On July 17, 2011, I received a telephone call from Katharine, a resident of Albany County. Katherine was concerned about a cat living outside on her front porch. The cat recently had a litter of kittens. She explained that the area she was living in already had problems with stray cats. There were plenty strays with litters of kittens all year long. The residents in the area, for the most part, took kindly to the kitty refugee population and tried to feed them regularly. However, there were enough problems with people walking around the neighborhood that the cats didn’t always stay long. It was difficult to care for them and Katherine didn’t want this litter to run away too. Katharine was hoping that PETCARE Community could rescue the animals and find them a safe and loving home. We did just that!
At first we thought the rescue would be difficult with a feral mother protecting her kittens. However, soon after we arrived we realized that the mother was not only a beautiful young cat, she was very friendly! We started by attempting to provide her with some tasty food. She immediately perked up and started to eat the food; to my surprise, so did her five kittens. The kittens were about three weeks old and they were already eating food out of a dish. We were concerned about giving them to much wet food; we didn’t want to get them sick on such a hot day (it had to have been about 100 degrees that day). We wanted to make sure the mother was healthy enough to care for her kittens. We had the situation under control and it was time to get these cats a loving home. I decided to call another rescue volunteer, MaryJo, to see if she could foster the animals for the time being. She was happy to help. Fortunately the animals were calm enough to be picked up. So Katharine simply scooped up the cats and placed them in some carriers that we provided. Unfortunately one of the kittens scurried away and Katherine was not able to find her! With one kitten lost, all that ran through my mind was getting the kittens to safety and back into mom’s nursing in a cooler location. We searched for a while, but eventually I made the decision not to wait any longer given the heat and inability for the mother to care for the kittens. We transported the five cats back to MaryJo’s garage, where they would be cool and safe for the time being! Afterwards we went back to rescue the remaining kitten!
The search went on for two hours without any signs. We were getting very concerned that the kitten would die quickly without its mother to nurse him…and the sun was way too hot to survive another day without milk! Just when we thought all hope was lost, our prayers were answered! Out of a hole in the ground the last kitten popped his head out! Done deal! The kitten was on his way home to unite with the rest of his family!
The names given to the family of kittens were as follows:
• Johnny – An all black male kitten, given his name in honor of my nephew, whose birthday is 7/2
• Bootsie – A black and gray male
• Sparkles – A Gray and white male
• Gizzie – A gray male
• Pumpkin – An orange and white male (of course)
Mom was given the name Patches, because of all her calico patch spots.