I have long been concerned about homeless animals. It bothers me a great deal that there are so many dogs and cats in the shelters, and not enough people who will open their hearts and their homes to take an animal in. So, as luck would have it, a feral cat decided to have kittens in my barn. Of course, they are very clever, and I didn't know about them til the kittens, two of them, managed to get big enough to dart here and there in the yard. Because they were manx kittens, with no tails, and I had seen this white female with no tail, I realized that they were a family of three. I fed them on the back porch for awhile, but I knew that this was hardly enough to do. My studio is on a main highway, and the momma kitty was going to get pregnant again, and it would be neverending.
So I put out the Havaheart trap, baited with a can of cat food. The very first night I caught the little tiger kitten that I had seen first. He was terrified, of course. I covered the cage with fabric, and took him to the vet, where he was neutered, dewormed, treated for fleas, tested for leukemia, given rabies shots, and given back to me. I was totally surprised to find, that at 4 months thereabouts, he was scared, but not mean. He didn't scratch, or bite. Within a week, he was coming to me when I mewed to him, and at two weeks, he is playing under the loom, following me from room to room, and generally taking over the house. What a cutie he is! I named him Kismet, which means fate, or destiny, because it certainly does seem that he was meant to be where he is now.
So three days ago, I caught his mother. She is another story altogether. Once again, she went to the vets, was spayed, and received all the rest of the treatment. And yes, it was expensive, but the veterinarian gave me a 30% "good citizen" discount. And I figure this to be my contribution to the plight of homeless animals, at least it is what I can do in my own community.
So I brought her home, and she has not come out from under the bed, except when I leave the room, then she eats and uses the litter box. I have kept them separated until today. When I left the studio today, I left the bedroom door open, and gave her access to the hall and two rooms downstairs, with Kismet. Of course, he was immediately investigating. Maybe he will get her to come out. I resisted the urge to go check on them, I think they will figure it out.
I have done a lot of googling about feral cats, and I guess this could go either way. She may calm down, and she may come around, and then again she may be miserable as a house cat, and she may need to be released. I am going to give it awhile, and see what happens. I am going to let her decide, after she has had a chance to scope it out. I know she is terrified right now, but I also know that her life outside is not an easy one.
The trap is still set, trying for the sibling, a little grey kitten with no tail.
But so far, no luck. I have trapped the neighbor's cat, a woodchuck, and chased away a German Shepherd who thought he could fit in there.
I told Kismet today that eventually he would be in charge of mice patrol. He didn't seem all that interested.