A lot has happened in two weeks, most of it traumatic for me and the cats living in my backyard. I managed to trap one of the kittens in a carrier, but her mom went insane on me the moment it happened.
Up to that point, the mama cat has been incredibly friendly, a beautiful gray kitty who lets me pet her and purrs for me. Her kittens, on the other hand, were wild as wild could be, and would not let me touch them. Hence I had to resort to a live kitten trap to catch them.
While Mama was too friendly to be a feral cat, when her kittens were threatened, she turned into a fierce lion. The minute the trap closed and the kitten began to cry hysterically, Mama attacked me, yowling and scratching, claws fully extended. She literally ripped to shreds the pants I had on and scoured long bloody scratches up my legs. I knew immediately that I would call her Drusilla in honor of those wicked claws. When I picked up the trap and limped away, Mama Dru stopped attacking and followed me into the house, eyes on the kitten in the trap the entire way.
Mama Dru and Pebbles have been living in my study ever since while I have repeatedly attempted to trap Pebbles' brother, whom I named Skittles due to his extremely skittish behaviors. I continue to allow Mama Dru to go outside to tend Skittles, but I'm not sure it's working. I never see them together and I rarely see Skittles at all. I worry about not being able to trap him. I worry because he's still very young and his mama isn't caring for him the way she used to.
I tried to kick Mama Dru out, to force her to stay outside until I caught Skittles, but she doesn't want to stay outside and yowls to come back in. This is the worst thing ever. I feel horrible because I just divided a litter in half.
My contacts at The Animal Rescue Alliance tell me this happens all the time and that I just have to keep trying to trap the other kitten. They tell me you rescue who you can when you can because you can't save them all and if you wait until you're able to rescue all of them at the same time, chances are you won't rescue any of them.
Still I struggle with my conscience. What gives me the right to decide that this mama cat and her two kittens, who were perfectly happy playing together just two weeks ago, need to be rescued at all? I know logically their lives in this neighborhood would be short and harsh. Still, I'm devastated that I'm still one kitten short. What if my rescue efforts completely fail?
Despite my fear for Skittles, I take true delight in playing with Pebbles and Mama Dru. Though Mama's full-grown, she's as playful as her daughter. Unfortunately, none of the shelters have space for a mama cat and her two kittens which makes the expansion of my household a very real possibility. Boo Kitty Boo and Jake will not be pleased.
My students are always delighted to hear about my cats and of course, I shared with them the story of the two sleeping kittens on my front steps. I've been keeping them updated on the rescue efforts and they've been asking to see pictures. I made a short video for them instead.