For days, when Ellie left for work in the morning, she could hear mewling from underneath her front porch. When she came home in the evening, every once in awhile she caught a glimpse of an orange streak going under the porch. There were also the telltale cat prints in the snow. As cold as it had been outside, Ellie was afraid the kittens would not survive for long.
Ellie hatched a plan to capture mama cat and then she could crawl under and nab the poor little kittens. She borrowed a live trap from her local cat rescue agency and set a nice can of moist kibble to the back of the cage. Attached to the cage was an electronic alarm that would go off if the trap was activated. It was 5pm when Ellie set the trap. At 5:30 she heard the alarm. It was still light outside, which was a blessing. She saw a petrified mama cat scrunched into one corner of the trap. As Ellie lifted the trap to take it inside of her 60 degree garage, mama cat went berserk, jumping, twisting, and meowling to get out. It was a good thing Ellie had worn her work gloves. Once into the garage, Ellie threw an old blanket over the cage in hopes of calming mama cat down. She reached for the towel-lined plastic bin she had prepared earlier, as well as her flashlight.
Dusk was falling and so was a moderate blanket of soft snow. Ellie crouched down to the edge of the porch and clicked the LED flashlight on. The bright light immediately captured moving fur. Getting prone, she was able to wiggle in and get the kittens without much trouble. Light as a puffball, their tiny frames were not warm as she lifted all six of them into the bin. Their eyes were not open yet and as she picked each one up it mewled with desperation. Double-checking that she hadn’t missed any of them – she hadn’t – she snatched up the bin and almost ran inside.
Reaching into the bathroom closet she located the hot water bottle that had come in handy a thousand times over the years. Filling it with hot water, she then put it in with the kittens. Ellie had already set the bin near her heat register. Picking each small bundle of fur up in her warm hands, she determined none were in great distress – even though the noise and her movements had turned them into a mewling chorus.
Ellie then googled the rescue agency after hours number. Tina answered. Ellie explained to Tina the situation. Tina instructed Ellie to bring the kittens and their mother in tomorrow morning and they would take over from there. They instructed Ellie to go to the pet store and buy a feeding kit and feeding formula for the babies in the meantime. They were to be fed every three hours.
Ellie did as instructed and took mama cat and babies to the rescue location. She asked Bill, the nice gentleman volunteering that day, what would happen to them. Bill said mama cat would be immunized, tested for diseases, and spayed. The kittens would stay with mama cat until 6 weeks old and then they would be adopted out. Hopefully mama cat would be also. Ellie thanked Bill and said, “That’s just what I was hoping for.”