December 5th 2012 6:31 pm
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Last night the pawrents determined it was time to catch the Little Mama and kittens for spaying. They would have done it sooner, but the timing of the spay clinic was never quite right with their schedule. As it happened, all the stars were in proper alignment this time.
Their friends from S-NAP (the Spay-Neuter Animal Project) lent the pawrents 5 live traps that are better than Havahart traps, being designed specifically for catching ferals with less trauma. They also had three small cat carriers standing by in case the Mama was able to simply pick any of the kittens up. And it turns out, she was able to use all three carriers, since two of the kittens walked up to her for snuggles, and the third allowed her to pick it up for the first time (!) while it was eating. These were all taken fairly quickly without the alarm going up, but oddly enough, most of the rest of the ferals seemed to have heard the news, and had disappeared, except Socks, who the pawrents brought inside to keep him out of the way. He and Sleep and Fearless and I got confined to the bedroom/cattery area for the duration.
While the Mama was kit-napping kittens, the Papa was setting up three of the live traps outside close to one of the major feral paths. Not long after he set up the first one, he caught the largest of the kittens – a female, and the only female aside from Little Mama; the rest of the kittens are male. The last kitten, the runt of the litter (who has not allowed himself to be touched, but who gets pretty close) was caught in a trap that the Mama edged out the porch door by him, baited with sardines. She sat there by the trap as he walked in. Finally all that was left was the Little Mama, who was caught in one of the live traps, and none too pleased about it.
Then it was necessary to cover the traps and set them upstairs for the night, because the spaying needs to be done on an empty stomach. The Mama hates this part; she always feels like a traitor to keep them caged like this, but it’s the only way to be assured that they won’t have eaten. Generally, they calm down when the traps are covered and dark, but at first they cry, and that’s upsetting. :(
Early the next morning, they made the trip to the spay clinic, all 6 of them! And were out again sometime after 12 noon. The pawrents brought them back and left them covered for another couple of hours to let the anesthesia wear off. When they opened the traps, they’d placed food in a visible location, but every one of the ferals took off in different directions and didn’t stop for the food. A short time after, though, they saw the Little Mama had come back up the path and was eating a little.
Last word: all of the kittens have returned to the porch now to eat and some at least have been seen entering the shelters. Have not seen Little Mama since this afternoon when she stopped for a bite, but this isn’t unusual. It surprises the Mama more that all of the kittens returned so quickly. :) And little Serius, on his own, climbed into the Mama’s lap and snuggled and purred.
Your Mama and Papa are super!
What a pawsome Momma and Poppa you have! We are so happy things worked out and the kits are safely back. They will be grateful in the future, having fun being cats instead of making kittens.
That's pawsome of your pawrents to do!
Good news! All 5 kittens and Little Mama showed up for breakfast this morning! Some retired to the shelters right after eating; the pawrents didn't stay to see more so that they wouldn't spook anyone. Will be keeping an eye on everyone now to make sure their recovery goes smoothly. The Papa sweet-talked a big bottle of antibiotics out of our regular vet after he explained to her about all the ferals on the porch. We're set for the winter!
You have such super-duper awesome parents. Glad everyone did well.
Thanks, Skylar. This whole process always makes the Mama as nervous as...a cat! Everyone was at breakfast again this morning. The Mama was watching particularly to see if Little Mama and the other female kitten were with the others, since the operation on females is more extensive than on males. She's watching them closely for any signs of illness, but everyone seems to be recovering just fine.