Putting food out every night for the bunkies (skunks), possums, racoons and kitties in the hood
is pretty common practice. I enjoy watching them and their families. The racoons love it when I
turn on the hose so they can play in the running water.
Some night in March 2008
Something was out their eating with the skunks but it bolted as soon as I went outside. Didn't see
a stripe, didn't see a possum tail. Didn't much of anything in the dark and it was gone so fast.
Another night a few days later
The skunks were eating out at their dish but something that sure didn't look like a skunk had joined them
again for supper. Figured it was better to leave them alone since it might be that spooky critter from a few
Later in March
Defintely a new cat in the hood. The flashlight revealed a dark tortoise-shell kitty. She didn't
run away until I moved toward her. Twenty-five or thirty feet is about as close as I can get.
Fraidy Cat meows outside if there is no food left. Then runs away. She's awfully skinny but because she
leaves after eating, I assume she might have some other home.
May 2008. Fraidy Cat actually stays in the yard when I put out food. This is a breakthru. She no longer
bolts when I am around. My Sweetie comes by and puts out food for her during the day also.
Early June 2008. The distance Fraidy Cat keeps between us is getting shorter every day.
Looks like her tummy is getting fatter.
Later June 2008. That cats tummy seems to be getting bigger. I'm pretty certain that this torty cat
has more going on her belly than just the food we've been giving her.
July 4th. Went and had dinner with family instead of the usual beach fireworks. When I came home, I wasn't
surprised that torty cat wasn't around. Neither were the coons or other critters. After all, humans were
blasting off everything they could everywhere they could that night.
July 5th. Torty Cat (TC) showed up again. She was hissing a lot. My first thought was
that she was traumatized by the fireworks. Then I noticed she was also skinnier. The more I thought about
it, the more I suspected she now had kittens somewhere.
During the rest of the month, TC would come by asking for food. We started putting the dish inside the
back door so she would have to come in to eat. She'd eat, then disappear. She would come around fairly
August 2008. I found her in the process of moving 3 kittens. This got to be
a bi-weekly thing. TC was moving her kits all over
the neighborhood. She had them in the neighbor's flower pots until the gardeners with weed whackers scared
them off. She had them in an area between some fences for awhile until the racoons scared them off.
She was moving them to every year nook in every yard in the neighborhood until something ran them off.
TC was moving the kits around every few days trying to keep them safe. She was moving them across
the streets too which worried me. I didn't think she could keep them on the move and keep them safe for
After all, there are some very aggressive hawks in the area. And even the though the opossums and skunks are
pretty docile, the racoons will stampede anything in their path. And as far as critters crossing streets, the
probablity of getting hit by a car is pretty high.
I felt pretty helpless because there was nothing I could do for a cat who kept herself and her kittens as
far away from humans as possible. All we could do is try to watch where momma cat went after she ate.
Over time momma cat would come farther and farther into the house until she would come all the way to
the kitchen for food. Then she'd leave to go take care of her kits. Once in a while, she'd have one of the
Sept 5th. Left the back door open. It was almost 11 PM so I had to keep an eye out for other critters.
TC finally showed up and came into the kitchen for some food. Then I noticed there
was a kitten who had followed her in. Hmmm, where are the others? Then I saw another kitten in the house.
Was it possible that she had her whole brood with her? I snuck around back and
closed the back door. Then I took inventory. YES. Momma and the 3 kits were locked in the house. This was
the only option I had at protecting TC and her brood. I didn't know what would happen. Would TC the outdoor
cat revolt and go crazy? I was fearful this was going to have a negative impact. Would they all go crazy
being locked up? It didn't take long for Momma to make it clear how happy and relieved she was. She plopped down
in the spare bedroom and showed no intention of wanting to leave. I got the feeling she was SO totally relieved
that her babies were in a shelter, they couldn't run too far away and she knew they were safe. I never expected
this. In my experience, wild and outdoor cats go crazy when confined. But Momma is a pretty smart cat. I have
to give her a lot of credit.
Momma TC conveyed a whole variety of meows to her kits that night. My guess is she was telling them they were
home. Next I figured I had better set up the litter box. (I was already prepared for this.) So I did
and fortunately they all started using it right away. Wow.
Sept 7th. This is amazing. Momma cat, the wild outdoor cat has no desire to go outside.
She was so relieved that she has slept for two days. TC the Momma cat seems to understand that she and her brood
are now safe and they really are home.
Sept 18th. Kitty family and us are still adjusting. The wild cats have been exceptional. They haven't
destroyed the place. Of course we've had to do some child-proofing.
I've taken in an outdoor cat several times
in the past. Always a disaster. They were returned to farm cat life. These 4 wild kitties, however, are like
1/4 the maintenance of a single wild kitty.
Sept 24th. Cat toys and cat joys
Mama is letting us pet her more. Making great progess with the kittens too.
Got them some springy toys and they just love them.
Oct 3, 2008. Cats are defintely happy. MamaCat now
expects loving and affection every day. She has learned that to be loved is a wonderful thing. Mama was
endowed with a mean set of claws. What is amazing is that sometimes she freaks out about this concept of
human affection. And when she gets freaked out about too much too soon, she bats with her paws and not
her claws. Mama is a smart cat. The kits
are really having fun. What a difference a month in captivity make.
Oct 7, 2008. MamaCat isn't too happy with me tonight.
I gave her some topical flea treatment. Well, she isn't going to like it when we have to take her in to
get her shots and spayed either. The domestic life has it's rewards. She has a good job with a good salary.
Guaranteed food and down time. She may not like me right now, but hey, she now has a healthcare
package that covers her and her kits. Mamacat will come back around.
Oct 10, 2008. MamaCat isn't as mad at me.
But she does sometimes run away if I touch her in the flea treatment zone.
Oct 21, 2008. MamaCat is amazing. We can touch her anywhere. I mean anywhere.
I've had a lot of great cats but all of them has spots where if you touch it, they get mad. MamaCat is the
first cat I've ever had that enjoys the Shiatsu full-body massage. I can pull on her toes or rub her belly.
She just purrs.
Oct 24, 2008. Summary of the cat family
TC Jr. (TortyCat Jr.) is always looking up for something to scale or chase.
Creamy (The Siam guy) is the Logicat. He puts cat toys back in the box so they can all have fun getting
them out again.
Graybe (The Gray one) is the multi-personality. She can be shy and timid or bold and forceful.
MamaCat deserves to retire after raising and protecting 3 kits in the wild. She is a happy cat and
more and more, purrs just because someone is with her and talking to her.
Oct 27, 2008. Bought a cat carrier.
Put it in their room. Might as well let them get used to it. It's going to be their ride to and
from the vet.
Oct 30, 2008. Mama is challenging.
Starting to want to go out. Just have to give her love to distract her. We can't let her out.
Not until she is spayed. And even then, I want them to be indoors cats.
Statistics show that outdoor cats live an average of 3 years. Indoor cats live 5 of 6 times longer.
The stats also show that if your cat is in and out 50% of the time, you can pretty much bet on it's
average life expectancy being right in the middle.
Just be careful of pests that may infest your pets in your area.
Dec. 17, 2008. Kitty teeth.
Finding kitty teeth all over the place. Turns out kittens lose their baby teeth just like people