It’s late at night and very windy…I can hear the sound of a whining cat, it sounds like a little kitten and not an adult cat. I get up and check the yard, it’s dark and I can’t see and can’t hear the meow anymore. This was last Wednesday, the last day of November 2011. Thursday morning I hear the cat again and start looking for her. I checked every single bush, tree and each corner of my own backyard, looked on the street and sidewalks. Checked all trees and poles, looked under the house and around the plants. Nothing – I couldn’t find the cat. Then, after dinner with friends on Thursday, my husband David and I returned home to hear the kitten meowing for help. We started to clip the ivy hedge down. We were sure she or he was stuck somewhere in the middle of it and couldn’t get out.
After an hour we saw the scared and timid little kitten coming out of the hedge. She/He was still trying to hide and pressed her body towards the grass. David grabbed her – and she was not very pleased about this – so she answered with a deep bite and substantial scratch on David’s hand. He was frightened and dropped her, allowing the little kitten to seek refuge in the garage (we’re happy she didn’t run onto the street). Now another hour of searching started. The kitten was so scared of us creepy people chasing her from one corner to the other, but with a lot of patience and a well-thought-out plan we caught her. The first night we made her some nice bedding in one of our laundry baskets and closed it on top so that she could relax a little, making no attempt to open it and disturb her for awhile. A water bowl and a bowl of wet dog food was all what I could provide for the first night. I called her “Thursday”!
I know that socializing and caring for a feral kitten is a time-consuming process which requires devotion, patience, and attention. The decision to bring this lost and frightened animal into our home wasn’t taken lightly. Ultimately, we have to use our own judgment depending on the kitten’s circumstances and our time and resources. But what kind of choices can we make? A shelter, or let her go? I know if I take her to a local shelter it’s her death – they wouldn’t give her the chance to adapt and would put her down. This was not an option.Thursday is now living in a giant dog crate with her own bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.
I’ve had cats in the past but was not very familiar with little kittens, so I started searching the internet for useful information about feral kittens and stray cats. I found tremendous help online, including the website Alley Cat Allies, an awesome source of information; all you need to know when you find a kitten outdoors. David and I weighed our options, which includes socializing her and finding her a home (taking time and a lot of effort) or just waiting till she is old enough to spay/neuter before taking her to a cat colony where she can live outdoors. I don’t know where she came from and if she has a colony or where her family is, but I now recommend The socialized cat guide as a must-read for everyone who finds a kitten.
This week I’m going to try to find the kitten’s home, checking the shelters, lost and found, putting my own found ad in my area and using social media to spread the word – I found a great free tool to create flyers online.
We can’t keep her, with our 2 dogs that are not used to cats. I don’t want to risk the kitten’s life in meeting them. We have to find a home for her, and I’m sure she would be a great cat for someone. She’s already adapted wonderfully. Today I could pet her, and I even carried her around in my pocket. She eats, drinks and already uses her litter box. I think she is about 6 – 8 weeks old. We would pay for her spay/neuter costs and get her vaccinations done before she moves. She looks healthy, but I would take her to the vet to make sure this week.
If you are interested in giving Thursday a new home, please shoot me an eMail. Meow.
Update, 2011 December 12: We’re very happy to announce that little “Thursday” found a new loving forever home. She is going to live with an awesome family in Florida. Now, we have to get her ready for the trip. Wohooo!
We’re checking shipping opportunities. One of them could be Pet Airways – we interviewed Aly from Pet Airways this year and learned about the shipping and transportation of animals in the main cabin.
Update, 2011 December 21st: On Saturday we took our little kitty cat to the vet and got her vaccinated, preparing for her journey to Florida on Monday the 19th. She was still too little for the surgery and too little for rabies; I learned that kittens have to weight at least 2 pounds or be 3 months old. She also got her microchip, and is now registered under the name LUNA (the name her new family has given her).
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any response or feedback from PetAirways, which was a little disappointing. I asked for a special fare or shipping opportunities, but they never got back to me. A friend told me I should try out uShip, to list her and wait until any transport companies give me an offer or a bid to my listing. I was not thrilled but gave it a try. After 3 days I received an offer from Candy from Candys Boat and Pet Transport and checked all the reviews which former customers had left on their profile. I asked for a discount or if they somehow could support PackPeople’s first adoption from Los Angeles to Florida – and they agreed to give us a $50 discount! I think that was pretty awesome, considering that this is a small business owner. All the other opportunities I tried weren’t really trustworthy and I didn’t feel comfortable. I accepted their bid and waited until Monday.
Billy and Candy picked Luna up and we had a very good feeling, transferring Luna into Candy’s care. She was ready to travel in her big crate along with some other dogs.
Saying Good-Bye was harder than I expected. I kinda was already attached to that little furry ball and I had to keep in mind the whole time that she is going to live with an awesome family, as well as another cat.
I checked on her today and Billy and Candy told me she’ll arrive in Florida on the 23rd of December. On time for Christmas Eve ~ what a lucky kitty. I hope I’ll receive some new pictures from her family and can update again.
Update, December 28, 2011: Luna aka Thursday arrived at her new families house on Friday, 23rd right before Christmas. Her long trip was over – now she enjoys a new life with a wonderful family and another kitty-cat friend. Everyone seems to be very happy! I hope I can update with new pictures in 2 or 3 month again. Thanks to everyone who shared her story.