While I have been having my TNR adventures in Brooklyn my mom, brother, and dad have been having their own in Lakeview, Oregon. My brother, Zack, was doing something in the barn behind the house when he saw a cat jump out of the wall, curious Zack got a flash light and peered into the area the cat had exited from. Looking down he found a great surprise, kittens in the wall!
My mom, Bev, and brother checked on the kittens over the next few days; the second day there was only one kitten left, then by that afternoon everyone was gone. Zack and Bev started moving some of the stuff piled by the hole in the wall near where the kittens had been only to find Door Jamb stuck under a big, old, heavy door that had been leaning up against the wall. It was lucky he was found as he seemed quite as stuck as Pooh stuck at Rabbit’s house. They couldn’t find the other two kittens and worried the mother cat might have moved the babies out to the hog shed. Bev and Zack kept looking in the wall to see if the kittens had gone back to their original home, but no such luck. A couple of days later my mom went out to the barn with Belle, the black lab sweetheart. Belle went into the barn with my mom, which she never does, and went over to the lumber where the kittens had originally been. Belle was sniffing loudly tracking something in the rear of the barn when all of a sudden there was a hiss and two glowing eyes. Quickly Belle was called back before the cat could make mincemeat out of her. It was suspected the kittens were near the lumber so Zack took on the heavy task of moving the boards out of the way. With only two boards left in the massive pile there for all to see was a little fuzzy butt, Fuzz-Butt apparently didn’t know her rear was visible. Bev and Zack quickly fetched a box to contain the kittens before they removed the last board. Somehow Zack was fast enough to grab two kittens before they knew what hit them.
A couple of days later my brother’s friend Carson found more kittens at his home to add to the growing pile o’ kittens in my mom’s sewing room.
Posting the kittens in the local vet’s office was all it took to find these babies their forever homes and now the focus was back to finding their mom. The Humane Society in Lake County lost its heart when the founding member moved out of town meaning there is no low-cost/free TNR services for people in the community. It also means they can’t check out traps. My mom ended up being able to borrow an ancient trap from the local Fish and Wildlife office. She put the trap out near the barn and began feeding the mom at the same location for the next few weeks. The cat consistently finished off her food and it was time to trap her. Setting the trap my mom came back to check it several times until the next morning when she saw her efforts had been successful!
The mom cat was super unimpressed with the situation, but calmed down when the trap was covered with a towel. She went to the Lake County Animal Hospital to be fixed and kept over night for observation. They discovered she was between 7 and 8 years old with worn down and missing teeth. It is very upsetting thinking about how many litters she had over the years, what happened to all of them, and how hard it must have been on her. We are hoping now that she has a regular food source and a safe barn to call home that she will stick around.