Sunday, May 14.
A small, grey kitty was spotted as she darted in front of my daughter and her boyfriend as they arrived back home in his truck. The boyfriend saw the kitten, but my daughter did not. She wondered what he was doing as he inspected the garage (which is a free standing building not used for cars across from the house. The driveway circles around this building). He told her and she proceeded to place a small bowl of cat food inside the garage.
Monday, May 15
Monday morning my daughter noticed that the food she’d put out the night before was gone. There was definitely something in the garage. Later that afternoon, My daughter and son inspected the garage and saw the feral fuzz ball. They laid out a trail of cat food to a cat carrier. In no time, they caught the little creature. Here was her first picture. She was very timid and wanted nothing to do with us, but she was hungry. I had purchased some kitten milk on my way home from work. I placed it in a bowl and mixed in a little Strongid dewormer, having guessed her weight at 2.5 pounds and her age (by her size) somewhere between 8-10 weeks old. We have raised kittens before, all somewhat feral (2 barn kittens and one found in the middle of the road, all about 6-8 weeks of age). Our present cat was a barn kitten and is now 5 years old.
We know we can’t keep her in a cat carrier so my daughter puts out a request on Facebook for a dog crate or something, anything to keep this baby safe. An aunt and uncle come to the rescue and offer a rabbit hutch. It’s about 4 square feet of space and 1.5 feet deep. Room enough for the small kitten, a bed, a litter box, and a little place to play and eat. We place it in our porch (this room is walled and is more like a large entrance/mud room area before entering the house). We can’t bring her in yet as we have a cat and dog to consider and we don’t know if this baby is healthy. We cover the hutch with a sheet to keep the kitty calm.
Tuesday, May 16
The little feral firecracker has already wormed its way into our hearts. While the rest of us head off to work, our son (university student, who has yet to begin his summer employment) spends his day with the kitten of unknown sex or origin. He devotes most of the time getting the kitten used to being touched and hearing human voices. I text him a few times to find out how the kitten is doing and he happily reports that the baby has allowed him to touch him/her.
Wednesday, May 17
Both kids are home (daughter has the day off). They straighten out the porch and kitten proof it. Today they will be letting the kitten out to play. The day goes well and they have even managed to hold the little critter if only for seconds at a time. With this bit of information, I call the vet and make an appointment for Friday afternoon. By then the kitten should be able to be handled a little more easily.
By the time I get home, I am happy to have my own little play time with this sweet baby. Oh, and now we’re kind of sure it’s a girl. Kitten gender is not all that easy to determine when they are small (not all the bits are obvious at first). With the help of the internet, we are fairly certain.
(I have a great little video of me playing and petting the kitten, unfortunately, I’d have to upgrade to add it).
Thursday, May 18
The kitten is doing so well! Bailey the dog approaches the hutches on many occasions. We don’t allow her to have too much interaction. The good news is that she’s not entirely fixated on the cat and can be distracted. Our cat, Sophie, on the other hand, growls from a distance. When the kitten first saw her a couple of days ago, all she did was mew and want to get close to Sophie, but Sophie has no plans for that.
(another awesome playtime video)
Friday, May 19
It’s a long weekend for me and my work is so great, we get to leave early. I decide to take only a 1/2 hr lunch so that I can leave even earlier. We have a vet appointment to get to.
The appointment goes well and our little Miss Muffet (yes, she’s a she) is a great patient. She gets a clean bill of health and vaccines. The only surprise is her age. The vet determines (by looking at her teeth) that this little rascal is 4 to 4 1/2 months old. She is small for her age but the vet attributes that to poor nutrition. Now that she is eating a regular diet, she is bound to have a growth spurt.
When we arrive home, we move our wee one into the house. She will still sleep in her rabbit hutch at night, but during the day, she will be free to roam the family room.
Sophie the cat has her knickers in a knot, but she’ll get used to the new addition. Bailey the dog – well I think it’s puppy love.
Saturday, May 20
Or is it Caturday? Anyway, the little one at this moment is curled up and asleep inside a small cat climber-tube-thingy. She has been playing hard in her new digs. The picture below was taken earlier this morning on a much larger climber. She posed for a second so I could snap this pic.
We still haven’t named her, though a list of suitable names has been created, we just have to agree upon one. But rest assured, this sweet-pea will be safe and sound in her forever home.