The Rip Van Wrinkler, Volume XIV, Issue 3, August 2009

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Muse Road Feral Kitten & Mama Cat Rescue

but first, a set-back

An unfortunate demonstration of the allure of a "lure."
by Karen P. Christensen

Prey-driven dogs will indeed stay with their quarry if it is cornered or vanquished...yesterday at the crack of dawn all 12 dogs were outside in Susan's yard. I called; 7 came in. Nice morning so I headed out to round up the stragglers and was panicked at the sight of what looked like the whole dozen, flashes of red and white in the undergrowth OUTSIDE the fence! The mama cat and her weanling kittens nested in a rocky crevice ... See More between the yard fence and the electric bear-defense fence, had proven too attractive -- and the fence inadequate in. just. The right spot -- for four of the hounds to wriggle out. Laser yodeling his head off at mama cat crouched and growling under a rocky overhang, TuTu trying to decipher the nest entrance, Cherry pretty much just sampling the surroundings, and Fern -- not sure what she was doing, as she made it back to the patio by the time I got there.

TRYING though not fully succeeding to squelch the adrenaline rush I was feeling knowing my dogs could take off into the NY State wilderness any time, Susan and I grabbed leashes and collars and Susan switched off the fence charge, and I slipped thru the fence and got the three naughties secured, not happy that I was wearing shorts and didn't have time to scan for poison ivy. The whole time it took to get the leashes, navigate the rocky-forested hillside to get to them, none of my dogs moved more than a few inches from where I had first spotted them. None tried to evade my grip when I grabbed them!

Sadly, one kitten was clearly no longer living. No sign of any of the others and little clue other than inference that one of the keen young bitches had dispatched it, then instantly lost interest in it. Later in the day after Susan and I had done a makeshift patch of the hole and scanned the rest of the fence for gaps, the dogs streamed out and quickly discovered the new lair -- again, just outside the yard fence but covered by the bear fence -- about 30 yards from the old one. Mama and two kittens in evidence, and mama had a meal down at the garage not long after.

Deb Moulton - Oh damn Karen and Susan! This is the price we all pay for having high prey drive dogs. We can't fault our dogs because this is what we want, but it hurts none the same. So sorry but glad you were able to catch the dogs before they went on a serious 'walkabout' in the Great North Woods! I am in the same boat as Susan with feral cats, and it sucks.

S K-M – I'll tell you, it was intense, but one thing I never feared was the dogs heading away from where they were! I was so worried about mama cat all day & am very happy she's okay. Now to get her caught & spayed! Thanks for writing the story, Moot. "Little" had her supper when I got home today, too.

Happy Ending to this story:

 Kittens in a Vari-Kennel after being trapped.

The 3 amigos, Lottie Hotaling, Frey Johnsson & S K-M, trapped the 3 surviving kittens, now named Muse, Maverick & Apu.  They have been socialized at the Pine Plains AnimalHospital.  They are feline leukemia clear, have been treated for ear mites & worms. Muse, Maverick & Apu are feral no longer. They all have gone to their forever homes.

Mama cat, “Little, “ was trapped (the allure of canned salmon!) & has been spayed & vaccinated & is back home here on Muse Road, often hanging out with “Sweetness,” who is probably papa cat.

Little & Sweetness

In jest, said to be Little's big brother. Photo taken just recently, too.

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