A feral family of cats in Barrhaven, Ontario, is making their rescuers work overtime to keep them safe.
Twice now, dedicated TNR teams have spent hours trapping them, even recruiting plumbers to the cause.
If the adorable family only knew it was going to help their lives, they’d likely be more cooperative!
A Tabby mama cat and her 5-week-old kittens were originally spotted hiding out under a deck in someone’s back yard.
Neighbors shared their pictures on the Ottawa and Valley Lost Pet Network Facebook page, pleading for assistance.
On October 3rd, she posted:
“There’s a mama cat and her 4 or 5 kittens in my neighbour’s yard. Looks like they have been living under the deck. Just noticed them this morning as the kittens were nursing. I have sent a message to Ottawa stray cat rescue but not sure what to do in the meantime. They are afraid of people so I cannot approach them. Thank you!”
Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue were quick to reply to the request.
While they were coordinating their team, they instructed the woman to leave food and water out.
She also alerted the neighbor to the progress, and everyone was rooting for a positive outcome.
Two of the Ottawa Stray Cat volunteers showed up the next afternoon to begin trapping efforts.
They tried to lure them out with all the normal methods. Food and catnip were offered, but the felines were very scared and ran back under the deck.
Of course they retreated to a section tucked way in the back where they couldn’t be reached. Mama cat hopped the fence, fleeing the area completely.
The life of an animal rescuer is rarely an easy one.
While plans were being formulated, the sneaky kittens gobbled up the food and water left out for them. It was disheartening they couldn’t catch them, but were happy to see them eating still.
They had a foster family lined up, ready to help the long process of socializing the cats.
Seeing first hand the amount of time, sweat and effort that goes into TNR, the original poster was thoroughly grateful to everyone.
“We are truly so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of dedicated and compassionate volunteers. I was supposed to be working from home today but this felt like a full-time job. I have so much respect for all of you and all that you do!”
Still not giving up, by 11:00 pm that night, experienced trappers Maggie Tunbridge, Jennifer Presnail and Craig partially succeed.
They pulled the kittens out, one-by-one, from under the deck and wood pallets.
Mama and 5 of the 6 kittens were caught.
Unfortunately the last kitten escaped, running into the darkness. They set up traps and planned to check the next morning.
Their efforts were rewarded when the last little fur-baby was caught the next day, reuniting the family together in foster care.
The feral family hesitantly settled into the indoor lifestyle. Socializing feral cats can be a long, but rewarding, process when possible.
All went well for the next week.
Until another plea was posted on the Ottawa and Valley Lost Pet Network yesterday.
Mama and two of the babies had escaped by pushing out a window and the screen!
The rescue team was called upon again, quickly jumping into action.
Around their mom, the 2 babies became very feral, hissing and hiding from humans. Helpers were warned to be cautious during trapping attempts if found.
Since mama cat had a pattern of running off, they were worried that they’d catch the kittens without the mama again.
Working through the day, they were able to secure one of the kittens in a trap.
The other was not so easily rescued…yet again.
Searching the area, they discovered the little girl had crawled into a sump pump discharge line. They needed the experts and knew exactly who to call.
DS Plumbing were happy to help one of their favorite local organizations.
Dave and Wendy Smythe, and the entire team at DS Plumbing are passionate about being involved in the Ottawa community.
They’ve even partnered up with Stray Cat Rescue for their annual Chili cook off the last two years. This year the event raised almost $3,000 for the deserving rescue.
So without hesitation, Dave went to the site with a camera to locate exactly where the kitten was. They needed to see if she was actually stuck or just refusing to be saved.
Unfortunately it was the former, and the kitten they began to refer to as “Miner”, was stuck.
Maneuvering carefully, hero Dave was able to wiggle the baby out of the tight spot! You can see her little fluffy butt in the video, wedged in the pipe.
The escapee kittens are now back safe and warm with the foster family and additional “cat-proofing” has been done.
But mama is still out there.
They are all eyes and hands on deck, keeping watch for the sly girl. An unknown amount of time living feral can teach you all the tricks to elude capture.
There will be no stopping until she is trapped, spayed and can avoid having more babies in the future.
Maggie Tunbridge was sure to update everyone involved and praying for her capture.
“Momma is still on the loose though. Traps set, food at my place as well in case she shows up here (I’m in same subdivision) and will set up trail cam tonight.”
Hopefully there will be a happy update for this story very soon!
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP, FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
Related Video: How To Trap Feral Cats – TNR