Well… On the 19th of June, Juno, the feral cat that hangs around my backyard, had her third litter of kittens. *sighs* I guess she went into heat almost immediately after I had rescued Tiberius, Nero, Mia, and Marcus from feraldom. By the time I caught my breathe, after taking on four 6-7 week old kittens, it was too late to trap, and get her spayed.
On July 20th, when they were 4 weeks, and 3 days old, I was able to rescue this third litter (two girls, and four boys) when she finally took them out into the open, and was nursing them in the yard. I was hoping for them to be around 6 weeks before rescuing them, but I took the opportunity that was offered, not knowing if I would get such a good chance to get every one of them again.
On the bright side, three days later I successfully trapped Juno with the help of one of her loudest kittens. I placed the kitten in a secure cat carrier, and put the opening to the end of the trap, then covered where they joined one another with a towel. It worked like a charm, though it took Juno going in the trap a few times to actually set it off. lol. We bought a Havahart Large Collapsible Easy Set Trap to do this, and it worked beautifully. Once Juno goes to be spayed, I’ll be donating it to Cat Matchers, a local no kill animal adoption organization.
I also had an great idea… I have a decently sized walk-in closet, in my bedroom, that was easily cleared out, and thought that I could use it to make a cozy nest in it for Juno, and the kittens. I placed a sheet lined box for Juno to hide in, along with food, water, and a cat box with clay litter, that the kittens had already been using, in it. The kittens, even though they had gotten used to us, were being obstinate about eating well, so I figured that they’d do much better if their mom was caring for them. I was right, both Juno, and the kittens, took to one another quickly, and seem quite happy in the closet. I plan on letting her rear them there, while I take out a few of them at a time, to romp around, and be played with, in my living room. That way they’ll be well fed, kept clean as only a mom cat can keep them, and will still get well socialized so they won’t end up like their poor mother.
Juno’s backstory: She’s has been hanging around my backyard almost 2 years now. At first, I thought she was someone’s pet who was allowed outside. Then, last May, while Pookey, and I, were doing yard work in the back we came upon two kittens near the shed we have in the rear of our yard, and were shocked. Unfortunately, while we did search for more kittens, we missed the other two kittens in the litter. Thankfully they were both males, the only female in the litter being one of the kittens we found. By the time I saw the two other kittens weeks later, it was sadly too late, as they were definitely feral by then. *sad sigh*
The only thing that was a blessing about the two missed kittens being with her is that they kept her from going into heat, so she didn’t have a second litter until early this March. The second litter I was able to rescue when they were a tad over six weeks old. Unfortunately rescuing all of the kittens in the second litter made her go into heat almost immediately, so here we are with her third one. Her LAST litter.
Though Juno is definitely feral, she’s obviously is an owned cat that went wild, and tolerates me rather well. Not well enough to touch her, but she looks to me to feed her, and will let me be close to her unless she feels especially paranoid. She’ll be spayed after the kittens are weaned, and I’ll be returning her to my back yard, where I’ll try to make her life as good as I can.
Lastly, seven cats – Augustus, Julius, Minerva, Tiberius, Nero, Mia, and Marcus – is more than enough for me, so Cat Matchers will be helping me get the kittens adopted. I definitely do not want them to go to people who find euthanizing animals, they find inconvenient, acceptable. I’m one of those people that feel once you adopt a pet it’s for life, even with animals that have issues. None of us are perfect, and if something that won’t be important in ten years makes you carelessly discard a pet, then you need to reexamine yourself, and seek to improve upon your character.