Home » Other » Community Hangout » kittens in the garage (again)
kittens in the garage (again) [message #584486] Tue, 14 May 2013 14:46 Go to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Well, it's been almost a year since the last time that I found kittens in my garage. I don't know whether to call it déjà vu or a time loop or just spring or what, but there is a new batch of kittens in the garage. I found them just like last time. I opened the door from the kitchen to the garage in the morning, caught a glimpse of a black and white cat with a black tail, presumably the mother, running out of the garage, then found the kittens left behind. This time I found two black and white kittens and one all black kitten. Just like the previous bunch last year, they look like they are just barely weaned and big enough to follow the mother around and I can't get near them. I think it is the same mother cat as last year and the gray and white tomcat is probably the father again.

Last year there ended up being just one black and white kitten that I watched grow up and still comes around frequently. The rest disappeared shortly after they appeared. I'm watching and waiting to see what happens this time. I never did figure out where the mother cat lives. I have seen a black and white cat lounging on the front porch of a house on the cross-street east of here, but I couldn't tell from a distance, while driving by if that was her or not.
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #584492 is a reply to message #584486] Tue, 14 May 2013 18:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
Messages: 4417
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
Some people are very irresponsible: they don't spay/castrate their pets. I think people like that should be spayed or castrated themselves. Or perhaps your visting cats aren't pets but are feral. Either way, do you have a cat rescue or any other sort of animal welfare charity near you? If so, they should lend you a cat trap so you can catch the poor thing and give it to them to spay or castrate. Then release it where you found it.
The world has too many cats (which isn't the cats' fault). The world also has too many people (which is definitely their fault).
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #584500 is a reply to message #584492] Tue, 14 May 2013 22:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
There are various such groups. I also have my own trap and veterinarian. However, past efforts have resulted in catching another neighbor's cat, a rooster, and everything but the right cat. In the past, I have set it in the backyard in the evening, then checked to see what was in it in the morning. I put food and water in it and a neighbor's cat got used to getting a good meal, water to wash it down with, and a protected place to sleep. After a while, I gave up. I keep trying to get closer to any cats that show up and follow them to see where they go. I suspect this mother cat has a home and that they found homes for last year's kittens except the one black and white one. I am guessing that something similar will happen this year. I am guessing that once they get big enough to roam, they put them up for adoption, and may keep one kitten from the litter.

Many years ago, I had an indoor/outdoor cat that was born in my living room and was very friendly and easy for me and my veterinarian to handle. I eventually found out that for years, she had been spending her afternoons sun bathing in the backyard across the street. They could never get near her and thought she was wild. They couldn't believe it when I walked over and picked her up. So, just because I can't get near some cat, doesn't mean it is wild. It may very well have a human family that it is friendly with, but not trust strangers. This mother cat and the black and white kitten from last year that grew up both look well-fed and have sleek coats. So, I think they have a home. I just don't know where. I have spoken to a few neighbors, so I know a lot of places that they don't live, but I haven't found where they do live yet. I have also found in the past that some people deny having cats that turn out to be theirs, so it may be a waste of effort to ask and you can't count on the answer being true. I remember asking one couple if a cat I found might be theirs. He said they didn't have any cats. She then identified the cat as the grandmother of all 30 of their cats.

Right now, I am just waiting to see what happens with this bunch. I am hoping that it is sort of like last year, so that I don't have to deal with it. I have plenty of other priorities that I need to spend my money, time, and energy on.


Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #584504 is a reply to message #584500] Tue, 14 May 2013 23:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
I just checked the garage again and the mother cat and kittens were in there. This time the mother cat didn't run, so I got a good look at her. It is the same mother cat from last year. She is black and white, with a lot more white than black, a very pretty cat. I also think I saw three black and white kittens. So, there must be at least four kittens, three black and white and one black. They all look healthy.
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #584692 is a reply to message #584504] Thu, 16 May 2013 17:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Today, the whole family showed up, which consists of a gray and white tomcat, a black and white mother cat, their one-year-old black and white daughter from last year, and five kittens from this year (1 black, 3 black and white, and 1 gray and white). I am actually not sure if all three of the black and white ones are black and white or if one more of them might be gray and white, as it is a little hard to tell while they are scurrying away in a dimly lit garage. The black cat from next door poked his head in and looked around, then entered, sniffed around, and left. He tends to pick fights with the tomcat and the two adult females. I hope he doesn't try to hurt the kittens.

Yesterday morning got off to a strange start. I was doing my usual walk around the backyard. Usually, by the time that I get to the north fence, the German Shepherd from next door is waiting for me to pet her. When I got there, I didn't see her, so I called her name. Instead of coming to me, she went to the east fence and started barking. I went to see what she was barking at just in time to see somebody entering through the window of a neighbor's house to the northeast. All I could see was the back of the baseball cap and jacket and pants. The people who live there had told me that a previous dog, that was usually in the house, had been stolen. He also told me that he kicked out some previous roommates. So, I called 9-1-1 and reported a possible burglar and told them what I saw and what I knew. Local law enforcement responded quickly with a helicopter and 6 patrol cars. It turned out that my neighbor had just locked himself out, so he went in through the window.

Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #584710 is a reply to message #584692] Fri, 17 May 2013 01:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
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LOL! A helicopter and six patrol cars?!? Isn't that an excessive reaction for a burglar? Yes, I know, better safe than sorry, but nonetheless ...
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #584722 is a reply to message #584710] Fri, 17 May 2013 02:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Littlefoot wrote on Thu, 16 May 2013 23:03
LOL! A helicopter and six patrol cars?!? Isn't that an excessive reaction for a burglar? Yes, I know, better safe than sorry, but nonetheless ...


No, that is not an excessive reaction. The helicopter can see a lot of things from above, like whether there are people outside and if the residents' pit bull is in the yard or not. If someone jumps out a window and takes off running, the helicopter can track them and tell the deputies which way to go. Also, in addition to needing multiple deputies to check out the house safely, they need others to set up a containment of the area, in case somebody takes off running. If they post one patrol car on each corner of the block or at least one on each of two opposite corners, then they can see if anybody leaves the block. They might contain the whole block like that with cars or contain just that lot on foot, depending on the circumstances. I stayed on the phone with the dispatcher the whole time and she relayed what was going on. The helicopter spotted the pit bull in the yard east of the house. So, the helicopter used the loudspeaker to order the people that they saw to the front of the property where some deputies were waiting to contact them. All they had to do then was show identification that they lived there and confirm that they locked themselves out and it was one of them that entered through the window. If there had actually been a burglar and he had tried to flee, the other deputies might have been needed to keep him from escaping on foot or getting to a vehicle. Also, what if there was more than one burglar and I had just seen the last one going in? You never know. As you say, better safe than sorry.


[Updated on: Fri, 17 May 2013 02:18]

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Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #585343 is a reply to message #584722] Thu, 23 May 2013 15:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
The whole family showed up again this morning, father, mother, kittens, and older sister. I stood still and quiet near the door and watched for a long time and discovered there are at least 7 kittens, 1 black, 2 gray and white, and 4 black and white. One of the black and white ones is mostly black, except for four white paws, and a white chest and lower face, sort of a Tuxedo or Sylvester look. I have gotten close enough to pet the tomcat and a few of the kittens briefly. The mother cat has gone from running out of the garage so fast that I barely catch a glimpse of her tail, to hissing at me from a safe distance, to staring at me quietly from a safe distance. She watches intently when I pet a kitten, but doesn't run up and attack in their defense. The black cat from next door came around one day and he and the tomcat were yowling at each other, outside the entrance to the garage. I put a broom between them. The tomcat retreated and the black cat attacked the broom, then went home. The tomcat and mother both seem to be sticking close to their kittens and protecting them. I don't know whether to expect them to disappear after a couple of weeks like last year or what. I don't know what happened to last year's kittens. I don't know if they went home or were eaten by hawks during the day or owls at night or attacked by dogs or run over by cars or what. So, they are welcome to stick around until they get a little bigger and can run faster. I am trying to get closer to them and get them used to me, in case they don't ever go home, so that I can put them in a carrier and take them to a veterinarian to be spayed and neutered. I wouldn't want to try to trap the tomcat or mother cat right now, since the kittens need them, but the whole bunch need to be spayed or neutered before the kittens are old enough to have kittens themselves. If I could catch the older sister from last year's litter, I would take her in, but, like her mother, she won't let me get near her.


Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #585345 is a reply to message #585343] Thu, 23 May 2013 17:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
Messages: 4417
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
Quote:
4 black and white. One of the black and white ones is mostly black, except for four white paws, and a white chest and lower face
Could they be Jellicle cats? http://www.catquotes.com/thesongofthejellicles.htm
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #586030 is a reply to message #585345] Sun, 02 June 2013 13:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Updated count: There are at least 8 kittnes (1 black, 2 gray and white, and 5 black and white). The vent that they have been using to get in and out of the garage leads to the driveway, so they have been hanging out there in the open and underneath the car, which worries me. Several years ago, I put a kitty door in the door between the garage door and the backyard, but nobody ever used it. I think it is because, with the rubber flap in it, they couldn't tell that all they had to do was push against it to get through. So, I removed the flap, so that hopefully the mother cat and kittens could see another way in and out and hang out in the backyard where it should be safer and there is grass and bushes and such. It should also allow some better air circulation in the garage and maybe keep it a little cooler in the hot weather. Without the flap, they figured it out right away. The mother jumps through and the kittens climb through now. Removing the flap sounds like such a simple task, but it was a pain. I had trouble seeing well enough to find the slot to put the screwdriver in. I had to take the thing off the door, disassemble it, remove the flap, reassemble it, then get it back on the door. I kept dropping things and lost one of the nuts, but I got it done. The kittens sure are cute, but 8 is a huge litter. I hope there aren't any more. They look similar enough and move around quickly enough that the only way to get an accurate count is to see them all at once when they are not moving around a lot.
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #586032 is a reply to message #586030] Sun, 02 June 2013 14:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BlackSwan
Messages: 22558
Registered: January 2009
Senior Member
>They look similar enough and move around quickly enough that the only way to get an accurate count is to see them all at once when they are not moving around a lot.

Just take a snapshot, then count the critters in the picture.
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #588427 is a reply to message #586032] Tue, 25 June 2013 15:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
The gray and white tomcat, the black and white mother cat, and all 8 kittens, 1 black, 2 gray and white, and 5 black and white, were all here this morning. They don't seem to be going home, wherever that is. 3 of the kittens, the long-haired gray and white one, the black one, and one of the black and white ones, now let me pet them and pick them up and they purr when I do so. If they don't go home and nobody comes to claim them, I am contemplating adopting those 3. I have occasionally sneaked up on some of the other kittens while they were sleeping or resting, but as soon as I start to pet them, they run away. The tomcat usually runs away, but sometimes lets me pet him briefly. The mother cat still won't let me get near her. I haven't seen their year-old daughter from last year's litter in 3 or 4 weeks. I used to see her at least once a week, but she, like her mother, never let me get close to her.
Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #588432 is a reply to message #588427] Tue, 25 June 2013 15:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
Messages: 4417
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
Have you picture? (Attached - my current office mate, who is cat number six in Haus Watson)
./fa/10919/0/


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Re: kittens in the garage (again) [message #588434 is a reply to message #588432] Tue, 25 June 2013 15:21 Go to previous message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7939
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
That's a pretty kitty. I am not real big on taking pictures. I do have a digital camera that I have rarely used. Perhaps I will drag it out and see if I can find some batteries, then take some pictures, then see if I can figure out how to get the pictures from the camera to the internet. There was some sort of "memory stick" or some such thing. I think I left it in an old broken computer that is sitting off to the side. I may see if I can extract it and put it in the camera, then find a similar slot to put it in the computer I am using now. If I recall correctly, I had some previous difficulty with figuring out how to get the camera to put the pictures on the stick, instead of in some temporary memory or something like that.
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