Saturday, October 2, 2010

SWEET SURRENDER - IT'S A LONG STORY

SWEET LITTLE MAMA MAGGIE

MAGGIE'S SON, MIKEY

Some of you have read about my two semi-feral kitties from time to time. Spouse named the mama cat Maggie and her son, Mikey. Maggie was only about 6 months old when I was first told about her. At the time, she was living under a shed here in my neighborhood. That's where she bore her first litter of kittens. We don't know for sure how many she had, but there was one sighting of her walking down the sidewalk with four little carbon copies of herself in tow. Sadly, three of those kittens did not survive. The one who did, became his mom's shadow and closest companion.

One of our neighbors put out food for Maggie and her boy, and promised to always feed them. She also promised to make sure Maggie was spayed. I offered her the use of my humane trap but she asssured me she had one. I remember telling her Maggie could become pregnant again even while nursing her remaining kitten, but she said she would not let that happen. Since I had more than enough to deal with here, cat-wise, I let it be her responsibility. That was a decision I soon regretted. Before we knew it, Maggie was pregnant again and in hiding. By that time, the neighbor who had the shed which had been Maggie's home, had closed the openings under it and I didn't know where she went. Another neighbor built a small shelter house for Maggie, but we don't know if she actually used it.

I worried about Maggie and Mikey all year. They would disappear, re-appear for a day or so, then go back into hiding, but we finally saw her new kittens. Again, there were four, but apparently none of them survived. I searched for days and tromped around in the woods behind our homes, hoping to find the place where Maggie had hidden them. I never found any evidence of kittens. I'd only seen them once before I received a call that two of them had met their fate with cars - on the same morning. Sadly, I retrieved them and buried them. I never found the other two. Maggie and Mikey continued to stay together and I continued to worry.

I realized I could not rely on anyone else to catch Maggie and her son, so I vowed to not give up until they were caught. It didn't take too long before Maggie found herself inside the trap. I was relieved, but that left Mikey out in the elements by himself. He would stand back and watch me put tuna, canned food, lunch meat, and anything else I could think of, inside the trap, but he refused to go into it. A couple times, he was able to pull the food out without getting caught. It was an exasperating ordeal, but I finally caught him and made the appointment to have him neutered and his mama spayed.
After they healed from their surgeries, but against my better judgement, I released the two cats back into the neighborhood. I had so many kitties here and none was being adopted, so I didn't think I could bring in two more. I was able to keep Maggie and Mikey down here at my house much of the time though. They came early in the morning and late at night, and began sleeping behind the bushes in front of the house. When we decided we'd be moving to another house that had a big barn, I knew I couldn't leave this neighborhood without those two cats. Spouse agreed and we set out to trap them again. This time it was even more difficult. I finally saw an opportunity one evening. After weeks of being unable to catch her, I was able to pick up Maggie. She had allowed me to pet her from time to time but had avoided the trap completely. I think she was as shocked as I was that I had her in-hand.
Catching Mikey proved to be nearly impossible though. I tried everything I knew, yet he remained elusive. One morning a few days ago, he was at my front door waiting to be fed. For some unknown reason, he allowed me to pet him. Most often, he had run like the wind if I'd attempted to touch him. For whatever reason, Mikey had finally decided he could trust me. I stood with one foot inside the house and the other outside the door. I was nervous because all my attempts to catch Mikey had proved fruitless, though I'd set the trap every day for weeks. But, as with Maggie, I saw an opportunity and took it. I leaned down and petted Mikey as he ate. He started purring loudly as I first scratched his ears, then his neck. He didn't bolt! I thought it's now or never, and I reached down and picked him up, keeping a firm grip, but to my surprise, he didn't resist at all. In fact, he continued to purr as I held him close to me. It was as if he had become tired of the game and simply surrendered.
I immediately took him to the little room in which I'd placed his mama. Later that morning, I took both cats to the vet and had them tested for Leukemia and FIV. Thank goodness their tests results were negative. I'm thankful I had them vaccinated back in May when they were spayed and neutered. I think that protected them all this time. Maggie and Mikey are now safely inside the house. I admit it's a bit crowded in the cat area, but they're adjusting well to the other cats and I can finally sleep at night.

9 comments:

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

OH I am so glad they are with you once again..and that they are letting you hold and pet them..I bet God has something to do with this..he knows you will take good care of them..;)they are beautiful babies.;)

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

So glad they are staying with you again - they know you love them.

Janice said...

What a neat story!! I love cats and don't think my house would be complete without them! =)

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Oh, Kady, finding your blog has been one of the greatest things for me. It is always heartwarming and uplifting to visit and read your stories of humanitarianism. We had a cat once that looked much like Maggie and Mikey. Her name was Sugarbaby. She was pregnant but craved human contact and came readily to live with us. She had her kittens in a cardboard box, right in front of the TV, with all of us watching. She was just a kitten herself and needed to be petted and stroked throughout her labor and delivery. It just breaks my heart--the way too many people treat their pets. I think there a lot of kennels out there that should be closed forever. Too much over-breeding and not near enough human touch! These animals need us and kindness.
Love your heart!
Bless you!
★Linda★

GailinVirginia said...

Another beautiful post by a most caring lady...so glad you didn't have to work too hard to get them. Hugs to your "spouse" who agrees when he sees your heart talking:)

Hope the move is going well,
Gail

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

I am soo happy for you and me--as I was worried about mom and son for when you moved!! You are a blessing!
Now I need you to come and help us tame the 4 wild ones in the garage--
at least one-Morris has a good home with little sister--he is a very loveable kitten--and we got the Momma cat fixed--I believe she is still at the shelter--hope to learn more tomorrow about if they are going to bring her back or not-- I just can't see them releasing such a loveable kitty--soooo????
the other 4 will come out now while we are there feeding them--but you can not pet them--or reach out to try--they run--maybe one of these days!!!
Hugs, Di

cynthialeedesigns said...

I'm so happy to hear that you were able to get the kitties into your house. I'm sure they can tell that they are safe and loved with you.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi. Yes, I live in Ohio...around the Enon/Springfield area. Years ago, I lived around the area where you do and I used to do the Starving Artist Show for years and worked at Sew-A-Lot.

I couldn't believe how real the faux caramel apples looked either. I got the direction from the October 2009 issure of Create-n-Decorate magazine.

Hope you have a great week.
~Cindy~

Karen said...

Oh, Kady your heart is sure in the right place. You are such an angel to these little kitties. Tucker is adorable. I will pray for him that he will grow to be big and strong and enjoy life as all the others are doing.
Bless you for being the Saint of Cats and Kittens.

Cat Haven Crafts said...

Kady, You are wonderful! Glad to hear that there was a happy ending to this story!