Sunday Coffee – Feral Colony, part 5

It’s been quite a bit since my last update, and at first that meant “not much news.” Now it means…well, new adventures and oh-no moments.

From the feral colony itself: Our neighbors managed to trap our kittens’ mother a couple weeks back. There is a very short list of locations that’ll do TNR surgeries at the Feral Cat Coalition discount rate, and most of them will only do a handful of surgeries one day a week. The closest to us is Animal Defense League, who does 10 surgeries once per week. That’s where the neighbors took the cat, at 6am to get in line (for a 10am start time) and they were too late to get a slot. They called everywhere they could think of, and even started calling vets to do the surgery at full price, but no one would take her because she’s feral. So they had to let her go again. This week, they caught the little grey one we call Bert, took him to the Humane Society at 3:30am, and managed to get him neutered. So that’s one down. Fingers crossed the others will have their chance soon.

I wish that was all. Unfortunately, a new adventure began on Monday evening. I went outside to try to get some good garden photos. As I went to step from the last stair to the ground, I looked down to see a charcoal-grey kitten butt and tail sticking out from under the stair. My foot was already in motion, so it hit the ground. The kitten was frightened and disappeared from view. I looked everywhere under the deck but couldn’t find it without a flashlight. By the time I got inside, got Jason, and we both had flashlights, we still couldn’t find anything.

Fast forward two hours. Jason gets home from picking Laurence up from driver’s ed. As he pulls into the driveway, he sees a charcoal-grey kitten by our trash and recycling bins. It runs back into the side yard, where Jason follows it and sees it go under the deck. And then he figures out why we couldn’t find it before. The kitten was hiding in the space between the old concrete stairs and the underside of the deck, hidden between crossbeams where there’s no way we could spot it.

Monday night left us wondering if one of the kittens from the June 29th litter at the feral colony had wandered over and gotten lost. Neighbors confirmed they’d seen one of the new kittens, a light grey one. But five-week-old kittens don’t tend to move as fast and coordinated as this one seemed to. Tuesday morning, one of the two siamese cats from the feral colony started walking along our fence, looking toward the deck (above). Neither of these two siamese has been in our yard (that we’ve seen) in three months, so I had to guess this kitten was involved. Tuesday evening, we put out food by the deck stairs, hoping to lure the baby out.

(I sat by my bedroom window and watched. At one point, two very large deer with enormous antlers walked past our back gate. !!!)

After a bit, I saw movement. The little kitten – who must have come from behind our yard – began the same skulking-along-the-fence route that the siamese cat had taken that morning. I got pictures, and this kitten is definitely at least eight weeks old. Since it didn’t stop for the food we put out, Jason went to the front yard to see if it was again by our garbage/recycling cans (it was), and it sprinted back through our yard and out the back gate.

Further coordination with our neighbors (with the new picture) confirmed this is not part of the new litter. Mom had begun to bring her babies with her for food, and there are only two, both light grey. Furthermore, a new siamese has started showing up at their house for food. We suspect it’s the third one we’ve seen in our backyard. It’s possible the new kitten belongs to this third siamese, that we thought was pregnant back in early June. But honestly, I have no idea. The neighbors suspect he’s male, and if that’s the case, there are either four siamese or the one that looked pregnant wasn’t actually pregnant. It’s a mess.

And to make things worse, despite putting out food every day since Tuesday, we haven’t spotted the charcoal-grey kitten again. We don’t know if it’s dumped, feral, lost, or something in between. We just want to rescue the baby and make sure it’s safe! Unfortunately, unless something changes, I don’t think that’ll be happening. 😦

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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