I've been so careful to not allow my cats inside the room where mama cat and her kittens are being fostered. Every time I go in the room, there are a few cats outside the door, just waiting for a chance to discover what's so special about that new cat and what's in the big wicker basket. My cats have never seen the kittens but they know there is SOMEthing inside that room that is preventing them from being in there.
This afternoon as I entered the small cat room, my shy innocent Bailey sneaked inside. He didn't go anywhere near the kitten basket but bolted for the window, which is his favorite spot. Mama cat immediately spied him and was on top of him so swiftly I hardly knew what had happened. One second she was purring and nursing kittens and the next, she was literally on top of Bailey, screeching at him and biting him anywhere she could. She was relentless. He was squealing and cowering and she was in full mama cat mode, which meant she would most likely have given her life for her little ones. She had no way to know Bailey wouldn't hurt a flea. He's not a fighter and didn't defend himself at all. He most likely would have been afraid of the kittens had he laid eyes on them but he didn't have that chance. I highly doubt he even knew they were in the basket. He just wanted his window spot back.
Experience has taught me to not stick my hands in between fighting dogs or cats - not even to try to spare them injury. I was surprised that I remained very calm throughout the ordeal. When mama cat returned to the basket, she cuddled with her kittens and resumed nursing as if nothing had happened. I went over to check Bailey for injuries (there was none visible) and console him. He was growling softly but I think he was doing that because he was so traumatized. As I stood there talking to Bailey and trying to remove him from the cat condo where he'd taken refuge, mama cat decided to come at him again. That time I put a chair between her and Bailey and managed to herd her to the large carrier in which she'd been transported here. She went inside willingly and I closed the door behind her and went back to see about Bailey. I finally peeled him off the condo and cradled him until we were safely back in the big room. I called for Glenn to come and hold him while I thoroughly checked him for wounds. His fur was wet in many places but there were no wounds and no blood. Thank goodness.
I'm sure Bailey had no idea why he'd been attacked. He's very shy and has been ever since a blue plastic grocery bag chased him around the house two years ago. He had been curious and stuck his head inside one of the handles and then tried to run. That bag chased him up and down the stairs and in and out of rooms. I was only able to free him from it when he was cornered in a bathroom. To this day, he runs when he sees me with a blue plastic grocery bag. He's such a gentle and unassuming boy, and of all the cats to be attacked by a fierce mama protecting her kittens, it was most unfortunate that he was the one.
I don't blame Bailey for being curious and I surely don't blame the mama cat for defending her kittens. She was simply doing what she was supposed to do. I fault myself for not being more diligent in keeping Bailey from sneaking inside the room.
PROTECTIVE MAMA CAT
Aside from being frightened and possibly giving up one of his nine lives, Bailey is no worse for the wear.
l learned some lessons today. I often wonder when I'm going to learn enough lessons that I won't have to deal with things like this anymore. Probably never.