Sunday, January 17, 2010

What I am learning this week.

First off, I am learning that animal rescuing is not a passion of mine. I am happy to help out a few animals I've become attached to, but I am not in this business for the long haul.

Last Monday the kids and I were playing in the backyard for the first time in what felt like ages. We were playing chase and hide-and-seek and having a lot of fun. But I kept hearing this aggressive meowing from our neighbor's yard. Each time I would walk toward it it would stop, so we'd keep playing.

Finally I went all the way to the back of the yard following the meowing and saw what looked like a chipmunk stuck through the fence. On closer inspection I noticed it was a very swollen cat's paw and the meowing was coming from a pretty, long-haired grey kitten who was looking hurt and angry! I couldn't figure out how to get her out, so I packed up the kids and walked over to the house where most of the kitten was stuck. Nobody was home.

So I called Animal Rescue and they said they couldn't help with domestic pets. I tried to get her out from my side of the fence, but there was no way. I have no idea how she got so stuck. The opening between the slats where she was couldn't have been more than about 1 centimeter. I know how big a centimeter is because it's the size of a miniature marshmallow, right, Mom?

What could I do? It was nap time for the boys, I hadn't eaten lunch, and this cat was absolutely pinned in there. I ended up calling my neighbor Sarah who, in a related animal story, was keeping Pink the beagle who I've blogged of before. She had told me she had rescued many animals before, so I thought she might be able to help me with the kitten. She jumped over the fence, wrapped Kitten in towels and gave me instructions on how to open up the fence slat a little with the head of a hammer. She got the kitten out!

This paw was swollen enough that it was probably as big as a golden retriever puppy's. She had no use of it and obviously needed to be taken to the vet. So Sarah gave me some money and arranged a vet visit. They did an x-ray and discovered that nothing was broken, but she obviously had considerable nerve damage. So I came home with a strange, angry cat who has been living in our downstairs bathroom for a week tomorrow.

The vet gave us some anti-inflammatory medicine to give to the cat. I put out some signs and slipped a note under the garage door of a neighbor who I thought could be the owner. She later called me (this was Tuesday night) and confirmed to me that the cat was a bona-fide member of a feral cat colony in our neighborhood. This neighbor, Pam, had just returned from a workshop teaching about how to manage feral cat colonies!

More later, as I am now on nap duty.

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