Free Kittens? Anyone?

Finally, Boo started sleeping through the night without the YouTube momma cat purring. The good thing was his good eye looked better but his bad eye looked worse.

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BooBoo on Joe’s lap, November 11, 2015

But he was eating and playing and was very good about tolerating having ointment put into his eye so we hoped he’d get better.

Calico Lady Momma stopped looking for BooBoo and focused on her remaining three kittens. Black and White Kitten was happy to take over any extra space in the food dish at breakfast.

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Small furry heads at breakfast, November 12, 2015

In fact, any concerns Momma might have had over our kittennapping her babies was fading. All of my Instagramming the kittens got me a box of free cat food from Purely Fancy Feast. The cats were crazy about this food. Momma liked it so much she did something she’d  never done before — she came inside the kitchen!

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Momma Ventures Inside, November 12, 2015

BooBoo liked the Purely Fancy Feast a lot too. Disclaimer — They haven’t paid to be in this blog! LOL. Everyone really did love that food. BooBoo was steadily getting more confident in his environment. By the 14th he was coming out of his cage on his own. The Fancy Feast helped.

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BooBoo Kitty eats Purely Fancy Feast, November 14, 2015

Somehow in all of this Genius Cat started finagling himself a daytime nap space in the basement. Some things have a logical progression and others not so much. Basically Genius Cat indicated his interest in a daytime flop pad and Joe said fine. He mostly wanted to come in sometime after lunch, crash for a few hours someplace quiet, and then go out to do Big Boy Cat things around dusk.

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We were confident we’d start letting the world know about our free kittens and by the time we had them all neutered they’d have homes waiting. We took photos of all three kittens. Before posting, to keep them straight, we had to give them names. We figured they were merely temporary names and their owners would give them more thoughtfully-assigned monikers, so when I looked at the pictures I named them the first thing that came to mind. Ballsy was easy — he was the clear leader of the pack, the biggest and most adventurous.

 

The abandoned car that our neighbors had in their backyard was a favorite hangout of many of the neighborhood cats. The cat photographed in the car was dubbed Carsy.

And because I’d run out of ideas for names, Mo got named Mo. I don’t have a good answer for why it’s spelled Mo and not Moe, it just is. Here’s Mo.

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Mo, November 15, 2015

And even though out of all the cats he born in a house and yet was the least snuggly, we thought Black and White Kitten might be able to find a home because of being so pretty.

We were optimistic about finding homes for all the healthy cats and we were still planning to find a home for BooBoo. My allergies are no joke — my allergies trigger my asthma and in recent years my asthma has gotten worse, so no rational health care provider would possibly have suggested I adopt a cat. We couldn’t have him running around the apartment leaving cat hair everywhere. Luckily BooBoo was still tiny and was either in his cage or playing on Joe’s lap or on the couch. Just running back and forth on the sofa for 20 minutes was enough activity to tire little sick BooBoo out.

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BooBoo Kitty, November 15, 2015

We posted about our kittens online, but most of the responses we got were Concern Trolls warning us about offering kittens for free. There’s a theory in the animal rescue community that unless you charge for kittens they will be adopted by shady characters and used in soup or dog fighting. We loved these kittens and were not about to let them go to any weird person’s home, but also would rather a person of small income have $100 for care of their new cat than to have to have that be a barrier to finding a home for the kittens. We figured that between a Social Media presence of a normal person and references, we’d be able to judge any potential new parents for our furbabies.  In the meanwhile, BooBoo was exploring his favorite thing, the silver milkshake cup Joe uses for, well, milkshakes.

 

Basically BooBoo was interested in anything Joe was doing.

As far as BooBoo was concerned, all the important aspects of life could take place in one position or another on Joe’s lap.

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And sometimes I tried to take ‘concept shots’ of BooBoo that failed…

BooBoo was getting more adventurous every day. His eye was improving but not as dramatically as we’d hoped. We looked forward to our upcoming vet appointment. In the meantime, I just took lots of pictures of BooBoo being an adorable kitten.

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BooBoo Kitten, November 20, 2015

And because we were spoiling the kitten rotten, Joe let him chew on our hands as much as he liked, because he looked so cute doing it.

At this point, BooBoo was willing to tolerate my petting him a little, but mostly he preferred if I sat quietly while he and Joe played. I could shake the teaser toy, that was fine, but that was the extent of his desire to interact with me. It stung a little but was for the best. The cat wasn’t staying so I didn’t want to get too attached, plus I didn’t need all that cat dander on my hands anyway.

My allergies were if I am strictly honest Medium. It wasn’t great for my asthma having BooBoo in the house but they were minimized by keeping BooBoo out of the bedroom and limiting his free run of the house. When we did let him run around the house freely he tended to dash under the couch and hide there. With his eye bulging out of his socket we also didn’t really want him running around too crazily so what Joe would do was to cordon off the foyer of our house and let BooBoo run around there.

Our spay and neuter appointment was set for the end of November. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, to be exact.

We had to figure out how to get the cages from the cage bank and get the cats transported to Elmont, Queens.

We discovered the trap bank is only open from 11 Am -12 PM on Saturdays. The Trap Transport was unavailable. We reserved the traps and started calling from a phone list included in the folder of information we received from the TNR training. No one was getting back to us so in the meantime we took more pictures of kittens.

I made the outside cats a scratching post and Ballsy seemed to like it.

So did Mo.

The kittens were big enough that Momma started to relax a little and five weeks of steady meals was starting to put some weight on her bones.

Most of all, kittens just like to play together.

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Playing is fun but the TNR still needed organization to make it happen.

No one was available to transport the traps by car through the volunteer network and we were too broke to pay for a cab to downtown Brooklyn and back. But we needed the traps, so Joe took our trusty handcart and headed to the trap bank. Now, these are traps used to trap feral cats. They take some abuse. But for some reason the woman who runs the trap bank didn’t think Joe could safely transport the traps on a handcart and at first refused to give him the traps. After far more arguing than should have been necessary she gave him the traps. At first we didn’t think we’d be able to get transportation for the cats either, but in the end we did

Joe got the traps home and put them in the backyard. Now all we had to do was trap the cats.

We hadn’t gotten very many responses from our posts on Social Media about the kittens, but one young couple had responded and said they wanted to come meet the kittens. We told them we weren’t going to let them get adopted until they’d been neutered but they said they wanted to come anyway.  The young couple said they wanted to adopt all three kittens. We thought that seemed like a lot of kittens to take on at once. They said they had experience rescuing kittens and could handle them. We told them that the kittens weren’t confined inside but were living in the back yard and might not be that social. They said they wanted to come anyway.

Of course the day they wanted to come was the Saturday that Joe brought the traps so they were already freaked out by the presence of new metal boxes in their home.  And not only were the new traps in the back yard scary to them, there was construction in one of the adjacent yards so the kittens were all hiding several yards away.

We told the two young people to stay out of sight while we got the kittens to chill out and come back but the two of them were hyper and hovering and it was a bit of a fiasco. When they left they said they still wanted the kittens. We said we’d think about it. We did call them in a few days and ask if they were interested in the kittens but never heard from them again.

We left the traps just sitting in the backyard for a day, then started putting food in the traps during feeding times, and by the day before the appointment Joe managed to get Momma, Black and White Kitten and all three babies trapped. BooBoo was going to be transported in his carrier like a fancy kitten. That part of the process went off smoothly. The cat transport showed up, everyone was packed in and off they went to Elmont.

Joe left all the cats at the ASPCA in Elmont, but was told the vet would have to make a judgement on if BooBoo could be neutered. The problem was his eye. We found out that BooBoo couldn’t receive care for his eye from the TNR vet as they were only available for the one procedure. He wouldn’t be neutered, because most likely, the cat would either need surgery on his eye, and could be neutered then, or he’d be put to sleep.

Everyone else got knocked out and operated on, but BooBoo had to spend the night at the ASPCA , wide awake and scared to death.

“He was a very vocal kitten,” the vet tech told Joe when they spoke the next day.

I imagine that, as BooBoo wasn’t being operated on, he was left overnight in a cage with the shelter cats.

“Mroooo!! Mrooo!!” cried BooBoo, the lonely kitten.

“What you crying about, Fish” came a voice in the darkness, a smoker’s voice, the voice of a cat who had Been Around.

“My people! They left me! Mrooooo!” cried BooBoo.

“Why are you crying? They can’t hear you. They’re gone.”

“Noooooo! They might be in the next room! My people love me! They’re coming back! ”

“No one comes back, Fish. They say they’re coming back, but no one comes back. They just leave us here until one day, you’ll go through that door and…POOF! You’re gone. Like you never even existed.”

“What? No!!! Noooooooo!!!! Mrooooooooo!!!!”

And BooBoo cried all night until he cried himself to sleep.

At least that’s how it seemed like it happened, because the next day, when the cat transport brought all the cats home, there’s never been a cat happier to come home than BooBoo. Joe opened the door to the carrier and BooBoo stepped out and saw me and any hesitancy he’d had about me was gone.

BooBoo sprang into my arms. Then he sprang out of my arms and raced to his favorite jumping-off places and jumped off of all of them, and once more on each of them for good measure.  Then he bounced once more on the couch and sprang one more time on to me. His featherlight firm little furry body snuggled into me hard. And I didn’t sneeze.

Perhaps I wasn’t all that interesting as the Not-Joe Person in the house where he was kidnapped, but as part of the whole Home Experience when he’d thought he might not get back here ever, I was a welcome sight. Nothing was determined, but the probability of BooBoo being sent away was shrinking.

CONTINUE STORY…

 

 

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