Feral Kitties – Update

I haven’t seen the original mama cat since the day we released her.  🙁   My co-worker saw her a couple of weeks ago, but hasn’t seen her again.  Obviously I don’t have time to look out the window all the time (and I don’t have the trail cam set up), but I really hope she’s doing well….  From what I’ve heard from the foster mom, her kittens are thriving, so that’s a blessing; you do what you can….

I *have* seen the other mom–the orange and white girl who was also spayed in December.  She’s become a regular at the feeding station, and I see her every day. She definitely likes this routine!

  

  

I also saw the long-haired black cat on Monday (Jan. 9), and today (Jan. 10) I saw one of the white & calico kitties.

  

I haven’t seen either of the kittens (presumably the orange and white female’s babies) for a couple of days now.  Worrisome, given the bitterly cold weather and snow that we’ve had recently….

I’m sure these cats know a lot of places to go to get warm and to stay dry on this large campus.  Many of the buildings are heated with steam, so there are probably areas along the pipes that they can access.  But since I don’t know where they’re going,  I decided to put together two more feral shelters, at least for my piece of mind.

Simple shelters can be constructed from a plastic storage tub with a Styrofoam cooler inside, but it seems that large coolers are seasonal items!  I’ve found a few in local stores, but what they’ve got on the shelves now are small–far more appropriate for a 6-pack of beer than an adult cat or two!

Given that I had some leftover Reflectix insulation–as well as some Styrofoam sheet insulation–from various projects associated with our travel trailer renovations, I decided to use those materials in lieu of the elusive coolers.  Using hot glue and duct tape, it was fairly easy to insulate the storage containers.  The hardest part was cutting the hole through the plastic, so I finally used an electric drill to make small holes around the circle, and then used an old serrated steak knife to cut it out. (Kind of like a connect-the-dots game that involved a lot more elbow grease than the paper and pencil version….)

 

After both were finished, I moved these and the first one to the back (east side) of the tractor shed.  (I’d originally put the first shelter on the south side of the tractor shed.)  It’s not an ideal location since I can’t see them from my classroom to know if the cats are using them, but since they’re a little more secluded, that might make them more attractive to feral cats.

In the meantime, Wayne picked up four Voices for Animals traps today (thanks for coordinating this, Betsy!), and I hope to start trapping again on Thursday.  In a perfect world, I’d set out a total of 5 traps (the four from VFA, plus the one that the school owns), and in a matter of minutes I’d find the long-haired black kitty, both of the white and calico cats, and the two kittens in the traps.

I’m betting, however, that the orange and white kitty (the TNR veteran and daily visitor) will be the first one in…  We’ll see!

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