Monday, April 4, 2011

Pooties Get FIXED!!!!

Photos by David Lygren

As long as we've had this farm, we've had litters of kittens magically appear in our hay lofts.  All the houses up and down the road have feral cats and our barns are the biggest kitty magnets on the entire road.  It's where I would want to have my secret litter of pooties in privacy and safety so I can see why they choose it, but still, it's always made me feel very guilty.  We try to catch the ones we can, give them a home or find them a home, get them used to humans and get them fixed.  David moved a ton of hay this winter to find one crying Pootie.  It was totally black.  We had fun with it in the house for a month and then gave it to David's Mother for Christmas.  It's name is Diablo and he's fixed.

But sometimes the moms will move them and we never see them again.  We suspect that owls get many of the babies and that coyotes get many of the juveniles.  The survivors will sometimes become the next generation of feral cats.  Left behind tiny kitties will sometimes sense that we are their lifeline and will make their way over to the milking parlor, attracted by hunger, the smell of milk and the hum of activity.  Abandoned kitties do really well on goats milk and we've saved and found homes for quite a few that way.

When we can catch them, we get them fixed.  We were on top of it for awhile, but we missed one.  And it was a she.  And so on... now David was feeding four of them every day and only two could be handled and only one of those was fixed.  The wild female was one of the four. 

The County Animal Control Officer drove out to Alsea to post a notice last week.  The Humane Society was having a Snip and Spay clinic.  I drove into town, spoke with them and rented a trap.  I wasn't sure at all that I could catch the wild ones and was pretty sure I would catch the tame ones over and over again.  However, the one that's fixed and tame hasn't been seen in a week or so.  The other tame one (in the photo above with Peaches the dog) let me scoop him up and take him to the house for a day.  And with the help of some very lovely sardines, I caught both the other two within minutes of setting out the trap.  In anticipation of this event, David hadn't fed them in a few days and the sardines were irresistable!

Getting the wild cats from the live trap into a large pet crate was fun.  They did not like ME at all!  We kept them in the crate with food, water and a litter pan, signed up all three online and for good measure, signed up last years loft kitty that my son had living with him.  It came from our barn after all, so we felt responsible.

Now they are all done. DONE DONE DONE!  No fertile cats living in our barn!  None!  WooHoo!!!  Thank you Humane Society.  Thank you Animal Control Officer.  Thank you David for helping me with all the really hard parts of this adventure.  The vets did say these were some of the healthiest feral cats they had seen.

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