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Edwina's Secretary
08-01-2002, 12:02 PM
The momma cat of the kittens we tried to save and the two she took with her. (Thanks to Zippy for her name!)

Although none of us have actually seen her I believe she is still around. How far could she go with two tiny kittens? Also...there are lots of feathers in the bushes under the bird feeder and my niece saw a "partial bird" in the bushes.

So we have been putting out a dish of kibbles every evening. The debate was where to put to the dish to increase the chances of Elizabeth eating it instead of Coonie. So we decided on the top of the grill. Although Coonie can climb I don't believe raccoons can jump and the metal is smooth and difficult to climb. Coonie is also very wide of girth. I'm assuming squirrels a) sleep at night, and b) don't like meat (???)

The first night the dish was only partially eaten. The next nights it has been emptied (and tossed on the ground in the bushes :mad: )

I am also not filling the bird feeder as I really prefer Elizabeth eat kibbles rather than my feathered friends -- or at least I prefer not to tempt them into an uncertain fate.

What thoughts do others have? Are we just saving Coonie a dive in the garbage can? Any way to know if it is Elizabeth?

sasvermont
08-01-2002, 12:48 PM
I think you should borrow Efrat's cat cam for awhile to determine what is consuming the food.

You know, I often toss out on the back lawn, dry cat food that is given to me by friends (I use only a prescription diet) and it stays there for days. I have seen the following eating it: birds, dogs, cats, chipmunks....and I only assume skunks and raccoons. I am not sure they are all very wild about the flavors of cat food. So I would just leave a wad of dry food out and hey, whatever eats it, eats it. Once Elizabeth comes out of hiding, maybe you will be able to lure her to a better feeding location. I bet she is finding lots of little meals all over the place.....moles, etc. etc. etc.

You might want to leave water out, for sure and maybe some cream, although sometimes it can cause more harm than good. Actually cream is better than skim milk or regular milk.

Have you looked under porches etc? for Mama and kittens?

Keep us posted. :eek:

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
08-01-2002, 01:04 PM
Sara, don't know how good of an idea this is, but I've noticed that after I vacuum the carpeting, the first couple of days I can see little kitty prints everywhere, which lets me see just exactly where T&P go when I'm not around. :p My thought was if you could come up with something like this to catch the paw prints of whatever is eating the food. Unfortunately the carpeting doesn't define the print enough, especially since coon prints are small, kind of like cat prints. Maybe if you put the food in the middle of a piece of plywood or something, then somehow put food coloring down or something that won't harm the critter (whichever it is) and then when they walk away you will be able to see the print and tell if it's Elizabeth or coonie. I would think coonie couldn't jump to the top of the grill, but might somehow stand up against it and reach for the food, possibly knocking it into the bushes. I might suggest putting the food in the window well where she had the kittens, but knowing coonie, he'll jump down there and you'll be stuck with trying to get him out - ugh! Maybe if you have a video camera (hand held) or can borrow one, you could set it up. Set it to the longest record time possible because the quality of the picture isn't that important and set it to record when you go to bed you might be able to catch something on film.

Or, maybe if you got some kind of cage where the opening is too small for coonie to get in. The cage would have to be big enough that you could set the food in the middle of it - where coonie can't reach it - but have a small opening so only Elizabeth and small critters can get in.

Don't get discouraged and keep putting the food out because chances are that she is at least getting some of it, which can only be good for her. My mom has a woods behind her house and they have a lot of critters coming around so she put a red light out there. I guess the critters can't see the red light so they won't be scared away when it's turned on. That might be an option too if you have some sort of yard light out there.

Good luck, and do keep us updated. The one thing I know for sure is that we can't put Edwina on the case. ;) :) :D

Karen
08-01-2002, 01:48 PM
Coonie might be eating it - raccoons do climb, even rotund ones! Do you have a cardboard box that you could cut an Elizabeth-sized opening in, that Coonie wouldn't fit through?

Edwina's Secretary
08-02-2002, 09:53 AM
I am so angry with them. We have provided them with a place to live, a garbage can to forage, privacy......

Last night I was tired and had gone to bed early. When my husband came upstairs he went to ask Edwina to come in off the screened porch. I don't know if it was the Calypso music or what but he looked down. Came in and got me and a flash light. There was the Coon family -- momma and two babies partying on the patio. Up on the grill eating Elizabeth's kibbles...strolling about among the potted plants -- looking for all the world like a Coon cocktail party!

But what I am really angry about is...they have desecrated the graves of the two kittens. I know mother nature and all that but I am bothered and perhaps it is time they return to the woods....

AmberLee
08-02-2002, 11:45 PM
Oh Sara!!! What a shock, and coming when you are already tired...

I think raccoons are cute, but do not like having them around homes. They are capable of a lot of harm. I'd hate for Edwina to get a broken leg like our Oliver (RB) got from one... Not sure what to tell you about feeding Elizabeth and not the coons.

{{{Sara}}}