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Paula Wynne

Pinned 11 months 16 hours ago onto Pets

Rescuing Suzie

After last year's trauma of losing my precious cats and then rescuing two different litters with their mums, I said never again... but here I am rescuing another litter of kittens.

Before I explain why, I'll quickly say that summer of 2019 was very traumatic, which started with poisonings, deaths and grieving for my little paws, and culminated in finding Freddie and nursing him through cat coronavirus. Thankfully it all ended happily because Freddie became so special to us and is now an amazing cat who is the most loving and tactile cat I've ever had.

Read Freddie's amazing story.

So after cleaning about 6 cat litters 3 times a day and feeding all the cats and their kittens, I decided to spend my time loving Freddie and his sisters, which I have done and loved every moment of it.

But then, about a month ago, I saw a little Siamese cat at the rubbish bins (in Spain we don't have our rubbish collected like we did in the UK, we have to drop it at the rubbish dump). She was friendly and came up to me meowing. Needless to say, I started feeding her and stroking her each time I fed her.

During one stroking I noticed she had teats and I started worrying where her babies were. A few times I noticed she wasn't at the bins and called for her, and she came running from a nearby house when she heard my voice. Of course, this endeared her to me even more!

We took her to the vet to see if she was in fact still feeding as we thought her babies could be dead. He said she still had milk so we should leave her there until we find the kittens.

A friend (who is the most amazing cat catching and cat loving woman) and I went searching around that house as it was all locked up. We could only get in via the back of the neighbouring house through a bushy field. We couldn't find anything but I spotted a 'black movement' near a bamboo bush. I thought it was a blackbird and dismissed it. The next day, I went to the house and calling for the little cat, who Ken (my hubby) had now named Suzie.

Suzie came running from the back of the house so while Ken fed her I went nosing around and again spotted a 'black movement' around the same bamboo bush. It was thick as be-damned, so I couldn't get in to see if the kittens were hiding inside.

We left and parked on the road and crept up to the fence and peered over at the bamboo bush and... Suzie was lying there covered in black fur. Her kittens!

At last, we knew where they were hiding, but now the hard part started. For the next week, Melanie and I took turns to feed them. I brought down a large black cat cage and covered it with a black sheet. We added food bowls inside to encourage the kittens to get used to going inside which could make it easier for us to catch them.

For most of the time that week Suzie stayed where we were feeding her little family, but then she started going back to the bins. One day I noticed a row of fat Chorizo sausages in the black cage and asked Melanie if she had given it to Suzie. I was pretty sure she wouldn't do that as the spices in the Spanish sausage would give her a bad tummy. Melanie confirmed that she hadn't and we could only guess that Suzie had gone to the bins and brought it back for her babies. While that was a sweet (and desperate) gesture, it wasn't good that she was bringing back stuff to them that could be old and rotten or even poisonous.

So the rush to catch the babies was stepped up. Melanie's feeding shift was the evening because she lived close by while I lived about five or so miles away, and during the cooler evenings she had made progress of having the kittens come out while she sat there.

I went down the next evening and caught one of them quickly by coaxing them with a mouse on the end of a stick towards a smaller cat carrier cage. As soon as they hopped around, I grabbed one, popped him (or her) into the carrier and rushed back to the car (via the backyard bushy field) parked on the road. I did the same again for the second one who was lured by the fake mouse.

Melanie arrived and the next two kittens were far more trouble to catch. She finally caught the third one by popping a pool net over him as he wouldn't come close to us. By that time it was dark and thankfully we had a little moonlight. We called it a night, and left Suzie with the last one.

The next evening I went back down and again tried the fake mouse on the stick trick. It didn't work, so I placed smelly sardines inside the large black cage. Melanie had rigged it up earlier in the day with a rope on the door, so that we could pull it shut if we got them inside. And that's how I finally caught the last kitten!

Now, they're all safe and sound in my office (I've had to move into the house to work) and we've had them all checked at the animal hospital. They couldn't be vaccinated as they're too small, but Suzie was checked, and she is healthy.

PHEW! And I said never again!

All of this has been taking place while the very exciting results of The Page Turner Awards has been underway. Life was busy enough without this addition!

Now, it's back to cleaning and washing cat litters five times a day or possibly more because I'm losing count (they all have bad tummies, probably from Suzie's Chorizo sausage parcel), plus the regular feeding.

We will find homes for them when they're older and able to leave Suzie. We may also have to find a home for her if she doesn't get on with Dexter, as he is an important part of our little family unit and our life in Spain. Our other 8 cats all get on with him and sleep with him.

We'll see where this leads...

 

Suzie's beautiful blue eyes and plaintiff meow first caught my attention.

 

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