I first heard about Stormy and Yoda not long after things had settled down with Socks and her four kittens. Earlier that day I had been vacuuming the lounge room when I saw our eleven year old neighbour hovering over the cage with Socks and the kittens out in the garden.
Admittedly I was out of patience with everything and yelled for her to leave them alone. Later that day, still in some kind of black mood, I was checking the kittens with Socks when I heard the voice at the fence.
'Excuse me, excuse me.....we've found some more kittens...'
A kind of helpful sing song happy voice to impart such important news.
I was overwhelmed. Not with joy either.
The kittens on inspeciton, were not even a week old. Their eyes were just beginning to open. One was white and one blue/grey tabby.
'Put them back for the mother!'
'No, she doesn't want them' 'My neighbor found them outside the laundry. He nearly trod on them.'
' Then put them inside again.'
'No, we did and she put them back out! she doesn't want them.'
'Well, let your neighbor look after them then, why do I have to do it all!!!'
'He said he can't take them. He doesn't want them either.'
Sunday afternoon and a second challenge. Their mother did not want them. The neighbor did not want them. I did not want them. I also knew that a mother cat will put kittens out of the 'nest' when they were going to die.
I took them and showed them to Socks. She hissed at them. I rang a local vet to ask for help. I was advised to bathe them to remove the other mother's smell.
Muttering dire threats to all and sundry (not least the neigbors) I set about bathing them, dried them, represented them to Socks.
Although not too happy she did allow them to suckle but afterwards tossed them aside and indicated the end of her responsibility by scraping imaginary soil over them. They squealed a bit so I removed them.
I sat and thought.
Recalling that a mother cat will accept another's kitten if you could somehow get her urine on it I began rolling the kittens in the used litter (without solids ) and rubbed some on them. Socks did some serious forensic sniffing before accepting them.
Her own kittens were around the four and a half week mark at this stage and pretty much getting to be rough little critters. They took the new fellows on by half strangling them to get them to play and all we heard were squeals of protest.
They had them in headlocks, scaring the daylights out of us and making us wonder what on earth we could expect when we got home from work next day. Dead kittens?
We were amazed to find them alive!
They could not go on for much longer living in such small quarters.
I had been ringing everywhere to beg for help but could not find any.
We made a trip to a Sydney shelter to present our problem. No they could not help. Would not? It seemed to me that we received little interest in our situation.
Exiting the shop we saw an ad for a catrun in the window.
I rang the number expecting it to be gone. The description of it and the price they had paid caused me to lose all hope. It was 'big' and had cost over $3,000 to set up. We had very little money to spare.
'We have no cats here now. It was my first partner who had the cats and she left it here. Basically, all I want is for someone to take it away and give it a good home. I only want a couple of hundred for it' said the owner.
ON our way to view it our car broke down. Waiting in the heat for some time before assistance arrived, I began to wonder why everything was so hard for us.
We sent my brother on ahead who gave him our money and sealed the deal.
The catrun eventually became ours but first we had to hire a man to dismantle it and deliver on his truck. It would take some time to configure the bits and pieces but we were so excited to have something at last.
.On that first night of moving in, Stormy, previously an anonymous extra kitten would have a new name after she became lost in a massive storm in the black night.
Below are photos of Stormy and Yoda.
to be continued...