Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cat Crazy

A couple of weeks ago, we found a mother cat raising five kittens under the floor of our garage. (This is possible because the floor of our garage, which used to be a carriage house, is made of wood. And it's rotting around the edges, leaving a gap.) The kids have always wanted a pet - especially a cat; the older ones have read the "Warriors" series (about a bunch of feral cats) avidly. So you can imagine their enthusiasm about the kittens, which they promptly named.

In any case, we discovered the cats wandering among boxs of siding (we're having our house sided). Apparently they were just old enough -- maybe about four weeks? -- to start exploring beyond the den. Starling and I were afraid they'd get smooshed by a passing car in the alley, or killed by an owl, so we contacted the Winona Area Animal Humane Society, who kindly lent us several live traps and lots of smelly cat food. We captured one kitten within an hour of setting up the live trap. A few hours later, I scooped up a second one after observing it wander in and out of one of the live traps without setting it off. (I had managed to sneak up on them after barricading them in the garage with long cardboard boxes from the siding.) And then we captured the remaining three kittens in the live traps overnight. Mama must have been too smart for her own good, though, because she never went for the bait -- a lovely heaping plateful of tuna fish. Mmm. She still comes around the garage meowing and looking for her babies to this day, poor thing.

All of this required several trips to the humane society, which was just about as wonderful as a trip to the zoo for the kis. Sadly, both Bear and I are horribly allergic, judging by the amount of sneezing and sniffling we did after every visit. Who knows, though ... maybe after Mudpuppy is out of diapers, we can experiment with a Siamese or another short-haired cat. Here's some video of the kids with one of the captured kitties, as well as visiting the humane society: