Oh my, Shantell! You've got your hands full! Perhaps you can call your local humane society, SPCA or ASPCA for some help. They generally know how to deal with this sort of thing and will probably come to your place to help trap the mom and babies so you can get them inside. I'm sure the mother will settle down a bit if you get them all into a safe, warm spot and make sure she has plenty of food.
Sweet kitten hugs,
Edited to add this URL for Animal Rescue organizations in Oregon.
Shantell, how exciting--I'd spend hours and hours flat on the deck, watching--
I fostered a litter of 6 feral kittens for the Humane Society after their mother abandoned them. The U of Toronto's stadium is full of feral cats, so they probably came from several generations of wild ones.
They were already about 2 weeks old, and hissed and spat and tried to attack whenever I entered the room for the first several days. It didn't take long for them to calm down, and by the time I took them reluctantly back to the Humane Society, they were the most affectionate and intelligent kittens we've ever seen. Just beautiful.
Chances are, the mom will move her babies more than once. We also fostered a first-time momcat with 3 babies only a few hours old--she definitely seemed puzzled by the whole business. She moved her kittens 4 times, and finally settled into my daughter's drawer of T shirts.
Could you wrap the lattice part of your deck with screening or chicken wire?
Everything is wonderful this morning. Skippy came up onto the deck immediately when she heard us roaming around. I roasted a turkey yesterday and gave her a little congrats treat. She ate it almost right out of my hand...probably would have but I was a mit leary of her biting me on accident. She was famished...and ate, ate, ate....drank, drank, drank. I could hear her little ones meowing under the deck and she was in a hurry to get back to them.
There are four total...three orange and one white. CUTE CUTE CUTE...I wanna hold them. Skippy seems perfectly content where she is so I'll leave her alone and let her do her thing.
As far as trapping, spaying, neutering etc., I've already been in contact with the vet. I talked to her in great length about what I should do. So...now to get a trap and try and get papa first. It won't be easy because he's smart and he's not "hungry". I guess it could take months. Unfortunately, we also have to have him tested for HIV/feline leukemia. It's my understanding that it very common for wild/ferral kitties to carry it or even have it and that means the babies could to. I've been avoiding it honestly. One thing at a time....right now I'm just enjoying hearing their little cries and peeking at them from time to time.
Thank you so much for letting me share all this with you.
So happy to hear that all is going well with your new little kitty family Shantell! I wanna come over so BAD and peer through the deck cracks with ya!!!!! You were concerned that one woman flat on her tummy peeking through the deck might look a bit odd to the neighbors.... how about two!? :dance: :hug:
Wild Thyme Originals
Okay ladies...here's the best I could get.
Skippy and her brood.
She moved her head and her paw so I could get a better picture. It's really cute how she does that. She'll see me peeking in and then just lay back or move her arm so I can see them all.
I set my camera to "night mode" to take these. The stupid thing has "night mode" but not a "macro feature"...how dumb is that.
Shantell, I'm glad everyone made it through the night (including you LOL!). Skippy has a really sweet face and to see that tiny kitten just makes my heart melt. Keep posting cuz I love this!
I'm not surprised Skippy was starving and I'm sure the turkey will go a long way to soften her. Has your male feral cat shown any interest in Skippy and her brood. In our experience, the males are funny - they actually like to play with the kittens, as they get bigger and can be quite attentive to them.
Our experience is that mummy will keep the tom away until they are a bit older, abour four weeks old, and they are starting to play a lot. Mummy gets fed up and will start to leave them a bit and that's when our males took over, gently playing with them and sort of "babysitting" and it didn't have to be the "daddy" cat. Almost all our males, have been "kitten friendly".
Surrender seemed indifferent about the whole ordeal. He was more concerned at getting fed then what was happening under the deck and HIS usual entrance has been blocked off. I have yet to see him today.
Samech (our neutered male) seems more interested in the activities. We are now calling him Uncle Samech. He just keep peeking through the lattice but makes no attempt to actually go under the deck. He doesn't go under there much anyway.
I've been trying to avoid the whole deck area today. I have peeked of few times and all is well...happy momma...chubby babies.
She did however swat me good earlier. I saw her come up to the food dish and was attempting to give her some fresh and apparently I got to close. She normally just jumps back but today she gave me a good pop with claws out so I now have three deep scratches on my right index finger. I'm chalking it up to cranky mommy, postpartum blues, I need some rest syndrome.
Does Skippy have a dark nose?
No...her little nose is just a pinky skin color. It looks dark because of the shadow and trying to photograph through a teeny tiny gap in the slats.
You were concerned that one woman flat on her tummy peeking through the deck might look a bit odd to the neighbors.... how about two!?
I'm sure my neighbors would chalk it up to...Oh, Shantell's at it again. Fortunately for me my closest neighbor is a sweet little old man and his wife who think I'm adorable and I think would adopt me if they could. They live about 1/8 of a mile away and can't see my deck very well without binoculars which I know he has.
I'll happily post pictures as I can get them. I've been trying very hard to stay away from the deck today and give her peace & quiet. I really hate for her to move them. So far they all seem very content where they are. I've been quietly opening the window which is right above where she has them and listening...every once in awhile I can hear tiny little meows. It's so stinkin cute. I'm smitten with the kittens!!!
Renae, we had a big dog when our first cat had kittens. The cat tolerated the dog very well. One day the mummy cat had been outside and jumped on the screen to let us know she wanted inside, as usual. For some reason, the dog decided to push the door, with the cat on it, and the cat was scared, jumped off and ran away. Well a few minutes later I heard something running and realized it was the cat coming to the door again, so I opened it. Well, she came running in the house, jumped on the dogs back and rode her around the kitchen - I had to pry her off with the broom. After that, she would not tolerate the dog at all, until after the kittens were all gone, and then things finally settled down. Moral off this story was "don't mess with momma!"
Shantell, I suspect that's why Skippy smacked you today. I wouldn't expect her to be very tolerant for the next while. Make sure you wash those scratches well - our doctor always told us that cat scratches were potentially worse than a dog's bite. Take care.
Renae, now this is funny - our cat that jumped our dog was black and white, like a tuxedo. Her mother was not a nice cat and father was a feral marsh cat - hence her "lovely" disposition. Much later in her life, she liked to cuddle up under a cedar tree at the edge of our house. One warm summer morning, I heard my daughter's best friend screaming my name , followed closely by "help" and a lot of yelping. My daughter's friend had come over to to the house, to see my daughter, walking her HUGE german shephard dog. The dog had stuck his nose in the cedar tree, and kitty had reciprocated by jumping onto the dogs face and diggin in her claws. Same cat, different broom LOL. We pried her off with it. Poor dog needed antiobiotics for his face and would never come on our property again. This cat, was about 8 pounds - very tiny. The dog was about 90 pounds - didn't stand a chance!
When we moved to Kemptville, and we bought a new house, hubby wanted to get rid of her as she was very destructive. She ruined every piece of wallpaper we ever had, but I refused. We compromised by saying she would live in the basement of our new house - it had a gas stove and furniture and the kids for company. Within a month, she had figured out when hubby went to bed - I think she heard the music for the 11:00 p.m. news. She would come upstairs, keep me company for hours and when it was time for me to go to bed, I'd clap my hands and she would go back to the basement. This continued until she died, a few years ago. It was hilarious - the only surprise I had was that when she finally died, it wasn't on my husband's chair, just for spite! They are amazing creatures.