It’s been almost 2 weeks since the return of students to school, and also that dreaded assignment (or maybe not so dreaded, depending on how exciting your summer actually was), of ‘How I Spent my Summer Vacation’. I decided that in honor of the start of school, I would enlighten you all with an essay of how my summer played out.
How I Spent my Summer Vacation
By: Erin Flattery
I spent my summer taking care of cats.
Seriously. For those of you who are a fb friend, on my twitter feed, or a “real life” friend (as I like to say), you may already know this. If you haven’t visited my house at all this summer, you may not know how in depth this feat has been. Let’s start this story at the beginning shall we?
In late May, a momma feral cat showed up in our backyard one day with her 3 somewhat young kittens. (pictured above) Being the animal lover I am, and considering I had actually already been feeding a stray cat anyways (whom I named Elly), I began feeding them too. By late June, momma and her 3 kittens were coming right to our deck to eat once a day. It was cute. I contacted a local TNR program (TNR stands for Trap, Neuter and Release. They actually do this for feral cats who cannot be socialized into a forever home.), but apparently feral cats are running rampant in London, so they were too busy to help me out with this. As cute as these kittens were, they were still feral (wild) and were very much afraid and unsure of humans.
About mid July, momma started hissing at her kittens when they tried to eat while she was. That was the last day we saw her. I assumed she might be pregnant again. So for the rest of the summer, I spent hours daily, feeding and trying to socialize these 3 kittens who I lovingly named Petey, Tabs, and Dax. It was obvious that Petey was the runt, Dax was the scaredy cat, and Tabs just wanted to explore. Very soon after, Petey began letting me pick him up, and by mid August, I was able to take him to the vet, and bring him into our house. Success! At least with one of the three!
Tabs at the door, Petey and Dax in the bed behind. (late July)
After seeing Petey through our back door, Dax began sleeping and hanging out on our deck daily, and now is slowly letting me cuddle with him. I know I need to bring him into a shelter, but I am TERRIFIED that since he is feral he will be put down. He is slowly learning to socialize with humans, but is about 6 months old. I really don’t know what will happen if I take him in. Tabs still comes for food and sleeps on our deck during the afternoon, but is weary of me still, and explores the neighbourhood for the majority of the day.
Sooooooooooooo, on Thursday this week, I was on the deck feeding Tabs and Dax, when another grey and white smallish cat shows up for food. I shooed it away, and followed it to the back of the backyard. It had 3 kittens waiting for her in a bush. I quickly got out my iphone and searched for pictures of the original kittens and their mom, with this new mom, and low and behold, it’s the same mom! She knew she could get food here. Great memory, but come on… didn’t you leave your last litter with me?! Sigh.
Momma with “new” litter nursing
So now I’ve got 2 6 month old kittens to feed and attempt to get adopted/socialize, and now I have momma back with 3 new, VERY YOUNG baby kittens living in the back of my yard (they are still nursing!).
I don’t know what to do!!!!!
If you count our 2 house cats (which of course I do), I am taking care of 5 cats and (soon I’m sure) 3 kittens. WTF!
I’m going to attempt to contact the TNR program again this week, I contacted ARF this summer, to no avail, and am unsure about who else to contact for help with this! Anyone interested in adopting a cat, or two, or 5? :S
On a lighter note, I am also back in my classroom from last year- YAY! At least until January, possibly longer. We’ll see. It’s been great but hectic. 30 kids in our Kindergarten class = tired, and sick teachers at the end of week 2.
And on that note I am signing off so I can go back to sleep to try to get rid of this nasty cold.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and if you know anyone who can help me with the bazillion cats- PLEEEEEEEASE let me know! :)