Jan. 15th, 2017

lederhosen: (Default)
Bilqis' two sisters both found homes, and have been named Grue and Nightshade. Seems appropriate.

Miss B is settling in very nicely and has both of us (but especially me) under her paw. She has a Twitter account for those who want cute kitten photos and videos.

She is quite a talkative little lady, with a range of chirps and squawks as well as a very loud purr. She likes to squawk at me until I get the message and lie on my back; then she climbs onto my chest and sits there, kneading my throat and pawing my face (with slightly more claw than I'd prefer) and purring non-stop as I pet her. She will happily take several hours of this a day.

Just about anything can be repurposed as a cat toy, but she's very fond of her catnip mouse. She invented "fetch" without us having to do anything by way of training.

She's pretty easy-going about noise; she's living a few metres from where she was born, so I suppose it's a similar environment (but with less rain and better food). Takes a few minutes to get comfortable with new people, but then she'll ignore them or perhaps try for petting.

All in all, she seems to be a very sweet-natured little lady, and as far as I can tell, pretty happy.

We're still working on trapping her mother. After we got back from Christmas holidays we started over, leaving food out progressively closer to/further inside the cat trap. Eventually we had it all the way at the back of the trap, and somebody managed to steal the food without setting it off.

At that point we figured we'd just keep trying, since she had to slip up sooner or later. Next night she showed up again... and while she was still stalking around the trap looking deeply suspicious, Dad Cat went for the food and got himself trapped instead. Not really what we'd been trying for.

Unfortunately, we didn't have any good options for Dad Cat. As far as we could tell, he was a lifelong feral: no collar, no chip, and very hostile (not that being trapped would help anybody's mood).

Our vet wasn't willing to operate on a cat that wild, and I wasn't comfortable just releasing him; I love cats but I also know that roaming cats are a major killer of native birds and other animals. We weren't able to take on the job of trying to domesticate an adult feral, and nobody else volunteered to do so. So we ended up dropping him at the Lost Dogs' Home, feeling pretty rotten because it probably means euthanasia.

(Uncharitable thoughts about irresponsible people who don't desex their pets and leave the rest of us having to make shitty decisions about how to manage the consequences :-/ )

Plan for Mama (if we can ever catch her) is still to spay, release, and feed. Yes, this is inconsistent with Dad. I could offer rationalisations - without Dad around, there's a better chance of feeding her enough to cut down the predation. But if I'm to be honest, it's more emotive than that. She raised three lovely kittens, we took them away from her and I know how hard she searched for them; I feel guilty enough about that without adding to it. Plus, she has a certain guile and... gravitas...? that makes it hard not to respect her. I don't know if all that is a good reason to treat her differently, but it is what it is.


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