Our friend and amazing photographer Caitlin dropped by for a visit yesterday and, well, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Earl and Estella are irresistible, right? And they’re looking for a home.
This is my story of my first trap and rescue experience. I have a whole new respect for the volunteers that take this on all the time, it was definitely one of the most heart wrenching, exhausting things I have ever done. But in the end completely worth it. It all started 3 months ago when two of my co-workers found these 5 kittens and their mother in one of the many crawlspaces in the huge building we work in ( pictured below).
Not knowing exactly what to do my co-workers Doug and Craig put the five kittens in a box and called me to see if there was anything the ACR could do. I contacted them right away to get some advice as I had never seen kittens this little before. They informed me that the kittens were much too young to be taken from their mother and most likely would not survive if they were. The other problem is that their mother appeared to be feral and this could be a dangerous situation for anyone fostering her and her kittens. Our only option was to put the kitten back where they were found where their mother was and to leave out food and water for their mother. The next day Doug went back into the crawl space to check the food and water and they were no where to be found! 😦 We were convinced that the mother had moved her kittens to another location to keep them safe and that they were gone. This weighed on me terribly afterwards and I was sure that they were long gone, making it impossible for us to help them.
Fast forward 3 months later. By this point I had come to terms with the fact that the kittens and their mother had moved on elsewhere and all I could hope for was that they were someplace safe and still alive. Out of the blue one day another one of my co-workers came to me to tell me they there were 3 kittens out front of the castle that looked like they were living in the bush. I was thrilled and sad at the same time, because as I was pretty sure that these were the same kittens they had started as 5 and I was afraid some had been lost along the way. Right away I contacted the ACR and let them know that I thought the kittens were around and maybe old enough to be taken on by the ACR now. After that it became a wild goose chase for these kittens and their mother. Slowly we started seeing them more as we put out food and water and Doug brought in a humane animal trap for the mother. About a week later I got a text message at 8 in the morning from Doug telling me they had the mother and asking where to go from there. Right away I started shooting out emails to anyone I could in the ACR and TCR. Within half an hour I was in contact with the feral cats and trapper coordinator who set us up with a vet that would take the mother to treat and spay her. Doug and Craig got her to the vet right away. Now we all had a panicking urgency to get the rest of these kittens as they were now without their mother. We caught 3 more that day and they were delivered to a vet for treatment ( pictured below).
In finding the 3 that day we also realized that all 5 were still alive and well! Just very crafty at getting away and hiding. Getting the last two kittens took 2 more days. We caught Ophelia (pictured below) the very next day, this took about 2 hours of luring her and her brother out of a hole with tuna.
And then the orange one was the last to go. By this point I was desperate to get him as he was now completely alone and very tricky to catch. After catching his sister the day before he was M.I.A and I was afraid he would not come back out. That morning I went to work 2 hours early and I was determined to get him as I was also on a timeline with the vet as they closed earlier on saturdays. I set up the humane animal trap in front of the hole they were coming out of, hid off to the side and waited for 3 hours. After nothing at all I was starting to get discouraged and was afraid that once I needed to stay inside for work I would have lost him for that day. With the help of a few other co-workers we checked the trap every 10 minutes. Once when we checked it he was in there and eating around the trigger! Smart little guy. Anyway to end this long story, we got him with 20 minutes to spare of the vet closing! All the kittens were back together and being treated for any ailments they may have had.
Their mother “Cali” turned out not to be as feral as we had first thought. She is now living in a very loving home with Craig and is destined for a happy safe life with him
Me and Carolyn were going to take ” Finnigian”( the orange one) and Ophelia as I felt especially attached to these two that I caught myself. Finnigian got adopted before he even left the vet! One of the girls that worked their fell in love with him:)
So we have Ophelia and Ella and they are slowly but surely adjusting to being held and loved.
Another co-worker of mine and fellow foster parent, Jenn took on the other two Dusty and Lady.
This whole ordeal started out looking pretty grim and ended up as well as anyone could have hoped for. This is an experience I will not soon forget and has given me a whole new respect for fostering, the ACR as a whole and everything that these volunteers do for the cats and kittens of Toronto every day.
Earl went on a short trip today, and came back with some new toys to share.
Earl and Estella are really playful kittens. When Meg and I wake up in the morning, or come home from work, we invariably find all the pillows from the sofa and the books from the lower shelves strewn across the floor, cat toys scattered all over the apartment, anything lightweight or on wheels pushed across the room, and Earl and Estella sleeping innocently.
It’s hard to believe that Earl and Estella were so shy when they first joined us. They didn’t leave the litter box for the whole first evening, and they spent their first whole day behind the television set.
Now they’re some of the most playful and affectionate kittens we’ve had the pleasure of fostering.
My sister Jen came for a visit today, and the team was all over her. These kittens are going to make some family very happy one day.
Estella did the funniest thing last night. I was holding her and she started licking and biting my fingers, then it turned into her sucking on my fingers. Sounds kind of gross, but it was really cute. She did this for, like, 15 minutes before I finally put her down. And then she just proceeded to follow me around.
Leo was called Jacob when he was our foster kitten. He and his sister, Jasmine, came to us in January 2012. He was the first of the pair to be adopted in late-February by a really kind couple named Audrey and Robert as an companion for their cat Davey. Audrey, his new mum, sends us regular updates, and she’s agreed to let me share them here.
Leo was a real favourite of both of ours, but Megan had a real soft spot for him. He has a very sweet face and demeanour. He could be a little slower on the uptake sometimes and was prone to falling. One time Megan was holding him, and she dropped him down about a foot off the ground, which is a normal way to put cats down, but he didn’t put his paws out to catch himself, and fell right on his face. This was typical of Leo.
After the jump, an update on his new habits, and some photos of Leo at home.
Earl and Estella joined us today from another foster home. An ACR volunteer, Keri, kindly picked them up and delivered them here. Though they’re a little shy, they are eating and purring and getting along well with Audrey. I’m sure they’ll own this place by the end of the weekend.