We have kittens, five little kittens that are about 3 weeks old. When you live on a farm and have outdoor cats, you naturally end up with more cats who find their way to your place…which is what happened to us.
Momma kitty showed up along with a black and white tom cat we named Patches. Momma kitty is feral and hasn’t let us get more than 4 or 5 feet from her but she is friends with Patches and our neutered male, Red. She has been brave enough to come up to the deck.
We suspected right away that she was pregnant. We knew one option was to live trap her and take her in to be spayed which would have terminated the pregnancy. But when I got quiet and asked what we should do, I heard, “let her have the kittens”. Once they are old enough we will trap her and have her spayed. Patches will be neutered too. This is life in the country.
She originally had the kittens in the hay shed where we build tunnels in the hay to provide warm nests for the cats in the winter. She had them tucked in one of the tunnels. We respected her privacy and tried to be very quiet while in the shed. Eventually she moved them from the hay tunnel and put them under a pallet that had supported hay bales. Her next move was out of the hay shed and in a space in the horses’ lean-to attached to the barn. Between the metal side of the barn and the pine wall that lines the lean-to is a space of about 10”. The wall is about 4 feet high. Becky saw her move them and then I was able to peek at the kittens for the first time. Sadly, I could see there was one little calico runt who looked near death. That evening, the littlest had passed. Momma kitty moved them again to the same space only on the other side of the lean-to.
Today I decided to talk with Momma Kitty. I wanted to know if there was anything we could do for her and to let her know (again) we only want to help her and the kittens.
Wendy: We want to help you and we want you to know we would never harm you or your babies. We think you are a very good mother and doing a wonderful job. Are you sad about the kitten that died?
Momma Kitty: My concern is for the ones who are alive…that’s why I moved them. I didn’t want them to become ill…they need me. Thank you for the food it has been helpful. I prefer what I catch but with an easy source of food I don’t have to work as hard and my babies get more milk from me.
Wendy: How did you find us?
Momma Kitty: Patches told me there was food, water and a warm place here. I think Red told him.
Wendy: Is Patches the father of the babies?
Momma Kitty: Yes.
Wendy: Did you know there is a fox near here? I wouldn’t want you or the babies to get caught by the fox.
Momma Kitty: Yes, we all know. We are careful but I don’t think the fox is a real threat, I can out maneuver him.
Wendy: I want you to know that I can hear the animals, including you so if you ever need anything, please call on me. We want you and your kittens to have a happy healthy life.
Momma Kitty: Thank you. I am beginning to trust you humans but I am not quite ready to be touched yet.
Wendy: Okay, we will respect that. Please let me know if you need help.
I love that Momma Kitty is focusing on taking care of the kittens she has and not on the one who was lost. We can all learn something from her… see what is in front of you, focus on what you have, not what you don’t have and care for the ones who need you. Another lesson on being in the present moment.
In about 7-8 weeks we will have some kittens available to good homes. Let me know if you are interested.