By Kathleen L'Ecluse
Daily Republic â€“ September 25, 2009 16:57
Well, Mama Kitty doesn't look at me with hurt and distrust anymore.
After our adventure of getting her fixed at the feral cat clinic a couple of weeks ago, she came back with such a look of betrayal, a winsome, doe-eyed glance that cut me to the quick.
Yeah, I'm a sucker, I know.
As some may know, a mama kitty and her four kittens moved into my backyard a few months ago. It's clear Mama Kitty isn't a feral cat in the true sense of the word. She was someone's pet for a while but either ran away or was abandoned and got pregnant while on the lam.
So, to avoid the prospect of more and more kittens occupying my backyard -- not that I wouldn't like a bevy of kittens, but they do grow up -- I decided to get them fixed. I'd learned of the Solano Feral Cat Program through the newspaper and decided to take advantage of their program.
My plan, naive that it was, was to get Mama Kitty into one of my two cat carriers and take her into the garage before the kittens caught on. Then I'd go back and put the kittens in the other carrier to get them fixed, too. I'd put out the carriers earlier so they could get used to them and their smell. Mama Kitty and the kittens even slept in one of the carriers a couple of times. I thought I was set. No problemo.
Well, they were smarter than me.
The night of the entrapment I coolly sauntered out where they were eating. I leaned down to pet Mama Kitty, hoping to distract her. I picked her up slyly and quickly stepped to the carrier, hoping to thrust her in and close it up before anyone was the wiser.
Ha. May I said it again. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Claws clamped down on the sides of the door to the carrier, four paws equal distance from each other, all attached to an arched, tense body that wasn't going anywhere. I wrestled, she wrenched, I pulled, she pushed, I grunted, she grunted.
Finally, and only because I outweigh her by about 800 pounds, I got her into the carrier. She hadn't growled or yowled much so as I carried her to the garage I hoped that maybe the kittens hadn't noticed.
I say it again. Ha. Ha. Ha.
They were gone, in the wind, out of sight, in Fresno. Score: Kittens 1, Kathy 0.
The next morning I carted Mama Kitty in the carrier over to the animal shelter for the clinic. I wasn't quite sure where to go until I saw this line of carriers and traps along side a trailer and heard a litany of mewling and meowing and figured I was in the right place.
It was run very efficiently. All these people -- 80 or 90 in all, I think -- had brought cats to get fixed so they wouldn't add to an unwanted population. They paid their $15 donation, or more, and left the cats there so the volunteer docs could do their work. I left Mama Kitt y there in her carrier, returning after 5 p.m. to pick her up.
You'd never seen so many groggy cats coming out of their stupor. I worried a bit -- they warn you that sometimes cats die under anesthesia, just like anyone else -- but she was fine, a lot less fluffy on the tummy but fine. I brought her home and kept her in the garage overnight before I let her go again into the yard.
I didn't see much of the kittens while she was gone from them -- two nights and a full day. They slunk out of the nooks and crannies of my yard when it was mealtime, clearly uncertain and unnerved by mom's absence. They didn't know what had happened.
Well, come Oct. 4, they're set to find out. That's the next feral cat clinic and it's their date with reproductive destiny. I'm a bit wiser now. I've got a few tricks up my sleeve so I can outwit these felines.
We'll see who's the smartest this time.
Ha! For more information about the feral cat program call 421-5515 or visit www.solanoferals. org. Copyright Â© 2009 Daily Republic. All rights reserved. The Daily Republic is part of the McNaughton Newspapers including the Davis Enterprise, the Mountain Democrat, Village Life, and Winters Express newspapers. All content is property of the Daily Republic and may not be reprinted or published in any form without written permission from the Daily Republic. Powered by PHPography