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Thread: Help..rescue of wild kitten

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Honolulu, HI, USA

    Help..rescue of wild kitten


    Today I went to the Humane Society to reinstate the "lost cat" information on my lost kitty Jasper. I had found out they only keep information for 30 days...stupid. How many cats make sure they return in under 30 days????

    *****As I started to fill out my card, I was distracted by two ladies near me who were sobbing and wiping their eyes. They had trapped two wild kittens, finding a home for one. The Hawaiian Humane Society told them, and I heard, THE KITTEN THEY HAD BROUGHT IN SO IT COULD FIND A HOME WAS TO BE PUT DOWN. They were told the weeks old kitten was growling and spitting, and too wild for adoption. I broke in asking about foster homes to tame the kitten. We were told there are many foster homes but they are all full of kittens that are more used to people. They could do nothing else. These ladies cried and cried, calling people on their cell phone to find a place for it. They could not take it home. One had many cats and the other dogs that do not like cats. But their concern touched me. After filling my card out and leaving another "lost" poster with pictures, I sat and waited. They tried and tried but no one they knew could take it.

    By then I was in tears myself. My Jasper had been rescued and my niece spent weeks taming him. When he came to live with me he was pretty mellow and has always been loving.

    They couldn't take it back home and the people at the Humane Society seemed to be getting irritated with us. I finally spoke up and said I would take him. I couldn't see him getting killed when he hadn't even been given a chance. Immediately we were told to leave, and if they gave the kitten to me that we would have to do it off their property. I went out to the car and waited, and we exchanged names, numbers and the kitten in their parking lot.

    The lady who gave me the kitten said that she was now going to withdraw a large donation she was scheduled to give, because of their reluctance to help them and animals in need. They still have a mother cat and two more kittens to catch.

    Now I have the tiny guy here at home. He is still in the carrier they loaned me. I put in water and food, and a little litter box, with him spitting and trying to strike me. He has eaten and used his box, but is no friendlier. I put him on my queen sized bed so that I can lay down and talk eye to eye with him. Everytime I try he growls. If I make soft meowing sounds he moves around.

    Monday I will try to get him into the vet, so I am trying to avoid scratches until he is checked. My two dogs have sniffed the crate several times, but then go on their way. With my Jasper they were very loving and kind, letting him be the boss. I think they will be kind with this guy too if they get the chance.

    The only thing I can think to do is, slowly, a little more each day, to approach him. If slowly doesn't work, maybe I should just take him out of the crate, wrap him and hold and pet him. Maybe have him be loose but confined to a room. But if he doesn't use a litter box, then what? See, lots of questions. Anyone been through this? Any ideas?

    I just couldn't let them kill him.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    You were there at the right time in the right place for the little one, thank you!!!! Here is one hastily found link:,1053,6548,00.html

    And I am sure Spencer and his brood will be chiming in to help!

  3. #3
    J's mom-

    Bless you for taking in this little guy in need. I had a litter of ferals a little older than your new kitty, and all but one tamed down to lap cat status. Even the one that never tamed did at least come to trust me and his eventaul new mom.

    Two things I did - I did not allow them to hide, and I fed them very tasty treats by hand.

    Since he does not have his litter mates to huddle with, he may need a little hiding place to feel secure, but I would make it an "out in the open" place where he is still forced to interact in some way. His crate might be a perfect place, maybe in a quiet corner of the room. But occasionally make him come out and leave the door closed so he can't go in it. Also block any other place he could hide, such as closets and under furniture. This would be a good time to give him his tasty treats, cooked chicken or tuna. It must come from your hand, even if you have to at first just place it in front of him. But he has to associate you with the good stuff, so that's why you want him to see you feeding him. This would also be a good time to bring out good toys, like the feathers, like Spencer mentioned. The feathers would be a very good choice because you can play with him at a distance. But be sure and give him lots of quiet time on his own while he is out, to allow him to get used to his surroundings and let him realize that he is safe.

    Since he is completely wild and has probably had no interaction with humans before now (just like the four I had), be prepared for this process to take weeks to accomplish. But like Spencer said, you actually have a very good chance of succeeding.

    Good luck, and I hope you find Jasper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Oh thank you all so much for responding to my problem. I don't feel so alone in this. Although I have had cats throughout my life, never have I tried to tame a feral kitten.

    It's a boy. He is almost all white, but his tail is light grey and possibly striped. He keeps it tucked in right now so I haven't had a good look. He has the same grey coloring on both ears, with a narrow white pathway between his ears. He has dark eyes.

    Thank you, thank you for your help.

    Last night I had him on my bed in his crate. I let all my family come in and out, the music on for a while, later the tv. When it came time to go to bed I put the carrier on my desk chair that has arms. I pushed it against the dresser next to my bed so that it would be secure. He was about 3 to 4 feet from me. I turned out the lights. I got to laughing, and told one of my sons that came into my room, that maybe he should be named "Pager" (joke). In my dark room, as my son or I moved around anywhere near the carrier, his growling sounded like a pager sitting on a table, on vibrating mode. It was so funny.

    In the quiet he started mewing. Each time I would wake and talk softly to him. He quieted each time. At sunrise he did it again, but quieted at my voice.

    Today, he angrily endured my changing food, water and litter. Now, after a couple hours alone, he has moved from cowering in the back corner to resting up front next to the cage door. I have now gone from getting growls and spitting at 3 feet, to his tolerating my presense at 1 1/2 feet. I talk softly and wiggle my fingers to show there is nothing to fear. He only watches my fingers, no growls. That is a GREAT IMPROVEMENT, at least I think so.

    I decided, with your caution, to let the vet check him first before attempting to pick him up or touch him. I have my own regular doctor's appointment on the 18th. Maybe I can wait to update my tetnus til then? If not, I'll call and can get it alone before then. Welders gloves were recommended on one of the feral links. I guess because it helps cover your arms too. I thank you so much for helping with advise and showing me the links to information. I'm new to the computer and the web.

    In a few minutes I will be heading to the pet store for a feather toy on a stick to facilitate the touching process as recommended. Tuna we have. Wonder if he'll like that. Scented clothes. Maybe he would like something of mine to sleep on.

    What about my two dogs? I will keep them from direct contact until he is calmer and sees the vet. I allow them to smell near the crate and he is tolerating it better. I don't want him frightened more, nor have them scratched/bitten, transferring any disease. Will have to work on this. They are cat friendly, but the cat is not a dog lover. Yet!

    Is it a good idea to maybe accept one of the other kittens if they are able to catch them? Is that easier, or would it make it harder? But then, can I keep two????? I want him as an indoor only cat. My Jasper was an outdoor/indoor cat...and he disappeared. (So painful still.)

    Last night I sent an update e-mail to the ladies that trusted me, an unknown person, with their rescued kitten. Before bed one of the ladies sent me an e-mail postcard with the cutest picture of a kitten laying on a puppy. A wonderful and kind thank you note. (What fun things..maybe some day I'll learn to post pictures too.) They plan to come by and see him at a later date. Worn out physically and emotionally by their capturing experience on Saturday, they will not make an attempt in capturing the mom cat and two remaining kittens until maybe Monday.

    Oh, his tail is grey with no stripes. Just used his new cardboard tiny potty box. He has also been licking and cleaning himself today.

    Bless you Karen, SpencerTheLion and 4 feline house for helping me with your warm hearted words and advise. This is a scary thing for me...never before seeing a spitting, whirling blur of a kitten.

    With love and appreciation,
    Jasper's Mom and baby kitten

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Never got to the store today. Found "Feral Cats" started by SpencerTheLion, and went through all its links too. The TNR Program is in my small opinion, the only way to go. Sadly, the possibility of passing disease on makes euthanasia a necessity at times. Your stories have instilled in me the great sacrifices you and others have given to the lost and feral cat population. And the need is endless. There are just so many. Before reading all this I was of the mind to save them all. Never being in a rescue group or position, I never realized the enormous problem and complexity of feral cats. I appreciate what you and the others have kindly posted so we can all understand. With my little feral boy kitten here, I felt guilt about the others left behind. I now understand, truly I do. You can't save them all. Bless your heart.

    [This message has been edited by Jasper's Mom (edited May 07, 2001).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Austin, Texas
    Jasper's Mom: You are that little boy's angel. Reading how you saved him brought tears to my eyes. I know it must be really difficult since you don't know where Jasper is still. Everyone has given you great advice and thats so good you're making progress! That little kitty will become your new shadow in no time. Maybe someday Jasper will return too. I wish you all the luck in both of the situations.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Milan, Italy
    Jasper's Mum,

    I only saw your message today. I cannot add more to the excellent tips the others have given you. It's wonderful that you decided to take him home, I'm sure that it will work out. One of mine was hissing and spitting like that when we saved him from the street, if he had any food left over he would sleep across it and he would become very aggressive if we went anywhere near the bowl, now I have the opposite "problem" he won't leave me alone!

    Good luck.

    [This message has been edited by Gio (edited May 07, 2001).]

  8. #8
    J's mom-

    I think you're right, the fact that he is now spending alot of time at the front of his crate and is not so quick to growl is an improvement. You've done some good things so far - like taking his crate with you around the house.

    I know what you mean about the "pager"!

    Since he is using his box while he is in his crate, it's almost certain he will use it once he's let loose,too.

    Keep us posted on the progress you make with him.

    [This message has been edited by 4 feline house (edited May 07, 2001).]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Thanks you guys for being so supportive of me and my little guy (no name yet). I have wavered between elation at his sweetness (from a distance) to deep worry whether I did the right thing by taking him. Last night he cried all night long and I am so tired tonight.

    Today, after only 48 hours, "Pager" has not been vibrating as much. On his first vet visit this morning, the sound of his yowling followed me through the walls as I departed. He gave them quite a fit and at first they thought he might need to be tranqualized. As soon as their gloved hand picked him up like his mama did, he froze. Got to check him all over. He is only about 6 weeks old and less than 2 lbs. Younger than I thought. Got some good yummy baby kitty kind food like you suggested. Not tested for feline HIV since is too young to get it the vet said. No worms, no feline luekemia, no upper respiratory infection, no ear mites, no problems they could find, except attitude and fleas. Only put two drops of Advantage on him since so tiny. Said the fleas would be dead by tonight. Hope so.

    No immunizations for a month, nor neutering yet. The Hawaiian Humane Society does at this young age, but this "cats only" vet does not.

    Does have one problem tonight. Runny poop. I am only guessing that it is his sudden change in diet?

    Brought home a quieter little fellow. Guess he decided this place is better than the vets. Gave him some treats through the door and soon he was taking them from my fingers. Wow! What a difference 48 hours can do to a "wild thing". Then my dogs were able to put their muzzles less than a foot from the crate door and he only watched them. They are kitty wise and quietly just watched. Last night he "vibrated" when they just entered the room. My worrying doubts are slowly fading away. My oldest son who called him the "devil cat" is starting to change his mind.

    I am taking him out of the crate tomorrow. Too much house activity tonight. I want him to be an indoor only cat. I already picked up a little collar with bell. If I put it on now he'll always think it's supposed to be that way. Maybe then we can hear him if he approaches an open door. I will probably pick up a tiny name tag for him at the 2nd Pet Expo this weekend. Got to decide on a name by then.

    My Jasper was an indoor/outdoor kitty, never letting anyone touch him outside. Because of that I didn't worry...And now he is gone. (But I'm never going to stop searching.)

    It's true, no PetsMart or Petco here in Hawaii. Would love to go to one. Some small pet stores here and there, only one allowing pets inside. The only big pet store, Pets Discount Warehouse, also allows pets. Don't take my dogs. It's really a warehouse and terribly hot.

    To bed, my baby is sleeping...

    and bathe you say!!???

  10. #10
    His runny stools are probably nerves from having gone to the vet and the change in his diet. If it doesn't clear up in a few days he might need to go back to the vet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Well, today has been a good day. Making some mistakes, but my little frenzied kitten is alive and well.

    Oooo, I gave my kitten a bath before reading your post. I'm sure the Advantage must be gone. I only had puppy no tears shampoo, and used it on him. He was so awfully dirty. His "runnies" was all stuck on the bottom of his feet and under his tail. Happily, he has done some regular poop this evening. When he was loose in the bathroom I took the same tiny litter box and put fresh litter in it. He was a good boy and used it. Yea! (Gosh, the things we appreciate).

    He was quieter in the warm water so he kinda got dipped in to relax, out to scrub softly and back in to calm down. Discovered in washing that he has a kink in his tail 1/3 of the way down from his back. Maybe old injury or birth defect. Now clean, very white, and fluffy, you cannot see the kink.

    I let him out in the bathroom. He was leary of everything, and when the wicker waste basket tipped over, he wedged himself between the wall and the back of the toilet. The only place to hide. I carefully pushed him out and he was ok.

    From everything I have read, this guy should still be attacking me. Taking weeks, I was ready for the long haul. Maybe being six weeks is in his favor, and mine, for he seems better every day. Being alone, away from other cats maybe too? Don't know. After drying him and brushing him softly with a nice purple toothbrush, (just his size), he slept for a while. I took that opportunity to put on his little collar with bell, which he will need to grow into. It was the smallest one in the store.

    Already the bell helps because when he's moving arond we can hear him. Never before have I had a collar on a cat. Never vowed to keep one only in the house either. (After losing Jasper, I can't do it any other way.) I will get a small name tag this weekend, if I can decide on a name. Nice name suggestions. Like all three. Cute idea! Going to take a vote this Friday with the family. So far suggestions from family are: "Lil Bit", "Willow", "Pager", and "Haupia", the Hawaiian name for a white coconut pudding. Sounds like "how-pee-ah". Been too busy to seriously consider a name.

    When I later went back in the room, he was back to his wild little self again. Mad about the bath I guess. I left him alone, and when I returned again, he had gone into the crate by himself and was alseep. Whew!

    Tonight he is calmer, only hissing at me when I put his dinner in his crate. No growl or whirling attack with nails. When he was out, it helped to wrap him in a small towel and hold him against me. After his bath, while keeping him warm, I petted his head all over. Eventually I felt a soft vibration and realized he was faintly purring. Wow, that was great.

    Yesterday he cried a lot every time I left the room. This evening I had to be gone and he didn't cry for me they said. I had my granddaughter, who is 4, hold him wrapped up today and asked everyone to come and talk to him. While wrapped I took him to see my two dogs. Being kitty lovers, they only sniffed him and faintly gave him tiny puppy kisses (licks). He didn't seem bothered by them at all, maybe because he was wrapped. Before he had growled and flew against the inside of the crate when they even entered the room. Big improvement.

    He was sleeping last night and a tv commerical came on with a cat meowing for food. He woke with a start, crying out loudly, and I suspected he thought that was his mama. His yowling goes to mewing at the sound of my voice. I think he's going to be just fine.

    I was at a Cat Meeting tonight at the Hawaiian Humane Society. Jasper's disappearance has made me want to help other lost cats and kittens. This time the Society had been asked to not attend. The "Cat People", from many organizations, groups and just cat lovers will soon be meeting somewhere else. Too intimidating for many people because of the Society's harsh policies and unresolved issues. Too many problems and issues to bring up right now. Arriving early I detected an odd odor in the air. To my great dismay and disgust, I realized they were cremating animals at that time. Some people entered the meeting room with their nose and mouth covered.

    Before the meeting started, I wandered around and into the Cat House, seeing a young woman in her 20s race in with a panicked look. Not finding her cat there she ran back to the main desk. Their policy is to sent someone a letter, which often arrives many days after their cat is brought in. As I was told, this happens every so often, that a found cat is destroyed because the "informative letter" arrives too late to retrieve your cat. I feel so bad for her.

    My baby kitty's brother is doing fine, in a house with another cat. Roaming free and hiding out. They haven't taken their kitten to the vet yet. Bought a flea comb instead?? Uses the litter box by copycat.
    No capture yet of Mom and two other siblings.

    Thank you for all the support. This kitten is being raised by all of you. Your help, support, suggestions and love are making a real difference. Thanks for being there for me.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    So glad it is going so well! I think Pager'd be a fine name, or a nice Hawaiian niame would be distinctive, too! It is good that you are getting him acclimated to dogs, kids, and all sorts of things. He really does seem, from your description, to be getting better every day! When I was little, I wanted to keep a feral kitten - lovely grey-blue - I saw at my Grandpa's farm, but he wouldn't let me try to pick it up - he knew that I'd just get hurt, and that the mama kitty was just inches away, ready to attack if I approached her baby! Big thanks to the ladies who rescued your little friend, and to you, too!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Wow! That was fascinating to read! Please keep us updated on everything.


  14. #14
    A flea comb alone can be effective if you're diligent and the infestation is not too great - just make sure you have a bowl of soapy water close by to dunk the fleas into off the comb - the soap interrupts the surface tension of the water and the fleas drown instead of just jumping out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    Yes, my new feral fuzzball could indeed fit into a coke can, diet or otherwise. Today I have been graciously allowed to scratch his head through the door, with not having to hold him down. He started leaning into my rubbing his head, neck and chin. Being so little, he can only receive two-fingered little rubbings, and he now loves it. I took him out right away, holding him close with no towel. I had two of my sons hold and love on him, and then my 4 yr old graddaughter, Sabrina. I put a towel on her shoulder to prevent scratches and she softly patted him. I invited my two big boys over for a smell and Sandy, the older, gave our baby kitty little licks. Then Moses, being almost 1 year old came barreling in, nudging him over and over. Licking wetly on every part of him that wasn't covered by Sabrina's hand. Baby kitty leaned into the licks with closed eyes, and I knew that the very important bond with my dogs had begun. He enjoyed the strong licking, maybe reminding him of his mama's nurturing, just bigger and juicer. I was careful to keep it under control, no heavy action, and held on so that Sabrina didn't let go or drop him. It went great, and my soggy kitten went back to his crate a mellow fellow.

    Last night his little problem got bigger, in the litter box, with sound effects. Called the vet and she had me get her kitten food (not the generic stuff I got, oops), saying the sound effects suggest he is probably not digesting the food well. If not better in 24 hrs, she'll check him out again. He doesn't go real often, the color is good, he is drinking good, and is active, so we'll just watch him until tomorrow. Nice subject...

    He seemed to want to be near me last night so I slept with his crate next to me in bed. Isn't that what mama's always do with new babies? I would sometimes wake and watch him watching me. If he was a girl I would name him Precious.

    Oh my, 36 foster cats. I could not even deal with a fraction of that. Unless you had special facilities and help you could never do it right. Poor things. She may have meant well but was surely not well versed in cat care.

    I am not ready to jump into at-home cat rescue beyond one cat at a time. This boy is mine, and any others would have to wait until my house is less full of two-legged ones. As many dogs and cats come home again, so do grown children.

    I do plan on helping or working with some of the people I met at the Hawaiian HS this week. One lady I know from before. She and many others seem on the verge of burnout. Most work, have families with children and do cat rescue, TNR and feeding. So many people are really worked up about that place. The electricity being generated from so many passionate cat people that night, just crackled all around me. I have never experienced that before. Too much information flying around uncontrolled, tempers flairing. Almost 30 people and every one with different issues. Oh boy. What an eye opener. They're angry, things are coming out. They want change.

    Among many other issues, this is one I personnaly dislike. If a pet is lost and a report is filed, after 30 days it is thrown out. No follow up. These cards are kept in a folder at the front desk, not in the clinic where the animals are seen. How do they keep their personnel up to date on lost pets? If a pet is found, they send out a letter, instead of a phone call. As I witnessed, when the owner arrives animals have disappeared I suspect they have already been destroyed.

    I was raised here and visited this facility as a child. A lot has changed. A beautiful office area, entry, library and other rooms have been built. New plantings and lots of green grass and wooden benches. A great new dog park, with grass, big trees, picnic tables and a waterfall and pool. A new "Cat House" the size of a storage shed.

    My great concern is, where are the additional cages so more animals can be held longer and possibly be adopted. They still use the same ones that I walked past as a child. The turnover is too fast for lack of enough cages. Why? Their priorities do not reflect concern for animals first.

    A former administrative employee has a lawsuit going right now for inhumane treatment. Along with other complaints, one is the lining up and linking together of dogs in a row, and mass injections for euthanasia. How sad, how inhumane.

    I will heed your warning about being careful, for I truly saw the tremendous electrifying conflict even amongst those trying to help solve the problems. If the HHS would only work with these people with open ears, it would benefit everyone. Unless asked, I won't talk of this junk anymore. It's pretty negative and we have more fun and light issues to share. Right?

    I received an e-mail from the lady who rescued my kitten. She said his brother is doing good in his new home, had his first bath too, but is still upsetting the young rescued resident cat who came from the same area 6 months ago. He has also stopped spitting but does a lot of hiding yet.

    They have been back evey day looking for the mama kitty and the remaining two babies. They have not been seen since the first two babies were taken away on Saturday. The lady who took the brother of mine wants very much to also have the two still loose siblings. Newly appearing has been a white and very skinny adolescent. Another skinny white adolescent has been there all along. I suspect both may have been the missing mama cat's previous litter. There is also an orange striped cat, and one she calls house cat (abandoned but comes to her). In searching for a new cat feeder she found another lady feeding a small group in another area. But she retires this month and also can no longer feed her group. If I could do it I would. But cannot for two reasons. It is on military grounds, requiring a pass, which I do not have. Secondly, it is about an hour round trip in good traffic, two in the evening when I could go. I'm trying to help her find someone. I gave her some ideas, made some calls, but the solution evades me.

    Jasper's Mom,
    Sandy & Moses (baby kitty lovers)
    and Baby Kitty

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