Hi kittehs! As promised, I am continuing where we left off telling you about Mama Rose’s bebbehs. Mommy and Daddy had trapped Mama Rose and her six kittens last September. Mama Rose is feral, which means that she has not been socialized to trust humans. For more information about feral cats, see the Alley Cat Allies web site. It is a fantastic resource that helped Mommy and Daddy learn how to socialize the bebbehs.
Mommy and Daddy love Mama Rose, even though she is terrified of them. On Thursday night, Daddy got home just after Mommy had put out the food for Mama Rose. Daddy could see Mama Rose eating on the porch. So he called Mom from his cell phone to say that he would come in when Mama Rose finished eating. He didn’t want her to get scared and leave, so he stayed in the car until she was done eating. This is a photo of Mama Rose’s feeding station on the front porch. The grey tub in the background under the bush is the shelter that Daddy built for Mama Rose. We don’t think she uses it.
Mama Rose’s bebbehs started out feral too. When they were trapped, the bebbehs were about eight weeks old. The older kittens get without human contact, the less likely it is that they will become socialized to trust humans. When a kitten goes from feral to trusting, we call that “flipping”.
In early October, when Mama Rose and her bebbehs were getting spayed or neutered, Mommy had to decide which bebbehs she thought would definitely “flip”, and which she was unsure about. This is because while they were under anesthesia, ear tipping would be done. Ear tipping is the universal mark that a feral cat has been spayed or neutered:
We use the word “eartip” to describe when a small portion of the tip of a feral cat’s left ear is surgically removed during neuter surgery, to denote that the cat has been neutered and vaccinated. Eartipping is done while the cat is anesthetized and is not painful for the cat. Eartipping is the most effective way to identify neutered feral cats from a distance, to make sure they are not trapped or undergo surgery a second time.
By early October, Marigold, the only female in the litter, and a Mama Rose lookalike, had completely “flipped”. She trusted Mommy and Daddy enough to climb into their laps of her own free will.
So had Rusty, one of the orange boys in the litter.
Woody was close behind, but too close to call. Hunter was less trusting than Woody, but more trusting than Sky. Sunny was known as Mr. Wild Child, if that gives you an idea of what he thought of Mom and Dad! So Mommy had a sleepless night trying to decide whose ears would be tipped. Reluctantly, she agreed to ear tipping Woody and Hunter, in addition to Sky and Sunny. Sky and Sunny were were still mostly feral in early October.
Marigold was the first of Mama Rose’s kittens to get adopted – on October 16, 2010 – National Feral Cat Day!!! Marigold has been renamed Mia by her adoptive family, and was a birthday present for the teenage daughter.
A few weeks later, on November 12, Rusty and Woody got adopted –TOGETHER!!! Into a wonderful family – with a Mom, Dad, Son, and Golden Retriever to keep the boys company! The Mom was initially interested in adopting Rusty …
but when she read their cage card and saw that Rusty and Woody are brothers …
she knew she couldn’t break up the brothers.
And then in December, a wonderful family with Mom, Dad, and Little Girl adopted Hunter!
Which just leaves Sunny …
and Sky, waiting for their furrever fambly.
Doesn’t everyone want a Sunny Sky in their lives?