Just when I thought I'd gone out of the kitty fostering business, here came another little family that desperately needed some help. On Saturday, my friend, Deanna (who lives two hours away) called with an urgent request. She prefaced her statements by telling me I could say "no" if I wanted to. Right, like that was gonna' happen. She began describing something that occured on Thursday. Apparently, an abandoned gray cat had delivered three kittens on someone's front porch, and though he cared about the cat, the homeowner felt he could not deal with her. As I understand it, that man called a neighbor, who did take in the mama and kittens but his dogs were trying to get to the little family even though they were safely nestled in his mud room behind a closed door. The dogs' persistence caused him to call a friend and co-worker, Debbie, who then called her sister, Deanna, who then called me. Talk about networking!
It had been about three years since I had mama cats or kittens to care for, and though I'm an earnest advocate of spaying and neutering, I dearly love nurturing kittens. I told Deanna I'd be happy to help. Yes, I do have a lot of cats already, and no, I don't need more responsibility right now, but those babies needed help and I had the means with which to help them. Deanna and Debbie brought the little family to me and I have already fallen in love with them.
My barn actually has two cat rooms which can be divided by closing the door between them. Both rooms have heaters in them and since Debbie had the mama and kittens already situated in a large carrier and that is where mama cat feels secure, they remain in there. Momcat has access to the whole room though and has begun to take small breaks from her three squirming kittens. She runs to greet me when I enter her room and "talks" to me when I'm with her. She allows me to not only hold her, but to also pick up the kittens. The first step in getting them socialized is helping them feel secure while being held. My other cats are doing fine in the larger of the two rooms, though they are very curious about what's going on inside the smaller one.
We have a few weeks to figure out what's next for the cat family, but for now, they are safe here with me. I have to admit I'm enjoying the experience. What would make me happier is if there was never a need to foster cats or kittens because they all had loving homes. Please spay and neuter your pets.