Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Welcome, Rosie and Russell!"

God’s love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic.  Yet
in His largeness nothing gets lost; not a man,
not a mouse, slips through the cracks.
Psalm 36:6 (The Message)

Just over three weeks ago as I looked out my bedroom window, what did I see but two little red tabby kittens, who appeared to be about six weeks old, frolicking in my neighbor's backyard.  There, overseeing their antics was their red feral momma, whom I've named Merci, who I've been feeding day and night for the past year and a half along with other occasional visitors.

I'd been attempting to trap Merci off and on all this time
in the hopes of having her vaccinated and spayed to stop the vicious cycle of litter after litter being produced and the great stress this has placed on her, but to no avail.  Even when I'd withhold food from her a bit and no matter how hungry she might be, she'd never take the bait and enter the trap.

I'm aware of a few litters Merci has had but found out through another neighbor, who also does rescue, that Merci has been outdoors longer than I was aware and that she has never been able to trap her either.  However, she was able to Trap/Neuter/Release a litter of three that Merci delivered in the spring of 2012.  So I know Merci's been out there and producing since at least then and perhaps before.  I rescued one of her babies in the spring of 2013, Gracie Anna, when she was 5-6 months old and have since given her a happy home inside.  There were also four kittens delivered in the summer of 2013 who have found homes in the neighborhood. 

Now, time to rescue kittens again.  So, out went the trap in my neighbor's yard where they were living, and my vigil began to catch them.  No way was I going to let them live in the harsh outdoor conditions and face the many potential dangers of growing up a wild cat like their mom and producing untold litters.  If rescued now they were still young enough to properly socialize and to help mold into happy, well-behaved domesticated house cats.

Day two and I still had nothing.  Then late in the afternoon I heard the familiar sound of a cat trap door slamming shut.  I couldn't believe what I saw next - Merci in the trap!  Never did I expect that she'd go in since I'd failed at every attempt up to this point, and besides that, she had all the food in the world just a few steps from where she was, over on my patio.  In fact, I'd been placing more food out and refilling more frequently over the past couple of months since she was quickly gobbling everything up.  That's when I knew she must be pregnant again or have babies.  I had figured it was hopeless to believe I'd ever trap her but there she was.  Now I had a dilemma - let her go and know I'd never trap her again, or take her and get her spayed, leaving the kittens without their mom.

Well, since I knew this was most likely my only and last chance to capture Merci and I was confident the kittens were old enough to eat on their own, I decided this was the time to get Merci spayed and I'd place food and water out for the kittens until I could trap them.  One thing at a time.

With the help of my feral rescue contact, who went above and beyond, arrangements were made to get Merci to a feral rescue group and then taken to the vets the next day for spaying, deworming and vaccinations.  According to the veterinarian, she seems to be in fine shape and very healthy.  After recuperating from surgery on a neighbor's screened-in porch, Merci was re-released into my community where I'll continue to care for her each day.  Though she's a feral cat and I'll never be able to get close or touch her, my heart goes out to her and I love her.  She's a beautiful girl!

I was able to rescue Merci's kittens during her brief absence and begin their socialization, setting them on the track of, "much loved, spoiled, rotten cats"!  What a joy to have little ones running around and to know that God saw them and their need and chose us to help.  It amazes me how much the Lord cares for all of His creatures, great and small, and didn't let this feline family "slip through the cracks".  It causes me to realize how much more He loves you and me!  Thank You, Lord, for Your provision and for the kindness, compassion and generosity of those who helped in this endeavor.  May they be richly blessed.  Thank You, Father, that nothing goes unnoticed or is lost with You.