Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Kitten

Back at the end of August, a kitten showed up in our yard.

She was a little ball of feral fluff. Take a step or two toward her and off she ran. But she always came back. We never saw a mother cat nearby, so we figured she was on her own.

My youngest decided to try to tame her. She researched different methods of taming ferals and used her knowledge from watching Jackson Galaxy's "My Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet. Because this was a kitten, we knew we had better chances for success, but that didn't make the experience any less difficult. My daughter spent days just trying to get the kitten familiar with her. She put out food and tried to sit a little closer each time. She talked to the kitten. She tossed acorns to her when the kitten was playful. There were many setbacks. I described the experience like the plot of the movie 50 First Dates, where the main character is dating a woman suffering from short term memory loss. For a while it seemed like every time my daughter went out, she had to reintroduce herself to the kitten.

But each time it was a little easier.

And then...

The power of chicken snacks
Success! The kitten started responding to her and taking food from her hand. She became much more playful. She even started to let my daughter pet her.
This pumpkin stem from last Halloween became a favorite toy
As the weather got cooler and wetter, I led her to the playhouse in the backyard so she would have shelter. She settled in nicely.
Bonus: I got the playhouse cleaned out!

 The next step would be the hardest. I didn't want to take her into our house without having a vet check her first. We didn't want to expose our other cats to anything. We made an appointment and the morning of the check up we tried to get her into the pet carrier. An hour and several scratches later, I made a new appointment for the following week. We had much better luck the second time. I didn't feed her until we were ready to leave and put the food as far back as possible in the carrier. She was difficult with the doctor at first, but once she calmed down she was a model patient. She got vaccinations and had blood tests and was checked for parasites and worms. We took her home and brought her directly indoors, separating her from the other cats.

Suddenly the carrier is not a bad thing.
We brought all of the toys and other "scent soakers" in so she would have everything familiar with her.

She quickly adapted to indoor life. And my daughter got a good lesson in how high maintenance a baby is. After late nights with an energetic kitten, she is done with being a mother. (Health education: Parenting 101 check!)

At this writing, the kitten has been inside for two weeks and shows no sign of wanting to return to the outside. The only issue is that she did test positive for FIV (Feline AIDS), but our vet assured us that as long as she is not a biter, the other cats will be fine. Not that I could abandon her at this point. When you open your heart to an animal, they do a good job of curling up inside and making you wonder how you lived without them.


Inner Elder said...

Good for Sierra - patience and persistence. And good for you - your love of animals and all of God's creation is a great gift. Love you, Mom

seekingmyLord said...


Year ago, my aunt's barn cats all had Feline HIV and she loss entire litters because of it, until I introduced her to colloidal silver. She has not lost a kitten since.

I also used colloidal silver to get two puppies (years apart) to get through Canine Parvo. the most recent experience was just a few weeks ago and was posted on my blog.

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you for your advice! I took a look at your post (and many others, you've been busy!) I'm going to look into the colloidal silver, but if you write about the cat you treated, please let me know!

seekingmyLord said...

I was having problems with my blog and could not respond to your comment, but then I realized it was not my blog but my browser was not playing nice with blogger.

I think I gave my cat a half teaspoon of 10ppm colloidal silver twice a day with an active illness directly in the mouth with a dropper. My aunt just added about a teaspoon to the kittens' water every day, as they were barn cats, until they were about half grown and had developed better immunity.

Another thing you can use instead is food grade hydrogen peroxide. A few drops of 3% in water does well. We about a half to full teaspoon in each gallon of water for our meat rabbits. None of them have ever been sick, other than one got ear mites in one ear once that we had to treat otherwise. We were surprised it did not spread.

A little off the topic but I just wanted to say that we learned that kennel cough for dogs is one of the few illnesses that jumps species. In cats it is Feline Upper Respiratory Infection and rabbits it is called snuffles. It is particularly serious and deadly for rabbits and can wipe out a large rabbitry. H202 just adds extra oxygen which discourages all types of harmful anaerobic organisms and illnesses, even cancer.

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you for all the info! Right now she's very healthy, but I know part of keeping her healthy is keeping everyone else healthy. I'm going to look into the food grade hydrogen peroxide first. I want to keep her from getting sick rather than need to treat an illness.

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