View Full Version : Help!!

Edwina's Secretary
07-24-2002, 04:13 PM
My niece just called me from home. She recently moved in with us and lives in the basement. She was done there working on her homework and heard "a racket" so she went outside to investigate. She found a momma cat and four kittens in the window well. She says there are lots of flies around and the kittens look to be only a couple days old. (My niece has had as many as 11 barn cats at one time so she knows better than I.)

It sounds like one of the cats I saw i(and fed) in the front yard the other night.

I told her to take food and water to the momma while I figure out what to do. The first issue I'm worried about is protecting them from the raccoons (and possums) that wander at night. Both will, I believe -- eat kittens.

If I put a screen over the window well how will momma get out to do her business?

Naturally, my husband is out of town....

Short term ideas????

07-24-2002, 04:21 PM
What a situation! :rolleyes: Do you have an extra litterbox? - and a spare room? Perhaps you could take the whole bunch in for the night and think about what to do tomorrow? Or do you have a large box you could put by the window, which could function as as house for tonight, with blankets in? That way, the mum would be able to protect the kittens better!?

Good luck!!! :) and goodnight!

07-24-2002, 04:24 PM
Just don't forget that these little babies will have fleas - even at that age.... If you bring them inside, be ready for those unwanted critters!

I don't want to discourage you from helping - I wish I could help you! But, fleas are a fact of rescue - Blah! :mad: :mad: :mad:

07-24-2002, 04:30 PM
Could this place help maybe?


Its a cageless, nokill shelter in Chicago for cats. I know its kitten season and everywhere is probably overfilled with kitties, but they may be able to help or at least give you some connections of groups who may be able to take in the kitties.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-24-2002, 04:34 PM
Oh no! But then again, Oh boy, Kittens!! ;)

Is the window well in a shaded spot? Even if it is I would try and get them out of there first. I only say this because I've seen dead mice in our window wells one day, and the next day there is nothing left but bones. Now I don't know if this is because someone poisoned them (wasn't me) and the poison ate them away like that or if the heat had something to do with it (decomposing them faster than normal). If it was the heat I would hate to see what the kittens would look like tomorrow, even though it wasn't that hot today. :(

Even if you don't want to bring them in the house because of Edwina, is there maybe a place in the garage you can set something up for them? Or maybe a quick run to Home Depot for some temporary fencing that you could set up a "fenced in" area for them? Not too high so the momma can jump out but the other critters can't get in. Oh what a dilemma especially since you're husband isn't home, and neither are you! Your niece sounds like she would be delighted at this new turn of events. ;)

Good luck and let us know what happens.

07-24-2002, 04:41 PM
Here's a couple other no-kill shelters in the Chicago area. You might already know of them but I'll post just in case.


http://www.animalwelfareleague.com/about.cfm (this one might be a kill shelter actually, maybe you could call and ask)

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-24-2002, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by aly
Could this place help maybe?


Its a cageless, nokill shelter in Chicago for cats. I know its kitten season and everywhere is probably overfilled with kitties, but they may be able to help or at least give you some connections of groups who may be able to take in the kitties.

They have a kitty named Avid that looks exactly like Pam's Trevor! I wish I could take all of them, especially Tri-pod. A 5 year old black boy with only 3 legs. Poor kitty. :( At least it's a no-kill shelter and these wonderful kitties will have a place to stay and food in their bellies until someone decides to take them home.

Don't know if this will work, but here's a picture of Avid.

And here's Trevor (hope this was ok Pam).

Edwina's Secretary
07-24-2002, 05:00 PM
There is a no-kill shelter by me called "Red Door" which I support financially. I'll try them. My niece has put food and water down for her (had to use a ladder -- it is a very deep window well and Leslie is not as tall as I am!) Momma jumped out when Leslie climbed down. I am amazed she can do that.

It is a very shady spot so it should be cool enough. My biggest fear again is the coon and possum. A possum got into one of the window wells before and could not get out. We had to put a board down there for it to climb out.

Hopefully there is enough "other stuff" for them right now.

As luck would have it...the big Harley is in the shop for a couple weeks so maybe there is extra room in the garage...

07-25-2002, 12:43 AM
hmmm....Red Door...and Harleys....

1. Elizabeth
2. Arden
3. Fat Boy
4. Sportie/Sport
5. Dottie (in memory of your scenic rides--"DOT FIBERGLASS"-- lol)**

Actually....Lady Edwina and Lady Elizabeth would make a good duo.....

**for the story on DOT FIBERGLASS click Here (http://petoftheday.com/talk/showthread.php?threadid=12841&pagenumber=2) ;)

Edwina's Secretary
07-25-2002, 09:59 AM
Oh Zippy...kudos for creativity! Great names...might Fat Boy become a self-fulfilling prophecy though?? :D I now think of momma as Elizabeth!

I am baffled and befuddled right now. The window well of the kittens is on the garage side of the house. I pulled in last night. Four kittens balled up together but no momma (did the car scare her???) We kept watch for momma out the windows but I became worried that we were scaring her off. We could hear the kittens through the basement window. When they were quiet did that mean momma was back and feeding them?

So far my niece is the only one who has seen the momma.

This morning there are only two kittens -- and no momma -- down there. Some of the cat food has been eaten. No other critter could get down the well and back out so I assume momma is moving them elsewhere as she has the energy. But where?!?!? Most of our neighbors have dogs -- so I doubt she would go there. Our property is heavily bushed (is that the right word?) so there are lots of placing she could be hiding.

We want to help her but where is she??? My husband suggested taking the two babies out and trying to feed them. I think we should see if momma comes for them. She can feed them much better.

But the flies!!! I am so worried.

And if you're wondering about Edwina....she is oblivious!!! I even took her to the basement and let her hear the kittens through the window. She said..."huh? Oh look is that something new on the book shelf?" My sweet baby was NOT at the head of the line when brains were being passed out!

07-25-2002, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by Edwina's Secretary
My sweet baby was NOT at the head of the line when brains were being passed out!

Any Hank the Cowdog fans out there?

In one of the books, Hank and his nieces/nephews get into a "singing fight" with a Momma Alleycat. Hank and crew sang (to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"):

When God made a cat he was desperate,
For something to make himself laugh,
He gave it the brain of a monkey--
But dropped it and broke it in half!
Can't remember the rest of the song...

(Fellow cat-lovers don't fret--Momma and kids belted out (to the tune of "America the Beautiful"
Your momma wears tow sack drawers
And holds them up with twine.
She has a ringworm on her nose
And picks it all the time!
Your momma's combat boots smell bad
So do her dirty socks.
Which goes to show what all cats know,
All dogs are just a putz!")

Now to the serious stuff...
If Momma hasn't carried off the last two kittens by lunch/early evening--I would seriously consider bottle feeding.

Have any fly tape? I know from first hand experience, flies can do horrendous things--esp. if they smell blood.

Best of luck, let me know if I can help in any way!

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-25-2002, 02:19 PM
I don't think I'll be much help on this one - no experience at all with new kittens, much less wild/feral new kittens. I would do like Zippy says though, if momma's not back by this evening and the kittens are still there, sounds like your niece is going to be pretty busy for the next couple of days. ;) Maybe some of the others out there with more rescue/feral experience can help. Moosmom, are you in the process of moving? Sorry I can't be more help. Don't know where you are in the Chicago area, but if it does turn into bottle feeding, maybe I can stop over some night to help out.

My sweet baby was NOT at the head of the line when brains were being passed out!

That's because she was at the head of the "looks and style" line. Not too many kitties out there can pull off a bonnet and visor like Lady Edwina. :D

Edwina's Secretary
07-25-2002, 03:03 PM

My husband thinks if momma doesn't move the last two today we will bottle feed (he is home now) but what to put in the bottle??? Where do you get cat milk?

We are on the northern edge of Chicago city limits. We are suppose to go to a reunion of husband's family in Toledo this weekend. I would hate to have a reason to miss that. ;)

Oddly enough...it appears momma took the smallest two first. I wish I undertood all of this better

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-25-2002, 03:11 PM
I'm not sure, where's Aly? She would definitely know. I'll see if I can email her directly. I work near North Ave and Western so the Northern edge wouldn't be too far away. Maybe I could stop over after work or something. I would also love to meet Little Miss Edwina herself. :) Let me know what happens.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-25-2002, 03:59 PM
Sara, I called the second shelter that Aly suggested. She said if you go to a petstore (Petco, Petsmart, any pet store) they should have Kitten formula and the one you buy depends on the age of the kittens. She gave me some milestones to help tell the age, but it sounds like these are younger than what she gave me.

Eyes open about 10 days
3 weeks they start standing and wobbling around
by 6 weeks their eyes start turning to their permanent color

She said if the kittens are still there, the mother might still be coming back and feeding them even if she moved the others. One way you can tell if she's not coming back is if they are very vocal. If they are crying their little heads off, they are very hungry and you need to help. If they're not crying, feel them - but don't handle them too much - to see if they are cold. They can't regulate their own body heat so they can't be cold, so if they are they need to be brought in and warmed up.

The lady was very helpful and nice and said to call back if you/we need more advice. Hope this helps!

07-25-2002, 04:05 PM
You can get everything you need including the kitty (milk)
at Petsmart. Believe it's powered, so needs to be mixed.
Can you call a vet for help with this? I would wait to be sure
Momma kitty is not coming back before you get involved with
moving them. K & L ,or Moosmom on the cat bb will surely
know what to advise. Try not to let the Momma cat see you
watching her or the babies. Do not look her in the eyes when
placing food out. Put it out & then leave quietly.Hide & watch
for her & the babies.

Edwina's Secretary
07-25-2002, 04:15 PM
Thanks so much Debbie and Lizbud! I on my way out of here shortly to see if they are there. There is a Petsmart not far from my house. My hope is momma is doing her job as I think that is always best (with animals at least). I am afraid that we scared her with all the attention.

Ihope she has come back today.

07-25-2002, 04:42 PM
We once moved 5 newborn kittens, born in our backyard, to a house we built for them all, but the mum would have nothing to do with them after :( - they were all inside the house.

Cinder & Smoke
07-25-2002, 04:55 PM
Sara ~

Maybe Mom can't jump up and out with the larger kittens?

Could you place a box, or ladder, down into the window well to reuduce the distance she has to jump? Might try that for a while this evening.

If she doesn't use the "stairs" by dark; then KittenNap the lil guys and try you hand at Kitten Feeding :).

Good Luck to you and the Kitties ;).

07-25-2002, 06:31 PM
The milk that you feed the babies is called KMR. It comes as powder or already mixed, but costs a lot more already mixed. If you mix it yourself, its easier to make it in a big jar then funnel it into the bottles. But it is only good for 24 hours once mixed and must be kept in the fridge. Keep the can of powder in the fridge too.

After you funnel it into the bottles, warm it in the microwave for a few seconds and check the warmth on your skin (like you do with human baby bottles). You may need to gently squeeze the bottle and keep encouraging them and letting them know what is in the bottle. Some babies are harder to get going than others.

After feeding, get a damp warm paper towel or cloth to stimulate them to go potty. I usually do it over the trash can, less clean up :o Don't be surprised if they don't poop for awhile.. it took mine almost a week!!! That KMR can get them a little constipated. Don't be worried if you see diarrhea either. They may do that on their own.

Set up a crate for them with soft towels and a stuffed animal (they think this is their mom). I like to have soft classical music playing for them too.

***Emergency phone call.. will continue this post in a few....

07-25-2002, 06:53 PM
Cinder & Smoke,

Glad you mentioned placing a board or ladder down into
window well. That thought about the momma having a harder
time jumping up with some of the kittens did cross my mind.
I felt a sense of urgency in my response so I just blabbed
out all I could think of in the few minutes I had to post.:D

I even forgot Aly as a good source of information on this.:o

Thanks, Liz & Buddy.

Edwina's Secretary
07-25-2002, 09:06 PM
We just finished burying the two orphaned kittens. My niece got them out his afternoon. One died shortly afterwards. She and I went to Petco and bought the formula and bottle, etc. Also per the recommendation of my sister-in-law (a vet in Maryland) peroxide to clean off the maggots (eck). We made him a nice soft bed and fed him a few times. He nursed very little. Brought him in and had a hologen light over hm for extra warmth.

I didn't have much hope. He appeared to have a number of issues I won't describe. He held on for about an hour and a half.

I believe the mother took the two with the best chance of survival. I wish I knew to where.

Phred...the reason I was hesitant to put a ladder down for momma Elizabeth -- the window well was really a good place because the possum and coons can't get down there. With a ladder they can. (Had a possum in the window well once. It couldn't get out. We put a board down -- and off he went.)

07-25-2002, 09:52 PM
Oh I'm so sorry :( That kitten breathed his last breath knowing what true love was and he is now running with his sibling at Rainbow Bridge. All you can do is your best and whatever was meant to be will happen. Thank you so much for helping and caring for those homeless little lives.

Debbie, thanks for emailing me and giving me the heads up on this topic!

07-25-2002, 10:01 PM
I'm so sorry. I know you did your best.:( :(

When you spoke of the flies earlier, that worried me ....

Could you please still watch out for the Momma kitty, and
maybe leave food if you seen her again. She is probably in
poor health herself. Thanks for trying. Liz.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-26-2002, 08:46 AM

I'm so sad. I was really hoping the momma would come and take care of these two also, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. You and your niece did your best though, and at least they died knowing that *someone* cared for them - poor little things. :(

I was actually looking forward to helping bottle feed the little squirts. :(

With all the other critters you have around, you can leave food, but you'll never know who actually ate it. If it were me I would still leave it out though, and hope that it's momma that's eating it. And momma kitties are usually pretty good about picking safe places to have their kittens. She did pick the window well knowing the other critters couldn't get in, she probably just didn't know about the flies and such. So she has probably picked another safe place. You can keep an eye out for her and leave the food near her if you do happen to catch a glimpse. Otherwise you might not see them again until the kittens are old enough to be out and about.

You're welcome Aly. With your experience with tiny kittens I knew you would be a big help here. I had forgotten that you sent the two previous emails about local shelters, which was a good thing because one of them was very helpful.

Edwina's Secretary
07-26-2002, 09:45 AM
Last night I was so devastated. My husband rubbing the little guy, my niece trying to clean out his little mouth so he could eat better. Nature can be a cruel thing to witness. I will not describe the unpleasant aspect but I had some very bad dreams last night involving creepy crawlies.

I am now angry. We haven't seen strays in the four years we have lived there. If, as I expect, this is one of the cats I saw (and fed) the other night, Elizabeth is just a tiny, scrawny thing herself. Who dumped them???? They should have been there last night watching ...well I'm getting emotional again.

I will donate the rest of the milk and supplies we bought. We have discussed the best place to put out food for Elizabeth where she stands a chance of eating vs. coonie, possum, et al. Perhaps back in the window well?

Again...thanks to all who helped and Debbie...come over and see my dim little light bulb any time!

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
07-26-2002, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by Edwina's Secretary
Last night I was so devastated. .........Again...thanks to all who helped and Debbie...come over and see my dim little light bulb any time!

I'm sorry it was such a bad experience for you. Poor little things - nature can sure be cruel sometimes. :(

Then...when when you put it like that, how can I not come and meet the Little Miss Edwina? :D I'll see if I can figure out a date when it would work for me and I'll let you know. Thanks for the invite! :)

07-26-2002, 01:33 PM
So sad.:(

Thanks for sharing your story - sorry it didn't have a happy ending, but at least the little kitties weren't alone when they died.

07-26-2002, 04:50 PM
Ooooh. How discouraging for you. {{{ES}}}

Hope you have a good trip and feel better soon. It's painful to try so hard and still lose the little ones...

Cinder & Smoke
07-26-2002, 07:20 PM
I'm sure God appreciates your compassion and caring for His FurBabies...

It's sad that they weren't survivors on Earth;
but they're playing at the Rainbow Bridge now ~
and will greet you there with Thanks in due time.