Too Many Kittens!
The chickens continue to molt, but rather than get deeper into the mechanics of all that, I thought I’d share an exciting update with you regarding the “lover boy” cat who had been paying us visits, sometimes in the night, when I would be surprised by his glowing eyes. You may recall that I mentioned that I had seen this cat using our yard as a toilet, and it didn’t appear that he/she was healthy, based on my observations, and terrifyingly deep knowledge of animal poo. We had been wondering if we should try to catch him/her and pay a visit to the vet. Well, this past weekend, my wife did just that, and we have some news. (I suppose the most important part of the news is that the cat I thought was a lover boy is actually a girl. I’m leading with this information just so I can stop having to say him/her each time. Gender has been determined, now pronouns get easier.)
The mystery cat had been around the yard quite a bit in the last week or so, and ideas of how to catch her were getting tossed about, but we had trouble moving beyond getting a live trap and putting some cat food in it. The downside of that plan was that who knew what we might actually catch instead of the cat, since so many other critters are around? We never came to a full decision on technique, and then on Saturday she appeared on the steps next to the sliding door again. Later that same day, my mother-in-law came in to ask if that was our cat on the front steps. Apparently our visitor had been sitting outside the door, as if waiting to be asked inside. She ran off once my mother-in-law came in, but shortly after that, she was back at the sliding door again. We opened the door slightly and put a can of cat food on the steps. She moved away when the door opened, but only about 100 feet. As she returned to gorge herself on the food, my wife slipped out another door and slowly crept up beside her. The cat kept turning and checking her out, but the food was too good to abandon, and so once my wife was close enough, she slowly went in for the grab, and got the cat. She didn’t put up much of a fight, and we put her in a dog crate with some food and water, and then my wife took her to the emergency vet, as our normal vet was closed. In the meantime, it being so close to Halloween, my son named the cat Spooky.
The vet says Spooky is either a stray, or a very poorly cared-for pet. She has fleas (which they treated), worms (which we are treating), untold numbers of ticks which we are pulling off as we find them, is possibly pregnant, and is FIV positive. That last one is the big issue, since FIV is spread by biting, and if she joins our other cats in the house, there’s going to be at least a little of that. Our shyest, meekest cat has tried to murder Spooky through the glass when she would come visiting, so that doesn’t bode well for peaceful introductions. We’re going to talk to our regular vet to see what options we have, but chances look good that we may have to find Spooky a different home. This may not sit well with my son, who is madly in love with her. But we don’t want to risk the health of all our other cats, either.
Spooky is extremely sweet. It seems odd for a wild cat to be so nice, but perhaps she is an abandoned pet. I’m not sure how she’s survived outside alone for so long, since there are so many predators. The vet thought she might be three, and if that’s the case, we have no idea how she survived last winter outside, if she indeed was outside then. She’s very mysterious. But right now she’s snuggling up in the blankets we gave her, and eating all the food we can give her, so she’s quite happy. We even made “Welcome home Spooky” signs to greet her when she got back from the vet.
Spooky is not a chicken, but she probably went sniffing around the coop while she lurked the grounds. She’s kind of small, so I don’t think she’d win a fight with a chicken either, no matter how hungry she was. However, one less predator is out on the streets, and one more kitty is taken care of who wasn’t before. Now we just need to figure out where she’s going to live.