Friday, January 2, 2015

life with a feral kitten - I am on my way to becoming a well trained human

Yanjing 3 weeks ago
Yanjing on the 6th floor of his kitty condo

Feral Kitty- Yanjing - Eyes

I have considered myself a dog person since I was in the 5th grade.  I had traded my parakeet for a cat a few years before . . . but . . . sadly it got hit by a car and died. I was devastated. I have had dogs ever since.

Dogs - they love you no matter what. So how did I fall for a big eyed kitten looking down at me from behind the spool of coiling wire that hauls up and down one of the garage doors?

That was 37 days ago, Thanksgiving evening after dinner.  My son heard it mewing and it sounded like it was in the heating duct between our basement garage and the first floor living/dining room. This put all of the grandkids into action including pulling the cover off the heat register while I was down in the garage looking at the vents and trying to figure out how a kitty could get in there and how I would get it out.

I was studying the vent connection with the register when I saw something move. It was a very small head with great big eyes. I opened a can of tuna and left it where it was to come up with a plan. One son's family lives locally and went home and the other son's family was staying with us and there was no sleeping that night. It was very hard to convince an almost two year old that the kitty would be just fine in the heat run.

The next day I found a long wide board and put it up to the kitty's hiding spot and left a trail of tuna down the wood ramp and out of the garage to a small bowl with more tuna.
The kitty came down and seemed to have vacated the garage so I took down all of the boards and closed the door.  The next day the same son heard the kitty again, still inside the garage.
Dog proof kitty condo
I could not turn down a Thanksgiving kitty. After feeding it and only catching glimpses of it I got a kitty safe live trap from a friend and after much hesitation the kitty was trapped and ready to move to its new room.

I went about constructing a kitty condo out of two display cases so that I could create a safe habitat for the kitty when my son and his family returned with my grand dog that does not like cats.

The kitty condo worked! Kitty, dog, kids, and parents all survived.
Kitty is being wormed which involves weighing him every two weeks for 4 doses (just discovered that kitty is a male) and that is not much fun. I hope that he will go into his carrier so I can weigh him Saturday or Sunday.

Currently he will eat out of my hand if I have it very very still and open. He will also eat from the bowl if it is close to me as long as I don't move around a lot or make any sudden noises (sneezing scares him), and our brand new activity - watching We are watching videos of kitties purring and kitties being petted. He finds these very interesting. He sniffs the computer screen and wonders why these kitties make noise but don't smell like anything. I also brought in a toy stuffed kitty to pet. He did watch every move I made.

We have had a good day today - less hissing and more playing. He looks twice as big as when he arrived; bigger than his outdoor siblings. Yes, I am feeding them too. I hope to spay/neuter, vaccinate, and return them to our neighborhood.

Each day is a learning experience. Yanjing loves to eat and play; he still has the biggest yellow green eyes and endless curiosity. More to come!