't catch them. And if we call "Animal Control", they will set out hav-a-hart traps and catch raccoons, possums, and skunks (have done this before)... but no kittens.

What probably will happen is that some will stay and some will go off with their mama on what we call "walk-abouts" and not come back. They have 'moved on'.  The ones that hang around will eventually go off on their own as they become adults. 

And even some of these return years later on occasion to come by and spend a night or two in the yard. It's always comforting to see one of the ones that were kittens here return later as an adult. Good to know that they survived and have not forgotten where they spent some of their kitten days. 



Fuzzy Tales said...

They're sweet, though of course I (we) wish there were a good solution to the problem. Thank you for your years of TNR and adoption. You've done more than most of us and have made a difference in all those cats' live.

Purrs and peace.

Rian said...

I know, Kim. It's not the solution. But feral cats (IMO) are like other wildlife that share the area with us. If we're willing to compromise a little, we can all live together. And people need to remember that the feral cats keep the rat and snake population down... especially for us who live on a creek.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Cats of all types make me happy...they are my soul animal :) I absolutely adore this photo.

Knatolee said...

Thank you for helping the ferals!! If only everybody cared as much as you do!

SHON said...

Great post! Thanks.