Monday, June 25, 2007

I Thought I Saw a Puddy Tat . . .

We have just had one of the craziest weeks of our lives.

It all began last Wednesday night. We were rustling up some dinner when we started to hear meowing under the house. My husband went outside and pulled back the skirting around the base of our trailer, and found three tiny little kittens, mewing their heads off. We wiped them off, dropper-fed them some milk, and put them in a box on the porch. We'd call animal control in the morning.

Next morning, we go out to check on the cats to find that the mama had returned, taken one of the kittens, and fled to the center of the crawl space. Darn it!

Borrowing a trap from our landlord, we managed to catch the mother, and waited for the third baby cat to start mewing again so we could locate it. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Finally, we decided that the mother must have relocated it.

But then last night, around six, (what's up with dinner time, anyway) we heard mewing coming from beneath the kitchen floor again. Yes! It was the missing kitty! But wait -- as I listened, I heard the sounds of more than one cat. I sent my son to tell my husband, who was halfway under the house at this point, that there were two cats. He sent back the message that there were three.

These kittens had burrowed into the insulation under the house and were periodicially sticking their heads out, but not coming out far enough to be grabbed. My handsome, wonderful, chivalrous husband spent scads of time sitting there patiently, just waiting. He even reached into the insulation and felt around, trying to grab them. I don't think anyone else would have done near what he did. Yep, he got major good husband points this week.

He also got up several times in the night to check on the situation. We had a dish of milk sitting out, but the kitties weren't coming down to investigate.

Finally, this morning, we got on the phone and started calling every agency we could think of. Police, fire department, animal control, humane society -- every one of them said that they'd come pick up the cats after we caught them, but no one would help us catch them. We called an animal removal service, and they wanted over $350.00. You can imagine our situation -- if the cats died up in there, not only would we be sad, but we'd have carcasses in our insulation, and the smell in this heat -- oh, my. We wanted them out, alive, unharmed, so we could reunite them with their mother, who was already at the shelter.

Feeling rather desperate, my husband took a knife and went back under, slitting the insulation and pulling it back. It wasn't ten minutes before he was able to grab the first one, and the other two followed within minutes. I was so relieved I almost cried -- I couldn't handle the thought of dead baby cats in our insulation. Poor little things.

We got the milk and dropper, fed them and wiped them down. Two of the three kitties had severe eye infections, and we soaked their eyes with warm water until we were able to wipe away the dried pus. If you're squeamish, you may want to leave off at this point, but one of the kitten's eyes were so pus-filled that the skin around the eye was bulged clear out, and I had to push a bit around the eye to get all the infection out. Yes, I am still a little nauseated. But finally, we got the eyes open and washed out, and they are looking so much better.

Animal control came and took the kittens to join their mama. I'm so excited and relieved and feeling blessed that everything turned out the way it did. I wish we could have kept one of the kittens, but we just aren't able to juggle an animal in with everything else we've got going on.

Of course, now we've got slits in our insulation and we need to do some patching and repairing. Small price to pay, however.

And, wanna hear something funny? While we were trying to catch the mama cat, we caught another stray, a male. We gave it to animal control too, only to find out from a neighbor that he belongs to another one of our neighbors. We've got a little fessing up to do -- but we honestly thought it was a stray.

I haven't cleaned my house in two days, as we've been hunkered down by a hole, waiting for kittens to pop out. There's a lot to catch up on. I'm just, again, so grateful that we got them all. Phew!


Maren said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. It is much appreciated. Writing is something I've always loved to do but have not put the effort into honing the craft. I have many ideas for books floating around in my head. That's another one of those things I have found myself putting off until I'm better. The story I really want to write is my own. Still hoping for a happy ending on that one. But, in the is for the living of it.

Marsha Ward said...

I'm so glad you got the kitties out, Tristi. [sigh of relief on your behalf]

Lee Ann said...

What a relief for you and the kitties! I was really worried about you all!

Lee Ann

Julie Wright said...

Whew! glad they're all okay!

Lynne said...

I'm so glad you were able to get those babies out safely and reunite them with their mother. Hope their eyes will be OK.

Lisa M. said...

Kitten Rescuers!

I love it-

Janette Rallison said...

Glad to hear it had a happy ending. We once had to cut three holes in our wall to rescue my daughter's pet hamster who'd managaed to get stuck there--after eating through several of my clothes in the laundry chute. Stupid hamster.

Anna Maria Junus said...

What a lovely story. You could use it in your writing.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness! Now we just have to hope they all get nicely adopted. :) Yay!

We got two kittens once almost that way... they came up through the wall of the neighbor's house, and she cut a HOLE in the drywall (and she was renting--) to get them out. She called me, and we took two, because her kids were allergic to cats. So it all turned out well.


Anne Bradshaw said...

Umm--we've had bees in the attic, a snake under the bed (tame), and a hamster (or was it a gerbil?) in the clothes dryer--but never kittens in the insulation. I can picture it all, Tristi. Great ending, thank goodness.

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